Did you suffer from acne in your youth? Are you struggling with hormonal break outs as an adult? Although acne is commonly associated with our teenage years, we can suffer from various forms of acne during ALL stages of life. What’s worse is that long after our breakouts cease we may be left with scarring that can have just as negative of an impact on our self-esteem as our acne did.
Each year, tens of thousands of people seek treatments that will smooth away acne scarring and improve their self-confidence. SkinPen® Microneedling is a safe, noticeably effective, and a non-invasive procedure that has quickly surfaced as the gold standard for improving the appearance of acne scars with little to no downtime.
What is SkinPen®?
Manufactured by Bellus Medical, the medical-grade SkinPen device is a state-of-the-art tool that is only available through a licensed skincare professional working under medical supervision. Like its name implies, SkinPen looks like a large pen that has a disposable tip made up of 14 surgical-grade stainless steel needles. Those tiny needles are what give microneedling its name.
Although other microneedling devices exist in the marketplace, SkinPen is currently the only Class II device the FDA has approved for safety and efficacy. This distinction ensures that SkinPen is the safest option for those wishing to improve the appearance of acne scarring, enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles and more!
How Does Acne Scarring Form and How Can SkinPen Improve its Appearance?
Although there are several kinds of acne, the type that most commonly causes scarring is bacterial, or pustular acne, especially cystic acne. When these lesions form deep within your sebaceous, or oil glands, they cause inflammation. This signals to your white blood cells that there is an infection in this area of the skin. In turn, these cells release macrophages to destroy the bacteria in the area. The problem is that as these cells are doing an effective job at clearing the infection, they are also destroying healthy collagen and elastin as well. The result, tissue breakdown, or scarring at the site of the acne lesion.
Fortunately, collagen and elastin growth can be stimulated by microneedling! SkinPen works with minimal discomfort creating hundreds of controlled microscopic channels into the surface of your skin. Your skin perceives these channels as small wounds and responds by producing collagen and elastin to heal the area. Collagen and elastin are components of your skin that give it volume and smoothness, exactly what is compromised with acne scarring. By stimulating their production, SkinPen Microneedling encourages your skin to heal thicker, smoother and tighter and over the course of several treatments can lessen the appearance of acne scars, enlarged pores, and wrinkles dramatically.
What happens during a SkinPen treatment for acne scarring?
A consultation is needed to ensure you are a good candidate for SkinPen before you begin your treatment series. If you currently have active acne, you may need to wait until your outbreaks subside to avoid spreading any infection.
On the day of your first treatment your face will be cleansed and a topical numbing cream will be applied to ensure your comfort during treatment. There is very little discomfort associated with microneedling.
Your provider will remove your numbing cream and apply a hydrating serum which will allow the small needles to effortlessly glide across your skin as they vibrate and create their tiny channels. If you have a more pronounced area of scarring, like the cheeks or an individual scar, your provider may alter the depth at which the needles travel into your skin and perform several passes of the device over this area. This will encourage of heighten wound response in key areas of concern.
What will my downtime be like after SkinPen®?
Your skin may appear slightly red immediately after your treatment. It is normal for skin to feel tight and dry, almost like a mild sunburn. All of these symptoms should subside within 24-72 hours and can easily be covered with an appropriate makeup beginning the day after treatment. If your provider focused on key areas of your skin those areas may have light pinpoint bleeding and be slightly swollen. Your provider will discuss proper skincare and sun protection measures to observe the weeks following your SkinPen Microneedling treatment.
How Many SkinPen® Treatments do I need to see improvement in my acne scarring?
Although you will see improvement after your first treatment a series of six treatments spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart is recommended to see optimal improvement in the depth and appearance of acne scarring. In some cases, two series may be needed for deeper scarring.
It takes time for your skin to rebuild collagen, but once production has been stimulated it will continue for up to three months. That means your results will be compounded with each treatment with final results being assessed three to six months after your last microneedling session.
The smoother, tighter and firmer results you see with SkinPen Microneedling are permanent, however your skin will continue to benefit from an annual, if not quarterly treatments to keep your collagen and elastin production stimulated. SkinPen paired with proper homecare will give the added benefit of maintaining complete skin health. Expect to see overall improvements in the way your skin functions and looks with repeated treatments.
Are you suffering from acne scarring and are interested in learning more about SkinPen Microneedling? Schedule a complimentary consultation with a Skin Artisans Advance Practice Esthetician by calling (952) 767-3163.