Microneedling vs. Botox

Cosmetic treatments get more and more popular every year as they become less invasive and more effective. But the field is so flooded with new technologies and methods, it’s hard to sift through the choices.

Dr. Robert Topham and Dr. Barry Topham here at Holladay Dermatology Clinic help our patients throughout the greater Salt Lake City area navigate the vast world of cosmetic treatments. They always start by getting to know you and your personal aesthetic goals and identifying your main skin issues. This determines which type of cosmetic treatment will give you the results you’re after. 

Two of the most popular approaches are BotoxⓇ injections and microneedling, but they do very different things for your skin. Here’s a comparison.

What is Botox good for?

Botox has been around for a long time and has a proven track record for smoothing out deep facial lines — but not just any lines.

This is why it’s important to know your skin and communicate with Dr. Topham exactly what you want to change. 

Your face shows lines and wrinkles for different reasons, and Botox is excellent for treating one very specific type of facial lines called dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are not caused by environmental factors or even age, per se (though it does play a role). They are caused by the constant creasing and folding that occurs every time you laugh, smile, grimace, or frown. 

Over time (here’s where your age factors in), the lines that mark your smile or frown leave a deep impression. Even when your face is at rest, the lines remain. 

Here’s where Botox comes in and goes straight to the source. Dr. Topham injects a small dose of a toxin called onabotulinumtoxinA that targets the muscles under your skin and stops them from contracting or moving. The science is simple: No contractions means no creasing, which means lines fade.

If you have vertical lines between your brows, crow’s feet at the corners of your eyes, or parentheses around your mouth, these are dynamic wrinkles, and Botox can 86 them.

What is microneedling good for?

If the thing that bothers you most about your skin is the loose crepey texture, large pores, and old acne scars, then microneedling might be the way to go.

Like Botox, it goes to the heart of the problem. They just happen to be very different problems that call for different solutions. Your loose crepey skin is caused by a combination of 1) the aging process that inevitably involves a decrease in your natural production of collagen and elastin (two proteins essential in the structure of your skin) and 2) environmental factors, such as sun damage, pollution, smoke, and stress. 

The wrinkles you see are called static wrinkles, and they’re very different from dynamic wrinkles. These occur because the collagen, elastin, and even the fat are no longer there to lift your skin and give it volume. So it sags and shrivels like a deflated balloon. 

Microneedling solves this by stimulating your body to amp up its production of these essential proteins once again. Dr. Topham uses a device called a SkinPenⓇ that makes hundreds of tiny micro injuries all over the surface of your skin. This triggers your body to immediately begin producing its own elastin and collagen to heal the microscopic wounds, and voila, you’re on your way to repairing your own skin.

Microneedling is great on its own, but Dr. Topham gives your treatment a boost by combining it with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. By adding a concentrated serum made up of your own blood’s intense healing factors to the surface of your skin, the microneedling process sends those platelets down into the layers of your skin where they prompt cell renewal. This effectively repairs, remodels, and restructures your skin so that you end up with smoother, tighter skin with smaller pores and less-visible scars.

Can I receive Botox and microneedling together?

While it may be tempting to combine Botox and microneedling to get the best of both worlds, it’s best not to do it at the same time. The two processes can definitely compliment one another, but Botox needs to be administered to healthy, intact skin, and microneedling creates many, many micro wounds. 

Dr. Topham advises you on the best schedule that allows you to take advantage of both treatments and give your skin a one-two punch. 

If you have dynamic or static wrinkles, scars, and large pores, give us a call at 810-272-4408 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Topham and find out which treatment is right for you.

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