No matter how carefully you live, eventually, your skin will show the signs of aging. At ProMD Health in Baltimore, MD, we offer many treatments that can help you combat these signs and look as young as you feel. One of the most effective treatments we offer is microneedling, which we do with the celebrated SkinPen device.
How Often Can You Do Microneedling?
Treatments will be personalized to your goals and the condition of your skin. That said, most people find it’s best to schedule treatment about once a month or once every six weeks. Microneedling works by removing dead skin cells and by creating micro-injuries that signal to your body to generate new collagen and other tissues, restoring your face and refreshing your look.
Because the process works the way it does, you need to give your skin enough time to regenerate before expecting another treatment to be effective. For most people, that means waiting about a month or a little more. However, the frequency of treatment can also depend a bit on whether this is your first time seeking treatment or you’ve had treatment in the past.
If you’re getting this treatment for the first time, or for the first time after a long break, it can sometimes be helpful to get a series of treatments that are scheduled closer together. This essentially “kickstarts” your body’s rejuvenation cycle to help you get the results you’re looking for as quickly as possible. It would be normal to expect to set aside time for about four months in a row in order to finish this initial series of treatments.
Once you have completed your initial treatments, you can then come less often for maintenance treatments in order to keep your results. At this point, it’s more common to have treatment six or even eight weeks apart. The results of treatment build on one another, so you will see constant improvement over the months that follow.
Once you have completed your entire cycle of treatments, you may only need treatment once or twice a year to maintain your final results.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
The total number of treatments that you will need before seeing your final results will vary depending on your skin condition, overall health, and age. If you have significant issues, such as deep scarring, you should expect to need about eight treatments before seeing a real difference. However, most people begin to notice small changes after even the very first treatment.
What Is the SkinPen?
We use the SkinPen for microneedling at our office, and that’s because it’s a state-of-the-art, FDA-approved device that has been proven to effectively minimize the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and even deeper folds and scars. This device represents the gold standard for microneedling and allows for precision control over the process no matter which area of the face or body you are targeting.
What Can I Expect?
For most people, treatment for the face takes just about half an hour or so, although your treatment time will depend on what skin conditions you’re trying to treat and how severe they are. During treatment, you will not feel any pain or discomfort. We will give you a topical anesthetic to ensure your comfort, and the needles of the SkinPen Device are specifically designed to provide the right type of treatment.
One of the best things about this treatment is how customizable it is. If you’re treating simpler issues like texture, enlarged pores, fine lines, or minor scarring, you only need the needles of this device to penetrate to a very shallow depth: about half a millimeter. If you are treating stretch marks, more moderate lines, or deeper scars, you may need about a millimeter of penetration. This device can also go even deeper when you need to deal with deep scarring and wrinkles.
Not only is the needle depth adjusted depending on the severity of the issue being treated, but we can also change things up depending on what area of the face you’re having treated. The skin in certain areas of the face is much thicker than in other spots, and it is appropriate to have an adjustable microneedling device that can effectively treat each area based on skin thickness and sensitivity. The SkinPen is just such a device.
How Exactly Does It Work?
When we are injured, our bodies get to work immediately repairing the injury. They do this by increasing blood flow to the injured site, which signals the body to send healing factors and growth factors to build new tissue, including collagen and blood vessels. The SkinPen works by harnessing this process and controlling it. Microneedling creates “micro-injuries.” These are injuries that are so small they do not hurt and cannot injure you, but they are enough to trick your body into thinking that it needs to repair the area.
After your session, your body will begin building a new network of blood vessels in the treatment area, which will rebuild and strengthen the extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix is the firm foundation that sits directly underneath the skin that we see, supporting it and keeping it supple. Then, the body replaces tissues in the area with fresh, new skin, collagen, and other tissues. This new skin replaces the wrinkled, scarred, and stretched older skin to give you a refreshed look.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Most people are good candidates for this treatment, so if you are interested, come see us in our office so we can discuss your goals and help you develop a treatment schedule. This treatment is safe for those of every skin tone and all skin types. The only things that would normally preclude you from getting treatment would be if you are under 20 years old or if you have an active infection at the treatment site.
Because this treatment does not involve drugs or invasive surgery, it’s even safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms, which is often not the case with other antiaging treatments and injections. Before treatment, you just need to follow a few simple instructions. We will tell you more when you come for your consultation, but in general, you want to avoid getting a sunburn, pause any autoimmune therapy you may be taking for 24 hours, and avoid taking blood thinners and over-the-counter products that thin the blood.
After treatment, you just want to treat your skin gently for the first 24 to 72 hours. For the first day, only use lukewarm water to rinse the treatment area. After that, use only very gentle cleansers and no exfoliants for a few days. Make sure your hands are very clean before you touch the treatment area, and be careful to stay out of the sun. We will tell you more before we send you home.
Can I Microneedle at Home?
There are a number of reasons why you should avoid trying to do this treatment yourself at home, despite the fact that there are many microneedling devices for sale online, all of them promising great results. For one thing, it’s very important to thoroughly sanitize not only the treatment area but also the treatment device. Without adequate sanitation, infection is likely. We know exactly how to sanitize your skin and have special cleansers to keep the SkinPen perfectly sterile for each new patient.
Another reason that at-home treatments are inferior is that they cannot be customized. All the needles on the device or one depth, which means they may be very appropriate for one part of your face but too harsh on another or useless in a third. Additionally, you cannot change the depths of your treatment to address your unique skin concerns. Finally, the treatment is just not as comfortable and effective as it is in our office. When you do it yourself, there is no topical anesthetic to ensure your comfort, and it’s much harder to ensure that you have adequately addressed all parts of the treatment area effectively.
Learn More and Get Started Today
When you get a microneedling treatment from skilled, experienced practitioners, the results are incredible. Your skin will be lifted, tightened and smoothed, and the treatment itself is fast, comfortable, and safe. If you’re ready to learn more about what this treatment can do for you, and what other treatments it can be combined with, reach out to us at At ProMD Health in Baltimore, MD today.