Michelle Gellis AP, LAc DiplAc
I recently received this inquiry from one of my students:
“I have a patient who asked if microneedling could help with very thin skin on both forearms. This patient is in their 80s and the skin is very thin with significant non-painful bruising- they are not on any medications other than oral collagen. The patient hopes that building collagen and elastin on the arms could help with building up the thin skin and help reduce bruising.
I found that research does support microneedling for crepey skin, but cannot find any specifics about frequency, depth, precautions, etc. for very thin skin on the forearms.
Have either of you helped patients with this concern? would you recommend microneedling for someone who bruises very easily? If so, do any ideas on the depth and frequency of treatments or success rate? ”
Here is my response:
1) Before treating her, have her come in for a consultation. Bruising can be indicative of several underlying conditions and you must review her health history. She should also see her medical doctor regarding the bruising if she has not already.
2) Make certain you have her fill out a food diary for a few days so you can ascertain whether she is eating enough vitamin C and protein. These are the building blocks of collagen. Collagen powder does not do much to help with collagen in the skin.
3) Start at the lowest needle setting and test a small area on the inside of her arm where the skin is the thinnest and use light pressure. Contact her one-day post-treatment to see how she is doing. She should not have any symptoms besides some redness. Make certain to use adequate Superb serum and aftercare products.
4) If she does not have an adverse reaction you can increase the treatment area, but still follow the above directions for 2-3 treatments.
5) After she has had 3 treatments you can increase needle depth slightly. it will probably take 6 treatments to produce any noticeable collagen at her age.
6) There is plenty of research to support microneedling for thin skin, and brusing in and of itself is not a contraindication.
7) Make certain that you are doing a full-body acupuncture treatment and treating any underlying conditions.