The field of aesthetic medicine has continued to expand with innovative ways to address the common signs of aging. In our dermatology centers in the San Antonio area, we provide gentle care that effectively handles fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and other concerns.
One of the treatments gaining a lot of positive attention is micro-needling, also called CIT, or Collagen Induction Therapy. The idea behind micro-needling is to cause controlled micro-injuries on small areas of skin. Because of these tiny “wounds,” the body produces elastin and collagen to heal them. Through this healing process, the dermis becomes thicker and lines and wrinkles become less noticeable. The tool we use for micro-needling is the Eclipse MicroPen™ EVO, a device that also makes micro-channels in the skin for the maximum absorption of topical serums, creams, and gels in the treatment of various skin conditions.
Benefits of the micro-needling procedure
Micro-needling provides safe, effective skin rejuvenation in the comfort of your dermatologist’s office. This treatment has a positive effect on the skin, reducing wrinkles and minimizing the appearance of both hyper- and hypo-pigmentation. Micro-needling may be used to reduce stretch marks, acne scars, and other scarring. Treatment areas are diverse, including:
The Eclipse MicroPen™ EVO experience
Treatment in our office typically takes thirty minutes or less, depending on the area we are treating. Although the micropen uses a tiny reciprocating needle tip, this treatment feels more like rubbing the skin with sandpaper. Some treatment areas may experience increased sensitivity, but most patients find sufficient comfort in the hydrating gel applied before or during needling. The immediate effects of treatment are dependent on how many times the needle is passed over the skin and the depth of needling. Usually, the skin shows a new glow right away, though redness may also occur. This redness can last up to four days, but may subside faster with the use of the Eclipse Skin Revive System™ or other high quality products recommended by your dermatologist. In the six months that follow treatment with the Eclipse MicroPen™ EVO, the skin continues to improve as collagen repairs and supports its health. Many people who undergo treatment will see an enormous difference after just one session. Optimal results, however, may be achieved with as many as eight sessions scheduled several weeks apart. Dr. Vivian Bucay has been helping men and women address their skin concerns for many years. During your consultation, the appropriate number of treatment sessions will be estimated after discussion and a thorough skin assessment. Aging skin does not always require surgical treatment for rejuvenation.
What is automated microneedling with the Eclipse MicroPen EVO?
In microneedling, the Eclipse MicroPen EVO with its 14 tiny stainless steel needles is moved over the target areas of the skin. The needles create microscopic punctures/channels in the skin. The body reacts to this as if wounded, triggering repair mechanisms. As it produces new collagen and elastin, skin condition improves. Through these micro-channels we are also able to apply topical gels, creams, and serums that can penetrate the skin more efficiently, improving the outer layer of the skin.
The Eclipse MicroPen EVO we use at Bucay Center is FDA cleared and is the latest available technology.
What skin issues can be treated with MicroPen EVO microneedling?
Microneedling with MicroPen EVO can be done across the body, but the face, neck, and décolletage are where we usually focus.
Here are the conditions we treat with microneedling:
- Fine lines
- Acne scars
- Large pores
- Uneven texture
- Stretch marks
Where on the body can I have MicroPen EVO microneedling?
Treatment can be done on most areas of the body, but these areas are the most popular:
How does MicroPen EVO microneedling improve my skin?
The concept behind microneedling is to trigger a wound healing response in the body. When the 14 tiny needles of the MicroPen EVO cartridge puncture the skin to the depth appropriate for your particular skin condition (maximum depth is 2mm), they create microscopic channels down through the epidermis. The wounds are microscopic and are surrounded by untouched, healthy tissue, which immediately helps in the healing of the adjacent punctures.
The body, however, reacts as if truly wounded, and this is the key to the skin improvements delivered. As a wound response, the body initiates the production of new collagen and elastin to heal the wounds (even though the hundreds of tiny punctures are fully healed in just a couple hours), sending these proteins to the treated areas. By building new collagen and elastin, the skin becomes more firm, supple, and issues such as stretch marks are noticeably lessened.
How is a MicroPen EVO session done?
Before your microneedling session begins, our Licensed Medical Aesthetician, Melissa Valdez, attaches a new sterile 14-needle cartridge to the Eclipse MicroPen EVO. She then selects the appropriate needle penetration depth based on your treatment needs.
A topical anesthetic and a thin layer of sterile saline are then applied to your skin. Next, in a single motion, the pen is gently pressed against the skin while simultaneously gliding across in one direction. This is repeated until the entire treatment area has been covered. Depending on your needs, a second pass may be made. As soon as Melissa has completed the passes, an oatmeal extract with vitamin E is applied to your skin to calm it and start the healing process.
You’d think this would be a painful treatment, but it’s not. Applying topical anesthetic prior to your microneedling session keeps you comfortable. Patients equate the feeling as akin to having a piece of light sandpaper moved across the skin.
Is there recovery time after MicroPen EVO microneedling?
Immediately following your microneedling session your skin will appear pink and flushed. This redness subsides by the next day (although it can last a day or two more depending on the microneedle penetration depth and the number of overlapping passes used on the treatment area), but microneedling is best done as an after-work procedure. In addition to the redness, you may also have some mild swelling and a feeling of tightness across the treated areas.
When will I see results and how long will they last?
Our Bucay Center patients notice an immediate “glow” to their skin. Visible changes with the skin develop over the course of several days and weeks. Due to the building collagen and elastin, your results can continue to improve for up to four months.
As for the duration of your improvements, that depends on your body. The changes are permanent, but as you age your collagen and elastin production drops year by year. This decline begins after your 20th birthday, decreasing by one additional percentage point every year. At 50, your skin is receiving a third less collagen and elastin than when you were 20. That’s why it thins, shows more sun damage, and allows the formation of lines and creases. Because of that ongoing decline, we recommend continuing maintenance treatments to keep up with these decreases.
How many treatments will I need?
Some of our patients feel they only need a single microneedling treatment every year to achieve the results they seek. Most patients opt for 3-6 treatments spaced about 4-6 weeks apart. For patients with deep wrinkles, advanced photo-aging, stretch marks, or acne scars, 6-8 sessions will likely be recommended spaced at 6-week intervals.