“Bridge” treatments are big news in beauty. “They are what we consider for patients who need more than what the traditional noninvasive can offer but who aren’t yet ready for invasive procedures like surgery or want to avoid them altogether,” says Paul Jarrod Frank, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York. Among the buzziest is Micro-Coring, a solution for those who seek firmer, tighter skin but no longer get results from treatments like microneedling, fillers, and laser therapy. (Frank is one of the first U.S. providers to use Ellacor, the proprietary Micro-Coring device cleared by the FDA in 2021.)
How Micro-Coring Works
Under the careful hand of a derm, registered nurse, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, the Ellacor device’s hollow needles create “micro-cores” (think tiny punch biopsies) less than a half millimeter in diameter, removing excess skin. (Local anesthesia is injected beforehand.)
The process takes 30 to 45 minutes, during which up to 8 percent of the skin in the treatment area (typically the mid to lower face) is removed at one time without leaving so much as a scar.
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Downtime is about three to four days, and as the skin heals from these injuries, it naturally contracts, tightens, and triggers collagen production. Patients will begin to notice firmer, plumper skin and a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles after one session. The recommended course of treatment is two or three procedures, each administered a month apart. The full benefits are visible two to three months after the last visit.
Frank believes the best results will be on “pre-surgical patients”—those between 40 and 60 years old.
New York board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry believes Ellacor is so effective, it can potentially stave off the need for a drastic surgical procedure. “If you slow the accumulation of fine lines, skin laxity, and collagen loss, you may never get to the point where you require an aggressive procedure,” she says.
Still, while the results are impressive, “it will never compare to a face-lift,” Frank says. “Nothing ever will.”
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US