We all want to look younger. We all want healthy, glowing, smooth, plump skin. But diet alone won’t get us there. At Aesthetic Surgical Arts/Mia Bella Donna Medspa in Overland Park, KS, we proudly offer several anti-aging treatments. One of our most popular is microneedling with the SkinPen device. Today, we answer all of our most frequently asked questions about this treatment so you know everything you need to about SkinPen microneedling.
What Is the SkinPen?
SkinPen is a state-of-the-art, medical-grade, FDA-approved device used during microneedling sessions to minimize the appearance of fine lines, moderate-to-severe wrinkles, deep folds and scars all over the body. In fact, it is now the gold standard of microneedling.
This incredibly precise device allows for the controlled induction of your skin’s own natural healing process. This is promoted through the creation of thousands of precise “micro-injuries” in your dermis. This automatically triggers the synthesis of new, healthy collagen without causing scars to form.
Is This Device Safe?
There are several things that set this device apart. However, one of the most compelling benefits of receiving treatment with such a high-quality device is how safe it is. Being approved by the FDA for safety is the highest standard in the United States. Moreover, this device has been approved by Health Canada, CE marked in Europe, approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and it is ISO 13485:2016 certified, as well.
What Can I Expect During SkinPen Microneedling?
During treatment with this revolutionary device, your skin will be penetrated at a depth of roughly 1 mm with tiny needles. Treatment usually takes around an hour if you’re treating larger areas, like the abdomen or multiple areas like the face, neck and hands. However, treatment time will vary based on the types of skin conditions you’re trying to treat, their severity, your lifestyle, the health of your collagen and other factors.
Typically, anti-aging treatments for wrinkles, lines, folds and volume loss require only one to two treatments a year. You may need three to four treatments spaced six weeks apart to achieve the right results in the first year. If you have deep stretch marks or severe scarring, you may need up to six treatments for a marked improvement.
Is Treatment Painful?
You will feel no pain. More importantly, you should feel no discomfort during treatment. If you’re worried about being uncomfortable where your skin is the most taut, such as around your eyes or hairline, numbing cream can be applied before treatment. This topical anesthetic temporarily restricts blood flow to the treatment site so you can’t feel it.
If you’re worried about the feeling of needles penetrating your skin, let us know during your initial consultation. We will apply a topical numbing cream on the day of your treatment and wait for it to start working before we commence treatment.
How Customizable Is It?
Treatment with this device is incredibly customizable. For enlarged pores, texture issues, fine lines, minor scarring, crepe skin and applications requiring solutions, a very shallow depth of roughly half a millimeter is all that is required. To treat moderate lines, mild stretch marks and scarring or allow for the deeper penetration of solutions, you only need a millimeter of depth.
If you suffer from deeper acne scars, deep stretch marks, deep wrinkles, severely enlarged pores, extensive texture issues, surgical or traumatic scars or you need solutions penetrated very deeply, you can receive treatment depths of 1.5 mm to 3 mm.
What Parts of My Body Can Be Treated?
This device can stimulate your skin just about anywhere. The most common depths used range from .25 mm to 2.5 mm. As stated previously, deeper penetration allows for enhanced solution absorption and provides more effective results when treating extensive scarring, deeper stretch marks and more severe texture problems. Deeper penetration is also better for regions of your body where your skin is the thickest.
For example, your face, neck and hand skin will probably not require penetration any deeper than a millimeter. However, regions of your body with thicker skin, like the chest, arms, legs, stomach and back are treated most effectively with a depth of around 2.5 millimeters.
How Exactly Does It Work?
Bellus Medical’s SkinPen is the world’s first FDA-approved microneedling device and stimulates your body’s natural wound healing process while minimizing damage to surrounding skin tissue. There are three phases to your body’s natural wound healing process. The first phase is inflammation. When the tiny needles pierce your skin, your immune system is triggered to disinfect the wounds, remove any debris, increase blood flow to the “injured” site and start to create healthier tissue.
The second phase is proliferation. A new network of blood vessels in the treatment site develops and rebuilds the wound with new granulation cells, which are a key part of the extracellular matrix. The third and final phrase of healing is known as remodeling. During this phase, the wound is replaced with new blood vessels and dermal tissue, helping you look younger and minimizing the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
Am I a Good Candidate for Microneedling?
The best way to determine if you are an ideal candidate for microneedling with this revolutionary device is to come in for an initial consultation with a skin expert. However, because the device is so incredibly safe, nearly everyone is a good candidate. For example, it is safe for all skin types, including oily skin, sensitive skin and normal skin. Even better, it is safe for all skin tones. Here are a few signs that you may be a good candidate for this treatment:
You Follow Pre-Care Instructions
While this device is incredibly safe and effective, there are still steps you need to take before treatment to ensure the most effective, comfortable results. Do not apply any Retin-A applications or products in the 24 hours leading up to your treatment session. Do not schedule a treatment within 24 hours of an auto-immune therapy or taking an autoimmune product. Treatment will not be performed on sunburned skin. Therefore, you need to avoid prolonged, unprotected sun exposure for 24 hours before your treatment.
On the day of your treatment, do not apply makeup or any other product on your skin. Let us know during your initial consultation if you are taking a blood thinner, NSAID or any other medication that can thin your blood. You may need to stop taking such medications for a few days prior to treatment.
If you are planning to receive Botox, as well, make sure you schedule your microneedling treatment at least two weeks after your Botox treatment. Schedule your microneedling session at least six months after taking oral isotretinoin and let us know if you have an active or extreme acne breakout before your session.
You Follow Post-Care Instructions
It is important that you can also follow post-care instructions. For the first 24 hours after treatment, only use tepid (lukewarm) water to rinse the treated area. After the first 24 hours, you can use a gentle cleanser to cleanse your face for the next 72 hours. Dry the treated area of your skin gently with a soft towel. You must also ensure your hands are clean every time you touch the treated area for the first 96 hours after treatment.
After the first 24 hours after treatment with this revolutionary device, you will need to apply the SkinPen lubricant to moisturize your skin. You should also start applying a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. We strongly recommend a chemical-free sunscreen.
You should not go outside between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM without applying broad-spectrum sunscreen. If you can’t stand the smell of sunscreen, use a powdered sun protectant. You should also not apply any makeup with a makeup brush within 24 hours of treatment as it may not be clean.
You Can Avoid Certain Things
To be a good candidate for microneedling with this revolutionary device, you need to be able to avoid certain things. For example, you must be able to go without alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acid, retinol (vitamin A) skincare products, vitamin C in a low pH formula cream or anything else that can be classified as an “active” skincare products. Avoid NSAIDs for the first two weeks after treatment, especially if you have certain blood disorders.
Do not exercise within the first 24 hours after your microneedling treatment session. You must avoid environments that will cause you to sweat for the first 72 hours after treatment. This includes heavy weight lifting and cardio at the gym, unwinding in a sauna and taking a steaming hot shower or bath. Avoid direct sunlight for the first 48 hours after treatment. You must also avoid tanning beds within the first 48 hours.
You Have Realistic Expectations
To be a good candidate for microneedling, you must have realistic expectations. Your skin may feel tighter and warmer than it usually does. This is perfectly normal and an indication that your body is starting to produce new, healthy collagen. You may also notice that your skin looks a little plumper than usual but the aesthetic isn’t quite what you’re looking for.
This will subside within an hour or two. Within 24 hours of treatment, this will be gone completely. If you have particularly sensitive skin and you’re receiving particularly deep treatment, you may notice slight redness in certain spots which subsides in 24 hours.
You also need to understand that while the results of treatment are astonishing, they are not as dramatic as those you could receive from a more extensive, invasive medical procedure. However, microneedling may still be for you if you don’t need significant skin lifting and tightening, you can’t afford a more invasive medical procedure, you don’t have time to take off work for recovery and you want to enhance your aesthetic without any pain or discomfort.
You Are at Least 20 Years Old
To be a good candidate for microneedling, you should be at least 20 years old. The human body continues to develop through adolescence, and we only recommend microneedling with this device for adults of any skin tone, texture, type or thickness. The device can be adjusted to any texture.
You Are Free From Infections
The best candidate for microneedling is free from any infection. This doesn’t just apply to active skin infections and rashes. It also applies to bacterial infections, viral infections and other types of internal infections. Treatment works because it triggers micro-injuries at the time of skin penetration.
Leave your body with all the energy it needs to fuel its immune system and fight off infections. Do not split your body’s attention between an illness and treating the micro-injuries caused by treatment. If you have an active infection a couple of weeks before your scheduled treatment, we strongly recommend that you reschedule.
You’re Concerned By the Appearance of Your Scars
If you are concerned by the appearance of your scars, you are probably an excellent candidate for microneedling with this extremely effective device. Whether your scar is due to an injury, medical procedure or acne, it is probably very noticeable. When these regions of the body are penetrated by needles, cellular turnover is stimulated.
When treatments are regularly performed in succession, they can fade stretch marks and scars. However, certain types of scars cannot be eliminated completely. During your initial consultation, we will review the extent of your scarring to come up with the most effective treatment plan to achieve your desired aesthetic.
Can Microneedling Be Performed at Home?
We strongly recommend against microneedling at home. First, there is a chance that your treatment site will not be sanitized adequately. This can lead to infection and other nasty side effects. You must also disinfect the device thoroughly before each use, purchasing a special cleanser to ensure it remains disinfected. Second, the at-home devices are not nearly as customizable as the SkinPen. The needles themselves are no greater than 1.5 millimeters in length, meaning they can’t penetrate thicker skin adequately. Some at-home devices are only a sixth of that size.
What’s the point of spending money on an at-home treatment that isn’t going to give you the desired results? You also can’t get a topical anesthetic at home to ensure that treatment is comfortable, so you must have zero qualms about feeling the needles penetrate your skin. The needles are too dull to draw blood, but most people prefer to be numbed before receiving treatment.
Finally, certain parts of your body that need treatment, like your back, may be difficult for you to reach. And you need to follow all instructions precisely, such as rolling the barrel around several times in a certain pattern. Why not relax and leave it to a certified professional who has been trained in the most effective techniques?
Learn More About Microneedling Today
When performed in a sterile environment under the careful hand of a skilled, experienced physician, microneedling is incredibly effective. It lifts and tightens your skin while filling in and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Treatment is quick and comfortable. The results are visible immediately and continue to improve for several weeks. Once the final results are achieved, you can enjoy them for several months. Contact Aesthetic Surgical Arts/Mia Bella Donna Medspa in Overland Park, KS today to learn more.