Formulate user Becca has a question about the price of microneedling:
I know that microneedling is expensive. How much does it generally cost? It seems like it varies a lot from place to place. I looked into buying a device for at home use, will that be a good way to save money? Is microneedling worth it, money-wise?
Thanks for writing, Becca! We'll answer your questions one by one.
Unfortunately, microneedling is not an inexpensive procedure. The experts we consulted for this article price their services anywhere between $200 to $600 per session.
The variation in cost is connected to multiple factors, including the type of practitioner who you receive services from, how in demand that provider is, the type of establishment you receive services from, the inclusion of any additional treatments, and where the establishment is located.
The more education and medical training the practitioner has received, the higher their prices tend to be. This is reflected by how it is usually most expensive to see a dermatologist or another type of medical doctor, second most expensive to see a nurse who specializes in dermatology, and least expensive to see an aesthetician.
The demand of the practitioner can also impact the price of their services - a practitioner who has a wide referral network and constantly is contacted for services may cost more than a practitioner who is relatively unknown and lacks a referral network.
Generally, it is more expensive to have microneedling done at a licensed dermatologist's office than at a day spa. As described above, licensed dermatologists have the most expertise of practitioners who provide microneedling services. As such, it is more costly to have the service done in a dermatologist's office, even if they are not the provider who you are working with.
Though it may be less expensive to see an aesthetician who is practicing in a dermatologist's office than the dermatologist him/herself, that aesthetician is still under the supervision of the dermatologist, which increases the price tag compared to that of an aesthetician who is working in a day spa.
Some practitioners automatically include additional services when they provide microneedling treatments in order to increase the treatment's overall effectiveness. Other practitioners make these services available as an add-on to the treatment for an additional price. Treatments commonly performed alongside microneedling include LED red light phototherapy, radiofrequency, and platelet-rich plasma injections.
It costs more money to run a business in New York City than it does to run one in St. Louis, MO. The cost of living is higher, so employees must be paid more. Rent for the business also tends tends to be higher. Thus, microneedling prices are often influenced by where the establishment providing services is located.
Most of the providers who we spoke to for this story recommended against microneedling at home to save money.
"Microneedling is a medical procedure and should be performed with care to avoid complications such as infection and allergic reactions," says Dr. Yelena Deshko, a Toronto-based microneedling provider. "While it may be tempting to save money and DIY, an at-home treatment creates unnecessary risks and is unlikely to provide significant long term benefit due to superficial treatment depth."
"FDA-cleared microneedling devices are only to be used by a healthcare provider with special training, says Dr. Michele Green, a microneedling provider based in New York City. "The FDA has not cleared any microneedling devices for over-the-counter sale, so their safety and efficacy are not clearly known. At-home microneedling devices will not achieve the same result as in-office microneedling treatments that go deeper into the skin to induce collagen. Using longer needles means there is a higher risk of side effects, which is why an experienced, licensed professional does it in an office setting."
Insurance companies typically do not reimburse for microneedling treatments. Microneedling is considered by most insurance companies to be a cosmetic procedure, and is not seen as being medically necessary.
That being said, it never hurts to check with your insurance company to see if you can be reimbursed - there is always the off chance that microneedling could contribute to your out-of-pocket deductible. Speak with your provider to learn if they accept insurance, or if they can provide a superbill to submit to your insurance. If you have a diagnosable condition that is treatable with microneedling and receive microneedling from a licensed dermatologist's office, you may be reimbursed for some of the cost.
Microneedling is likely to be an expensive treatment no matter what, though there are some ways to save money.
Many providers include a discount to patients who purchase a series of treatments up front, instead of paying for them one-by-one. Speak to your provider to learn if this is an option for you. If it is not, you can investigate different providers to learn if any in your area do provide a discount. Many providers also allow payment plans if you cannot afford to pay for the treatment immediately.
As described above, it also costs less money to receive microneedling from an aesthetician than from a dermatologist, as the aesthetician has less medical training and expertise. If you choose to see an aesthetician, do your research ahead of time to be sure that they have expertise in microneedling and can safely administer the treatment.
Though seeing an aesthetician through a doctor's office may be more expensive than seeing one through a day spa, keep in mind that an aesthetician in the doctor's office has the supervision of the doctor. Should anything go wrong, other medical providers who operate within that office will be available to advise and intervene.
The answer to this question depends on the goals that you want to accomplish, and what you would like to improve about your skin. Microneedling is an efficient way to provide some results, though it is not a cure-all - some alternative treatments may be more cost effective than microneedling, depending on the specific concern.
"If you are looking for a quick, non-invasive treatment with very little downtime to improve texture and overall complexion, microneedling is a great option, says Dr. Green. "However, if you have deep wrinkles, folds, and age-related volume loss, dermal fillers and neuromodulators like Botox can produce quick, long-lasting results. Moderate skin laxity or loose skin may see more benefit from skin tightening procedures like Thermage FLX radiofrequency (RF) laser that delivers heat deep into the dermis to stimulate collagen production. Sun damage, sun spots, and age spots will likely not improve with microneedling, so options like Fraxel laser, Clear + Brilliant laser, and chemical peels will be more efficient."
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