Microneedling – An Ancient & Modern Concept

Microneedling dates back to over 120 years ago with use in Europe initially. The concept was developed for the treatment called Mesotherapy. This non-surgical cosmetic treatment was designed to inject pharmaceutical products, vitamins and plant extracts into subcutaneous fat. Initially the application was done with a single needle injector.

Microneedling was originally called PCI (Percutaneous Collagen Induction or the short version – Collagen Induction Therapy).

Its recognized as a science based treatment option for acne scars/burns scars/photodamage/fine lines/stretch marks and general skin rejuvenation.

The process is safe on ALL skin types and compliments the positive effects of other procedures like microdermabrasion, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and natural injectable volume fillers. 

 

How it works

Tiny needles at a controlled depth create micro injuries in the skin and stimulate the natural healing cascade, primarily on new collagen and elastin (the building blocks of skin). Growth factors promote regeneration and scarless healing.

Advantages – Microneedling vs Lasers

For one, the procedure is less expensive. Secondly, there is no heat produced. Lacking heat means that complications like hyperpigmentation can be avoided. All skin types can be treated. The number of treatments depends on the skin color (type), the area to be treated and the reason for the treatment. For example, facial aging takes less treatments than acne scars. The number of treatments required can be best assessed at a consultation.

Many different types of devices have been created for retail and commercial purposes. There are various types of needle rollers and motorized pens. Effective sterilization or using a disposable tip are critical. Laser and Skin Care Medspa uses the Health Canada approved motorized pen – InnoPen with a disposable tip.

Topical freezing is applied to the area for comfort and in the case of the microneedling procedure offered at the Laser and Skin Care Medspa, a hydrating mask is applied post treatment.

Contraindications

These are few and specific.

  1. Any active cold sores or genital herpes should wait until anti-viral treatment has been used to suppress the viral activity.
  2. Any local skin infection in the area or fresh, inflammatory acne.
  3. A pre disposition to abnormal scarring.

Post Treatment Expectations

  1. There is generally a mild redness and minimal swelling for 1-2 days and the skin may feel dry.
  2. Small pin pricks can be evident for 1-2 days.
  3. Skin can feel dry and rough and may require a good hydrator.
  4. A true water base foundation or powder such as Jane Iredale or Glo Minerals can be applied immediately for coverage.
  5. Skin cleansers need to be gentle. The esthetician or Doctor will review options.
  6. Sun protection is best for 24-36 hours or avoiding strong sunlight.
  7. Any anti-aging products including retinols should be avoided for 5 days.

 

Acne Scars & The Best Treatments

Of course preventing scarring with acne would be ideal. Severity of scarring is related directly to how severe the lesion presents. Controlling active acne and reducing and eliminating the damage from scarring is the goal of the Laser and Skin Care Medspa’s dedicated acne program.

Doctors have relied on the use of topical Vitamin A (retinoids) or in severe cases, oral Vitamin A (Accutane) for several decades. With the development of skin revision techniques (lasers & micro-needling), results of treatment can be very satisfying for both the physician and the patient.

It is still a mystery as to why some skins will go from normal to inflamed then return to normal while others will arrest at a permanent scar phase and not see improvement.

The key may be in the balance in the skin of 3 factors – the collagen forming, the breaking down of collagen and the levels of inhibitors that control these 2 processes.

Retinoids

For many decades it has been known that topical Vitamin A improves people with acute and chronic acne. Some recent studies have shown that retinoids definitely shift the balance to forming new collagen. This is a win-win (Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, May 2014; 70(5) SUPPLI.1,AB8). Studies have shown that not only is there a positive effect on acne, there is marked improvement in skin texture, polish and tone.

Chemical Peels

There has been a shift in the past 10-15 years away from very drastic surface altering chemical peels because of the risks and complications. “Peels” have become more user friendly and are generally either Alpha-Hydroxy Acid or Beta-Hydroxy Acid based. The secret is in the pH of the product which inhibits bacterial growth. There is still a place for the use of facial products to induce a microscopic peeling and stimulus for cell turn over.

Fractional Lasers & Acne Lasers

This technology came on board almost 20 years ago based on the simple science that by creating micro channels of damage in the tissue the body’s natural healing cascade would come in to play and replace scarred, abnormal tissue. In particular Laser & Skin Care Medspa carries the Cynosure Laser. In 2017, it acquired the Spectra Laser system that was designed for specifically treating colored skin with scarring and pigment.

acne scarring before and after

Microneedling

This technology has resurged in popularity with the advances in skin nutrient products and the equipment required for successful dermal placement. Generally microneedling will not go to the depths that the lasers will attain. However there is still significant stimulation of the body’s healing cascade and this actual event of increased collagen production has been proven by many scientific studies.

For active and chronic acne Laser and Skin Care Medspa has a dedicated program since 2005 involving hands on treatments with specific facial peels and microdermabrasion. These basic treatments are covered with those that have Alberta Health Care. Topical retinoids, medical grade skin care, water base makeup (Jane Iredale) speed up the clearing and control of active acne. Lasers and microneedling options compliment and are available for those with more severe scarring.

 

Happiness – Tips To Lift Your Mood

Every minute of every day we are making decisions that influence our mood and behavior.

It may be hard to believe but simply changing our behavior could give us control over about 40-50% of our happiness! Evidence shows that happy people are more likely to have stronger immune systems, live longer, have higher incomes, have more social connections and be more creative!

Continue reading “Happiness – Tips To Lift Your Mood”