Microneedling: To Numb or Not To Numb

Does the thought of thousands of ultra-fine needles puncturing your skin make you weak at the knees? Sure, the benefits sound enticing—smooth, rejuvenated skin with visibly improved wrinkles, pores, scars, rosacea, and even acne—but does microneedling hurt? And should you opt for a numbing cream for your face or other parts of your body? 

Walk away today knowing the role of numbing cream in the microneedling industry and why we say you probably don’t need it anymore! 

Microneedling Breakthrough 

We’re going to cut straight to the good news. We’ve developed an exciting breakthrough in the future of microneedling with Dermapen 4. 

This device sets a new standard and benchmark that delivers the ultimate in advanced and innovative microneedling with unsurpassed confidence and outstanding patient results. Dermapen 4 is the less painful microneedling device on the market.  

We don’t recommend a microneedling numbing cream when undergoing a Dermapen 4 procedure, because it’s so comfortable. If your DermapenWorld Authorised Treatment Provider follows the correcDermapenWorld Protocols and aftercare (such as applying a Dp Dermaceuticals HYLAACTIVE 3D SCULPTURED FACE MASK) the treatment is over before you know it, with barely any unpleasant sensations at all. 

If you’re still not sure how you feel about microneedling without numbing cream, we’re sharing the low down on Topical Local Anaesthetic (TLA), so you can make an informed decision. 

The Role of TLA Numbing Cream 

Topical Local Anaesthetic (TLA) is a therapy which leads to a superficial loss of sensation over the skin where its directly applied. Unlike local anaesthesia, TLA does not require painful injections and is applied topically on the skin via a spray, gel, lotion, cream or ointment. TLA works by reversibly blocking the nerve conduction of the nerve cells within the dermis of the skin.  

Although TLA has its place in healthcare—pain relief in children who require blood tests, numbing the eyes during the removal of a foreign body and numbing the gums during dental procedures—it can also cause some adverse effects. 

Adverse Effects of TLA Numbing Cream 

  • TLA has been reported to cause burning or stinging at the site of administration.  
  • TLA can even lead to systemic toxicity if used in excess. Signs of systemic toxicity include agitation, elevated blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances and muscle twitching.  
  • TLA may also lead to a localised allergic reaction or widespread anaphylaxis which can be fatal.  

While some of these side effects may be rare, they highlight the care that needs to be taken when deciding whether to use TLA numbing cream for a procedure like microneedling. 

Is TLA Numbing Cream Essential When Microneedling? 

Many aesthetic and rejuvenation medical clinics advocate for the use of TLA during microneedling to maximise patient comfort and ensure a completely pain-free experienceHowever, the available evidence suggests that it doesn’t play a role in a procedure’s effectiveness.  

A recent study in 2017 showed that microneedling in patients with stretch marks was safe and effective without TLA. The researchers biopsied the target skin areas and found an increased quality and quantity of collagen and elastin fibres. Despite no TLA being used, the patients tolerated the procedure well. 

Another study in 2014 showed that microneedling the scalp for hair loss resulted in significant improvement without the use of TLA, further supporting the notion that TLA simply does not improve the efficacy of microneedling. 

How TLA Numbing Cream Impacts Collagen 

Sure, TLA may ensure a completely pain-free procedure. However, besides the potentially hazardous side-effects, it could also negatively impact your results. 

Studies show that TLA may even hinder the proliferation and synthesis of collagen (the protein that helps our skin look younger) 

In 2017, researchers from the University of Washington found that lidocaine and mepivacaine – commonly used local anaesthetics, inhibited processes relevant to repairing the skin in human skin fibroblasts (cells which produce and deposit collagen). 

Microneedling Without Numbing Cream 

Everything we do at DermapenWorld is with your skin’s integrity in mind. That’s why we spent years and millions of dollars in research to create a microneedling pen that’s so advanced and comfortable that you don’t need to rely on a numbing cream when microneedling.  

If you’re ready to experience the DermapenWorld difference, find an Authorised Treatment Provider near you to get started.

If you are a professional and wish to learn how to become a DermapenWorld Authorised Treatment Provider, click here.

1.Iriarte, C., et al., Review of applications of microneedling in dermatology. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 2017. 10 : p. 289-298. 
2.Kumar, M., R. Chawla, and M. Goyal, Topical anesthesia. Journal of anaesthesiology, clinical pharmacology, 2015. 31(4): p. 450-456. 
3.Casabona, G. and P. Marchese, Calcium Hydroxylapatite Combined with Microneedling and Ascorbic Acid is Effective for Treating Stretch Marks. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 2017. 5(9): p. e1474-e1474. 
4.Chandrashekar, B., V. Yepuri, and V. Mysore, Alopecia areata-successful outcome with microneedling and triamcinolone acetonide. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 2014. 7(1): p. 63-64. 
5.Bentov, I., et al., Lidocaine Impairs Proliferative and Biosynthetic Functions of Aged Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Anesthesia and analgesia, 2016. 123(3): p. 616-623.