Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
Micropen micro-needling is a novel form of skin needling. Micropen micro-needling oscillates multiple needles up and down within a pen handpiece. It works like a sewing machine with multiple needles attached. The pen is passed across the skin. The penetration depth is very shallow, usually only millimetres. Thousands of fine puncture wounds are created in the skin. Traditionally, skin needling utilises a cylindrical roller with multiple needles attached and is rolled across the skin. Micropen needling can cause fewer shear forces and tearing forces on the skin than traditional skin needling using a roller. This can lead to less downtime or recovery time.
The purpose skin needling is to create thousands of micro-injuries to the skin, which starts a healing response and therefore the production of new collagen and elastin. This can be used to treat skin concerns such as acne scarring (indented acne scars), improve fine lines and wrinkles, and to improve general skin quality and texture.
The advantage of micropen micro-needling over traditional skin needling is that the recovery time is significantly reduced. Micropen micro-needling produces less shearing or tearing of the skin in comparison to traditional skin needling. Micropen micro-needling produces a force that is perpendicular to the skin, like a sewing machine. A roller, however, produces some tearing or shearing of the skin as the needles are rolled across the skin. The downtime for micropen micro-needling is usually only a few days as a result but can be increased or decreased by adjusting the length of the needle penetration and the total time the procedure is performed for.
As with all forms of skin needling, it is possible to infuse products such as hyaluronic acid, or vitamins into the skin after the procedure. The needles create micro-channels into the skin, and allow for significantly increased penetration of products into the skin.
Skin conditions suitable for skin needling
Skin needling is commonly used for conditions such as atrophic (indented) acne scarring, but can also be used to improve the general quality of the skin, and skin texture. It does so by creating thousands of small injuries to the skin that stimulate the skin’s natural healing process. This involves the creation of new collagen, also known as neo-collagenesis.
Note that skin needling will not improve conditions such as rosacea, broken blood vessels or skin pigmentation concerns.
Preparing your skin for treatment
Skin preparation with the application of vitamin serums will be recommended for up to 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the procedure. A similar skin care regime will also be recommended for up to 6 months post-treatment to aid the healthy production of the new collagen and the rejuvenation of the skin.
Prepping the skin helps to strengthen and encourage cell turnover, optimising the very best results.
What does micropen micro-needling involve?
The treatment involves firstly having your skin cleansed. Numbing cream is then applied to the skin and left to work for approximately one hour. Once an adequate degree of anaesthesia is achieved, the treatment can commence.
The depth of penetration of the needles can be adjusted by the practitioner depending on the skin concern being treated, the condition of the skin, and the amount of downtime that is acceptable to the patient.
Most treatments are very tolerable a slight scratchy sensation can be felt. For skin conditions such as atrophic acne scarring, it may be necessary to set the micropen to penetrate more deeply into the skin, and this will cause more discomfort. In most cases, the discomfort is well managed by patients.
After treatment, the skin appears red and the face may be slightly swollen. It is possible to infuse vitamins or anti-oxidants into the skin after the treatment. The penetration rates after skin needling are significantly higher than a simple application on to untreated skin.
Treatment frequency and sessions required
It can take between 6 – 8 weeks after each treatment before visible signs of skin regeneration are seen and the process will continue over the following months, providing a gradual enhancement. It is recommended to have the treatment sessions spaced at at the same 6 to 8 week intervals to ensure the skin has had adequate time to heal prior to inducing a supplementary controlled wound to the skin.
The specific number of sessions required will depend on the area being treated and the severity of the skin issue, as well as the level of natural response from the individual’s body. Between 6 and 8 treatments are generally advised, however acne scarring can require further sessions depending on the individual’s response to the procedure.
What will I look like after treatment?
Rejuvenation treatments will leave you a little pink, this will last anywhere from a few hours up to 24 hours depending on the tolerance of your skin. You will be able to wear mineral make up 24 hours after your treatment. Your therapist will be able to advise you of the right mineral make up for you in clinic if you wish.
Microneedling for acne scarring is a deeper treatment, it will leave you with mild to moderate redness with a little swelling. This will last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours depending on the severity of the scars and depth of needles used. A gravel rash appearance will be apparent by day 2 and 3, this heals very quickly. You will be able to wear mineral make up 48 hours after your treatment.
If applicable it is possible to use mineral make up to cover the redness post treatment.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of micropen micro-needling treatments?
The practitioners at Victorian Cosmetic Institute will carefully assess the condition of your skin and your suitability for the procedure. We take ample time to prepare your skin for the procedure to make it as comfortable as possible.