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SkinPen® is a clinically-proven, medical micro-needling device, made by the American company Bellus Medical, that can help improve the appearance of facial acne scars, reduce the signs of ageing and improve skin health through collagen induction therapy.
It is a non-invasive procedure, with minimal recovery time, suitable for all skin types, and can be used on all face and body parts.
The SkinPen has adjustable length needles to compensate for different skin thicknesses and boasts a completely sealed needle cartridge to prevent fluid intake which avoids the risk of cross contamination.
SkinPen is a micro-needling device with adjustable length, disposable, straight needles which penetrate the dermal layers at a 90-degree angle. This allows for differences in skin thickness and skin types, as well as offering extra precision. This precision, and its ergonomic design, make it perfect for treating the delicate areas around the mouth and eyes. Furthermore, an exhaust port prevents suction and therefore reduces the risk of broken capillaries, whilst the disposable Bio Sleeve technology covers the entire device to reduce the risk of infection and cross-contamination, alongside the completely sealed needle cartridge which avoids the back flow of liquids and materials from the treatment.
The SkinPen treats using a process known as collagen induction therapy, which utilises the body`s own healing responses to treat and improve many skin care concerns and scarring. A topical anaesthetic cream will usually be applied to the skin before treatment to aid comfort.
The 14 medical grade micro-needles housed in the SkinPen cartridge create hundreds of microscopic channels into the dermal skin layer as they penetrate in by a few millimetres. These microscopic puncture wounds stimulate the natural repair process and start a cascade of new collagen and elastin production, a release of growth factors and new cell creation, without leaving any signs of real injury. This goes on to improve the appearance of the skin through natural healing. Furthermore, these microscopic channels allow for the application and deeper penetration of active serums, such as their Skinfuse® Lift Hydrogel, which can help to hydrate and repair the skin, improving the result. Post-treatment aftercare creams are also usually recommended.
The needle cartridges used in the SkinPen are European CE mark class IIa certified medical devices.
Bellus Medical has completed the CE Mark registration for the SkinPen Micro-needling Cartridge, the SkinPen Precision Micro-needling Pen and the Skinfuse® Lift Hydrogel which is a topical serum used alongside the pen.
The CE approved and intended use is defined as: “SkinPen® Precision is a micro-needling device that utilises Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) to treat melasma, acne and surgical scars.”
SkinPen is also the only American FDA cleared (class II medical device) micro-needling device available in the United States.
The SkinPen device should only be used by a trained medical professional (doctor, nurse etc.) or a trained advanced aesthetician, at a fully insured clinic.
It is aimed at producing firmer skin, that is tighter, plumper, and has improved elasticity, as well as treating scarring, using the natural healing ability of the body. As the SkinPen has adjustable depth settings, it can be used on all areas of the face and body and is used to treat:
Healthier, more radiant skin will be visible shortly after the first treatment and will improve further over time. The skin`s natural repair process and the production of new collagen takes time. This means that results will continue to improve in the weeks following treatment, with optimum results being visible around 3-6 months after the final treatment session. A programme of multiple treatment sessions will be recommended depending on the skin concern being targeted.
The results are not permanent, as the skin will still be affected by natural ageing, lifestyle and environmental influences, but skin improvements will last for around 12-18 months, often longer for scar correction. Results can be prolonged and maintained with regular top-up sessions and professional skincare regimes.
Immediately following treatment, most people experience minor swelling, redness and tenderness to the area treated. This should resolve quickly, within 24 hours, but for some people it may persist for between 2-4 days. Cool compresses may be used to relieve symptoms.
If you experience any other side effects, or the swelling and irritation lasts longer than 7 days, contact your practitioner immediately.
Aftercare advice to include: how to cleanse the skin, plus post-treatment creams to apply will be provided by your practitioner and should be followed.
There is a rare risk of scarring from micro-needling treatments, or pigmentation concerns such as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
SkinPen is safe for use on all skin types and colours, but there are some people who may not be a suitable candidate for treatment.
It should not be performed on women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
Micro-needling is also not recommended for those with a history of keloid scarring, scleroderma, collagen vascular disease or other cardiac abnormalities, and haemorrhagic disorders. Furthermore, the procedure cannot be carried out if there is an active fungal, viral or bacterial infection in the area to treated, such as the herpes simplex virus (cold sores).
Your SkinPen practitioner will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure at your consultation; be sure to disclose any underlying medical conditions. You may wish to consult your GP before going ahead with any aesthetic procedure if you are concerned about your medical history.
The SkinPen procedure is minimally invasive and non-surgical. It creates minimal discomfort which is tolerable to many people, however a topical anaesthetic cream is usually applied before treatment to numb the skin’s surface and avoid unnecessary discomfort which may occur. Should you not wish to have the topical anaesthetic, treatment, as the needles go in, is said to feel like a light sandpaper is being rubbed over the skin, which should not be too uncomfortable.
Treatment sessions tend to last between 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the area being treated. After the numbing cream has taken effect, treatment will start with the application of an active serum, and then the SkinPen will be moved over the skin, held in an upright position so the micro-needles penetrate the skin smoothly and help with the absorption of the serum. The trauma created immediately kick starts the healing process.
Following treatment, your practitioner will be able to recommend an aftercare regime that will help prolong the results. Depending on the treatment area and the problem being addressed, 3-6 treatments will be required with an interval of 4-6 weeks between sessions.
Treatment with SkinPen costs approximately £150+ per session, depending on the area of treatment. Package discounts, by area or course of treatment sessions, are usually applied. Prices will vary between clinics and with regional variation.
People often notice healthier looking skin immediately following the first treatment. However, this improves after multiple treatments and after 3 to 6 months as the skin’s natural repair process completes.
Images courtesy of SkinPen (Bellus Medical)