Should I train in microneedling or mesotherapy?

Microneedling and mesotherapy are both popular for skin rejuvenation, but which is right for you? Lorna Bowes, aesthetic nurse and founding partner of Aesthetic Source, distributor of Exuviance and Neostrata, explains

The skin’s critical barrier function is well understood but it creates a significant obstacle for the delivery of beneficial ingredients into the skin. One of the classical ways to cross this barrier and bring active ingredients directly to the skin is injection.

You inject in situ the actives you want to apply precisely where you want to administer treatment: this sounds very similar to the words of Dr Michel Pistor, the French doctor who first developed the technique of mesotherapy in 1952. However, only since the 1990s has mesotherapy been applied for aesthetic indications, such as meso-lifting or body contour treatments, and more recently for hydrobalance and biorevitalisation.

A similar method of delivering active ingredients is microneedling, a treatment that creates superficial punctures in the skin through which actives penetrate. The mechanical stimulation of multiple punctures has been shown to lead to a healing process that induces neo-synthesis of collagen and elastin; one reason why microneedling is often used for the treatment of scars, pore size and stretch marks.

One advantage of injection is that the total quantity of active ingredients is delivered. However, in Health Education England’s advisory guidelines for qualification requirements, mesotherapy is Level 6, whereas microneedling is listed as Level 4 up to 0.5mm, Level 5 to 1.0mm and Level 6 to 1.5mm manually or 1.0mm when mechanically assisted, which may make it a better option for non-medics.

In all cases, the choice of the solutions to be injected or used with microneedling techniques is a critical element in delivering a safe and effective treatment.