Ready to learn about a freaky fad beauty treatment? Check out our latest interview with expert and plastic surgeon Dr. Marotta on skin needling:

So Dr. tell us, what the heck is skin needling?

Skin needling, also referred to as micro-needling therapy or collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive and non-surgical procedure for facial rejuvenation that involves the use of a micro-needling device to create controlled skin injury. It involves the use of a handheld tool embedded with tiny steel tines. This tool is run over the face to "injure" the skin to spur collagen formation. 

What entices a person to try this, given the painful sounding name?

Patients are always searching for the fountain of youth, and skin needling is one way to turn back the hands of time. People turn to skin needling because it helps to restore and accelerate the skin's own regeneration of collagen and elastin through a natural healing process. By passing medical-grade stainless steel needles across your skin, a wound-healing response is induced, which stimulates this regenerative process. This helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, and create plump, firm skin.

What are the benefits? Are they worth the pain?

Unlike dermabrasion, deep chemical peels, or invasive laser treatments, skin needling may be safer and typically has fewer side effects. Because the doctor uses a numbing agent on the skin before the needles enter the epidermis, the pain is typically tolerable. A skin needling treatment is also safe for all skin types, even for those who have very sensitive skin. 

What does the procedure feel like?  

A doctor would never perform skin needling without some sort of preparation. When using shorter, less invasive needles, a doctor will apply a numbing agent to the skin to help with the pain. When this is applied, many patients feel minimal or no pain at all. When using larger needles, the patient is sedated before the procedure. Larger needles are more invasive, and require longer downtime as well.

Is it tolerable? So many people are terrified of needles!

While tolerance does vary for everyone, topical anesthetic creams are applied to numb the skin before treatment. After the numbing cream has been applied, patients have said that they felt no pain or only a slight sensation that was minimal and tolerable.

However, this also depends on the length of the needles used. Needles less than 1 mm long only require a numbing agent and are much more tolerable. Needles up to 3 mm are more invasive, and can require the patient to be sedated.

Check out Part Two of this interivew where we learn what famous celebrity couple loves this prickly skin care method!