What should you avoid before and after microneedling? (2023)

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic treatments at SkinMD in Chicago, IL. This incredibly versatile treatment stimulates your skin's collagen production system and can solve virtually any cosmetic problem. Read on to find out more.

What you should avoid before microneedling


You should avoid NSAIDs in the week leading up to your microneedling treatment session. Bruising is caused by internal bleeding, and NSAIDs thin the blood, making internal bleeding more likely to occur. To reduce the risk of bruising after your microneedling treatment session, do not take NSAIDs in the seven days prior to your session; If you experience pain, aches, or discomfort, take acetaminophen.

Also, avoid taking other medications or dietary supplements that are designed to thin the blood or may cause the side effect of thinning the blood. For example, you should avoid taking MAOIs if your psychiatrist recommends not taking them for 72 hours before your session and for several days after your session. You should also avoid taking dietary supplements such as vitamin E, fish oil, turmeric and ginger.

Accutane and other medications and dietary supplements

Accutane is one of the most widely used acne medications on the market. Unfortunately, its active ingredient, isotretinoin, is a retinoid. If you are currently taking this medication, ask your GP if you can stop taking it and ask for an alternative that will not interfere with your collagen induction therapy treatment. You should not take Accutane within six months of starting treatment.

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You should also avoid other medications, like most other topical acne medications that contain retinoids. Also, do not take oral supplements containing vitamin A1 (retinol). We will provide you with a comprehensive list of medications and supplements to avoid when you come to your initial consultation after we have determined that collagen induction therapy is right for you.

Certain hair removal methods

It's okay to shave the treatment area the week before your scheduled session. However, you should avoid alternative hair removal methods such as electrolysis, hair removal creams, laser hair removal or waxing. Such hair removal methods increase skin sensitivity. Plan on using such hair removal methods for eight days after your session.

You should also avoid shaving in the treatment area on the day of your session. Whether or not you shave the night before your session is up to you, but shaving on the day of your treatment may irritate your skin. If you shave the treatment area the night before your session, make sure your razor blades are sharp, use shaving cream, and then moisturize your skin. You don't want any skin irritation on the day of your session.

Heat-based cosmetic treatments and others

Avoid cosmetic treatments that irritate your skin two weeks before your microneedling treatment. Treatments that increase skin sensitivity include IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy and laser treatments. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of treatments to avoid for the 14 days leading up to your first session and the first 7 days after your sessions.

Other cosmetic treatments to avoid are physical peels, which can irritate your skin before the treatment, and chemical peels. You should avoid chemical peels in the two weeks leading up to your treatment, as chemical peels are irritating to your skin and often contain vitamin A derivatives.

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UV damage

Do your best to avoid UV damage in the week leading up to your session. Avoiding tanning beds is just one step you should take to avoid damaging your skin. You should also take steps to reduce your risk of sunburn by wearing at least one unexpired broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 and reapplying it every four hours. You can also minimize the effects of sun exposure by minimizing your time outside between 10 and 4 and wearing a hat outside.

cold sores

If you have a history of cold sores, take an antiviral 48 hours before your treatment and on the day of your session. If you forgot to take an antiviral medication two days before your session and have cold sores at the treatment site on the day of your session, you will need to reschedule your appointment.

makeup and other cosmetics

On the day of your treatment, do not apply makeup, lotion or sunscreen to the treatment area. If you are targeting your face, wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser before coming to your appointment. If you're targeting your body, wash with a gentle soap that won't irritate your skin. The day of your treatment is not the time to experiment with a new soap containing chemicals you may be allergic or sensitive to.

What to avoid after collagen induction therapy


The week after yoursMicroneedling treatmentsession, avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Inflammation is a crucial part of the skin healing process and taking NSAIDs slows the rate at which your skin heals. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, NSAIDs thin the blood and you should avoid this for the first seven days after your microneedling treatment session.

choosing your skin

You should also avoid picking your skin in the week following your treatment. Sometime between three and five days after your treatment, your skin will look dry and begin to peel. You may be tempted to "speed up" the peeling process by picking at the peeling skin or physically exfoliating it. This shouldn't happen. At best, it slows down the healing process. At worst, it slows down the healing process and leads to a skin infection or acne breakout.

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If you pick at your skin while peeling, you risk infection or an acne breakout, since the skin on your fingertips produces oil that can irritate recently treated skin on your face. If you are unsure about avoiding touching your face, wear gloves. If you have treated your cheeks or chin, you can wear a mask.

Over-moisturizing of your skin

Just as you should avoid plucking your skin to allow it to naturally exfoliate, you should also avoid over-hydrating your skin during the natural exfoliation process. If you over-hydrate your skin, it will take longer to peel and you will see the end results of your collagen induction therapy less quickly.

On the other hand, your skin should not be dehydrated either. If you have oily or normal skin, moisturize your skin with a gentle facial moisturizer once a day. We recommend moisturizing your face in the morning to keep your face feeling comfortable and hydrated throughout the day. If you have naturally dry skin, consider moisturizing your skin twice a day. Gentle moisturizers that won't irritate your skin include Aquaphor, Cetaphil, and Vaseline.


Do your best to avoid sweating for the first three days after your microneedling treatment. Avoid steaming hot showers or baths, hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms. Don't do strenuous exercise like heavy weight lifting, swimming, intense spinning, or indoor rowing. If you have a strenuous job that makes you sweat, take three days off work.


For the first five to seven days after your treatment, do not use any cosmetics that you normally incorporate into your daily routine. If you can't go a week without makeup, try going makeup-free until your skin starts to peel. Once your skin starts to peel, it's okay to wear mineral makeup. As soon as your skin has finished peeling, you can wear your favorite cosmetics again.

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You should not apply ice to the treatment area or use it near the treatment area. Ice interferes with the natural inflammatory process your skin needs to heal. For the same reason, you should avoid herbal anti-inflammatory supplements like arnica supplements and bromelain (derived from pineapple). You should also avoid drinking pineapple juice and eating pineapple for the first week after treatment to avoid consuming too much bromelain.

Sleep on your stomach or side

If you have had collagen induction therapy on your face, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach or side for the first week after your session. Sleep on your back with your head elevated. If you do not normally sleep on your back, practice sleeping on your back for a few weeks before your first treatment.

You should practice sleeping on your back if you are not used to sleeping on your back so that you feel comfortable and get adequate rest. If you normally toss and turn in your sleep, sleep in a recliner. If you don't have a deckchair, you can sleep in it, put pillows or rolls of bath towels on either side of you to prevent yourself from rolling away.


Do not consume alcohol for the seven days following your treatment. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it has draining properties. Unfortunately, dehydration drastically slows down the healing process of your skin. Additionally, a side effect of consuming diuretics, such as alcohol, is that essential micronutrients are flushed out of your body.


Just as you should avoid alcohol to avoid impeding your skin's healing process, you should refrain from consuming tobacco products for about the first week after your collagen induction therapy. Tobacco products contain dozens of chemical compounds, including nicotine. Products that drastically slow down your skin's healing process include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, most e-liquids, and smoking cessation aids like nicotine gum and patches.


If you smoke or chew tobacco regularly, you may have trouble going cold turkey and avoiding nicotine use. You can go through physical withdrawal symptoms for 72 hours, but after that any struggle to not use nicotine is purely mental. If you are tempted to smoke or bathe, just remember that both your craving and the trigger for your craving are temporary. Go for a walk, eat a crunchy snack or play a mobile game. you will get through it

Learn more about collagen induction therapy today

While microneedling is a non-invasive, zero-downtime treatment, there is some preparation and follow-up care involved. Things to avoid prior to treatment include Accutane, heat-based cosmetic treatments, and UV damage. Things to avoid after treatment include alcohol, tobacco, and NSAIDs. To learn more about this treatment,Contact us now at SkinMD in Chicago, IL to schedule an appointment.


What should you not do before and after microneedling? ›

Avoid strenuous exercises that cause sweating as well as jacuzzis, saunas, and steam baths for up to 48 hours. Use only mineral makeup after 24 hours. Sleep on your back with the head of the bed elevated to minimize swelling or pain as needed.

What should I avoid before microneedling? ›

Avoid Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications (i.e. Ibuprofen, Aleve), blood thinners, herbal supplements, Vitamin E, and Fish Oil for at least one week prior to and the day of microneedling to minimize bruising risk- you may restart these the day following your treatment.

What should you avoid after microneedling? ›

Avoid exfoliants, retinols, and vitamin C

Avoid any skin care product that contains harsh chemicals meant to exfoliate. Avoid anything that's scented, and don't use glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Retinol and vitamin C serum should be avoided for at least the first 48 hours after microneedling.

What happens if you use vitamin C after microneedling? ›

Using ingredients like glycolic acid, retinol and vitamin C too soon after microneedling can irritate your skin and prolong the healing process. For this reason, it is best to wait two to three days after a microneedling session to start using products with these ingredients again.

How do I prepare my face for microneedling? ›

On Your Appointment Day

Please wash your face with a gentle cleanser and do not wear any lotion, perfume, or serums when you go to your appointment. If you are wearing make-up that day, please remove make-up before your appointment.

When should you not do microneedling? ›

Microneedling can cause bleeding so it may not be suitable for people with clotting or bleeding disorders, or who take medicine to thin their blood. You may want to avoid microneedling if you have conditions that affect your skin, such as eczema or diabetes, or if you have a weakened immune system.

Can I drink coffee before microneedling? ›

You should not consume any alcohol within 24 hours before and refrain from having any caffeinated foods or drinks the day of your microneedling procedure. These substances can promote bruising and inflammation, which can harm or hinder the healing process.

How long after microneedling can I wash my face? ›

As far as washing your face after microneedling goes, you should only use lukewarm water for the first 48 hours. On days two and three, it's safe to cleanse with a gentle, non-exfoliating face wash. Make sure to apply the product using light, circular hand motions, and don't use a facial cleansing brush.

Can I use vitamin C serum after microneedling? ›

To ensure the most ideal healing environment, do not use AHA'S (Glycolic Acid), retinols, Vitamin C Serums or any alcohol-based toners for 2-3 days after your procedure.

What is the best thing to use after microneedling? ›

Hyaluronic acid serums should be used post-microneedling. Use this from days 1 to 14 after microneedling to hydrate and replenish the skin. After 1 to 4 days, you can apply hyaluronic acid, toners, or moisturisers with a base of green tea extract, Vitamin E, kiwi oil, and linseed oil to the skin.

How long to avoid sunlight after microneedling? ›

Sun exposure must be avoided for 4 weeks after your treatment. Wear a sunblock that contains a physical block such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide daily. Plan to wear a hat and avoid sun exposure. Do not use exfoliating medications, chemicals, or products on the treated areas for at least 1 week.

How do you maximize microneedling results? ›

For the best results, we recommend minimizing exposure to the sun and following a healthy skincare regimen at least two weeks leading up to your appointment. This includes cleansing and moisturizing twice daily as well as applying a strong sunscreen.

Can I use vitamin C before microneedling? ›

Before Treatment

1 WEEK BEFORE Discontinue all topical products containing Tretinoin (Retin-A), Retinols, Retinoids, Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Vitamin C, or any anti-aging products. 1 WEEK BEFORE treatment, do not ingest blood thinning medications such as Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, and Aleve.

Can you mess up microneedling? ›

"There are no risks or downtime if microneedling is performed properly," notes Katz. "When microneedling is not performed properly, there are serious risks like infections, scarring, hyperpigmentation, and bruising."

How do I protect my skin after microneedling? ›

CLEAN – Use a gentle cleanser and tepid water to cleanse the face for 72 hours post-treatment, and gently dry the treated skin. Always make sure your hands are clean when touching the treated area, and do not use a Clarisonic or other powered cleansing brushes for at least one week after your treatment.

Should you use a serum when microneedling? ›

These important proteins help keep the skin firm, healthy, and even-toned. While the microneedling process is already effective in triggering natural collagen production, it's better to combine this treatment with nourishing serums to achieve the best results.

What does your face look like immediately after microneedling? ›

Patients can expect their skin to look red immediately after a microneedling treatment. This is because of increased blood flow to the skin as part of the body's natural wound healing response to the ultrafine needles of the microneedling handpiece that have penetrated the skin's surface.

Do you wash your face the night after microneedling? ›

After Microneedling Treatment

Wait at least four hours to wash your face. Your skin may feel warm and tight and look red for one to three days. During this period, use a delicate cleanser and moisturizer, and apply 1% hydrocortisone cream as needed to soothe skin irritation.

Does microneedling help with under eye wrinkles? ›

Enter: microneedling. Microneedling under your eyes is a cosmetic procedure used to diminish the appearance of these fine lines, wrinkles, and eye bags. Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, can be used all over your body as a scar-minimizing treatment and one that reduces the signs of aging.

Who is not a good candidate for microneedling? ›

Who is not a candidate for microneedling? Microneedling is safe for almost anyone. The only contraindications are for those who currently have acne, infections, or wound-healing issues.

Is microneedling safe for older skin? ›

Microneedling is an aesthetic technique that will use very fine needles to make microchannels in your desired treatment area. This beneficial process will work on young and old skin, and we can use this minimally invasive treatment to correct skin problems that you develop at many different stages in your life.

How long does it take for microneedling to start working? ›

As soon as the deepest layers of your skin are penetrated by the needles, “micro-wounds” are created. This triggers your body's wound healing processes to heal your micro wounds immediately. However, the most dramatic results will not be visible until four to six weeks after treatment.

What are the best foods to eat after microneedling? ›

Many options like pineapple are also great for lowering post-treatment inflammation. As such, try to eat a colorful array of fresh produce. Quality protein is another essential addition to your diet at this time given that it supports both tissue healing and formation.

Should you drink water after microneedling? ›

While your skin is healing, you not only need to hydrate your skin directly, but you'll need to drink lots of water. If your skin is already dry in the first place, you'll need to pay extra close attention to this because it will heal much faster if it's hydrated, and you'll likely see much better results.

Should I wash my hair before microneedling? ›

Make sure to wash your hair the morning of your appointment. Whilst we will be cleansing your scalp before the treatment, washing your hair will help reduce any excess sebum that might otherwise difficult to get. normal and a wanted result - the upper layer of the scalp are shedding.

How long after microneedling can I shower? ›

We usually recommend patients wait to shower after 24 hours. The micro-needling openings will be closed and therefore describe the chance of bacteria getting in. They can wash their face with a non-harsh wash and pat dry. Hope this helps.

Should you shower after microneedling? ›

Can you shower after microneedling? Yes, showering is allowed post skin needling. It's recommended to take a luke-warm shower after a few hours and use a gentle cleanser, nothing abrasive. As opposed to baths, showers have a lower inflammatory or infection risk.

What moisturizer to use for microneedling? ›

We definitely recommend moisturizing after the microneedling treatment using something very gentle. Ideally we recommend a combination of a TNS collagen building serum and HA5 (hyaluronic acid) through SkinMedica or even simple Cerave/Cetaphil/Eucerin over the counter!

What should I do directly after microneedling? ›

As far as washing your face after microneedling goes, you should only use lukewarm water for the first 48 hours. On days two and three, it's safe to cleanse with a gentle, non-exfoliating face wash. Make sure to apply the product using light, circular hand motions, and don't use a facial cleansing brush.

What should I do immediately after microneedling? ›

Sunscreen and makeup can also be applied immediately following treatment, although we recommend that it is free of fragrances and other skin irritants. Many of our patients receive a microneedling treatment during their lunch break and return to work after the treatment.

When should you not microneedle? ›

Microneedling can cause bleeding so it may not be suitable for people with clotting or bleeding disorders, or who take medicine to thin their blood. You may want to avoid microneedling if you have conditions that affect your skin, such as eczema or diabetes, or if you have a weakened immune system.

How long does it take to see full results of microneedling? ›

This triggers your body's wound healing processes to heal your micro wounds immediately. However, the most dramatic results will not be visible until four to six weeks after treatment. It takes roughly this long for your body to create new, strong, healthy collagen.

How many days does it take to see results from microneedling? ›

Most clients see full results at between four and six weeks following treatment. This gives your body enough time to produce collagen and elastin and to send it to your micro wounds. At this point, you'll notice your skin looking both younger and healthier.

Can you see results from microneedling after 1 session? ›

Microneedling is a highly effective treatment for most skin types and concerns. Best of all, many people see results after just one or two sessions.

Can I drink coffee after microneedling? ›

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking for 3 days after treatment. Smoking impairs healing, new hair and skin growth, and results may take longer. Continue increased water intake the first week after your treatment.

Can I use regular moisturizer after microneedling? ›

Answer: Can you use moisturizer after microneedling? Hi ginad87, It would be best to stay off your regular moisturizer after microneedling. Your skin is too sensitive at this point. Washing with water and keeping your face hydrated with a gentle moisturizer like Cerave is best.

When can I use my own moisturizer after microneedling? ›

While your skin must remain hydrated after your treatment, it's not advisable to use any products made from pigmented minerals for the sake of not irritating your skin. However, unlike traditional makeup, you can use a tinted moisturizer or sunscreen within 24 hours after your treatment.

What face wash to use after microneedling? ›

Light peeling usually occurs in about three days and will be replaced with brand new skin. -You may wash with a gentle cleanser later today using your fingers only (we recommend Cerave). Gently massage the face with lukewarm water.

Do wrinkles look worse after microneedling? ›

Microneedling should NOT make your lines or wrinkles worse. It takes a series of treatments to get the best results so I recommend giving it some time. You definitely should not have significantly aged only 5 days post treatment.


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