Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of a device with very fine, sterile needles to create tiny, controlled punctures (micro-injuries) in the skin. These micro-injuries stimulate the body's natural wound healing process, leading to the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. Microneedling is used to improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and address various skin concerns, such as acne scars, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation.

The procedure is typically performed by a trained skincare professional or dermatologist (click here to read FDA recommendations). It can be done with a dermaroller, which is a hand-held device with a roller covered in fine needles, or a motorized device with adjustable needle depth. The depth of the needles can vary, allowing the practitioner to customize the treatment based on the specific skin concern and the patient's skin type.

Regarding the use of topical anesthetics for pain prevention during microneedling, it is a common practice to apply a numbing cream or gel to the treatment area before the procedure. This is done to minimize discomfort and pain, as the micro-injuries created during microneedling can cause varying levels of discomfort, depending on an individual's pain threshold.

Topical anesthetics are usually applied about 30 minutes before the microneedling procedure begins. The anesthetics work by numbing the skin's surface, making the microneedling process more tolerable. Common topical anesthetics include lidocaine or a combination of lidocaine and other numbing agents. The specific numbing agent used may vary depending on the practitioner's preference and the patient's needs.

Using topical anesthetics is generally safe when administered by a qualified professional, and they can help ensure a more comfortable microneedling experience. However, it's important to follow the practitioner's recommendations and avoid self-administering numbing agents. Additionally, individuals should discuss any allergies or sensitivities to these substances with their practitioner to prevent potential adverse reactions.

After the microneedling procedure, there may be some redness and minor discomfort, but this typically subsides within a few days. Proper post-procedure care and the use of recommended skincare products are essential to support the healing process and achieve the desired results. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist to determine if microneedling is suitable for your specific skin concerns and if the use of topical anesthetics is necessary for your comfort during the procedure.

FDA recommendations:

If you are thinking about having a microneedling procedure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends you choose a health care provider who is specially trained in microneedling. Talk with the provider to determine if you are a good candidate for microneedling—not everyone is.  Discuss the benefits and risks, including the risk of infection if the microneedling tools are not cleaned or used properly.


  • Numbing medication (topical anesthesia) is typically applied to the skin before the procedure to help reduce pain during microneedling.  Tell your provider if you have any allergies or sensitivities to numbing medications.