Microneedling is a hit with clients at most medspas because the treatment is safe and effective for a variety of skin conditions for diverse skin types. Microneedling has become such a hot topic that there are now a number of so-called at-home treatments being promoted on the market today. The DIY at home remedies are not comparable to a professional device because of needle length and other factors.
Still, there ARE plenty of professional microneedling options on the market. How do you know that you are getting the best value and quality for your microneedling pen or treatment device? It’s important to know what the best professional microneedling device is available for you, specifically for your needs and desired results.
So what is the ideal microneedling for your practice? While derma rollers have been popular in-office procedures in the past, microneedling pens are actually the preferred microneedling device for optimal results today. Microneedling pens cause less damage to the skin, offer shorter downtime, and produce more impactful results for the skin.
Why You Need Microneedling
Better said, why your clients will want microneedling. Before we get into discussing the best professional microneedling devices, it helps to be sure that you understand exactly what microneedling is and what it can treat. Microneedling has become one of the most popular treatments offered by dermatologists and medical spas because it is an extremely versatile treatment with various uses all over the body.
Microneedling began in the mid 90s as a way to treat a variety of skin conditions, including scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scars, skin laxity, and more. This is done by engaging with the body’s natural healing system. With very fine short needles, the microneedling device punctures the layers of the skin, beginning with the top layer (the epidermis) all the way to the dermis. This creates tiny needle wounds on the skin which are typically only surface-level deep.
These small pinprick wounds encourage the skin to produce collagen-rich tissue, leading to skin tissue that is generally more even in texture and tone. Stimulating collagen production is necessary as we tend to lose collagen over time, through injury, photodamage or age. Creating new collagen leads to firmer, smoother, tighter and more even skin.
What Microneedling Can Treat
Microneedling can be used on almost any part of the body, although it is mostly used on the face. Common issues that are treated by microneedling include:
- Acne scars
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Other types of scars on the skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Age spots or sun spots
- Overly large pores
- Reduced skin elasticity
- Stretch marks
- Hair loss
When used in other parts of the body, microneedling is also commonly used to treat stretch marks. Microneedling has been found to be an extremely effective treatment for stretch marks around the midsection and the thighs, especially when combined with other complementary treatments such as lightening products. Finally, microneedling can also be used for scarring around the body and hair loss on the scalp.
Possible Risks and Side Effects
While microneedling is one of the safest and most popular medical aesthetic treatments on the market today, that doesn’t mean it is without risk. One of the most common side effects of microneedling is slight skin irritation right after the treatment, although this should only last for 12 hours at most. Patients may also experience redness on the treated area, lasting for up to a few days.
A normal side effect immediately after microneedling treatments is pinpoint bleeding caused by the micro injuries into the dermis. This is a positive response and subsides right after the procedure when the channels close. This is usually followed a day after by peeling or more like flaking of the skin. Infection and bruising are rare but do occur in some patients and they should notify their practitioner or doctor immediately to determine if intervention is required.
Successful microneedling treatments are a combination of the skills of the practitioner AND the quality of microneedling device. Patients should ensure that their microneedling practitioner is trusted with positive reviews and is well informed about treatment parameters for specific skin conditions. A microneedling treatment performed incorrectly can reverse collagen production and possibly cause skin infection. Know what specific microneedling pen is being used because if correct treatment parameters cannot be achieved with a specific device the results will suffer.
Like most things in life, microneedling isn’t for everyone. Patients should avoid microneedling if they:
- Are currently pregnant
- Scar easily
- Have open wounds in the area to be treated
- Have undergone radiation therapy
- Have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis
What You Can Expect With Microneedling for Your Patients
Microneedling is a simple procedure, which is one reason why so many patients are signing up for it. As a minimally invasive practice, recovery time is quite short, and most patients require almost no downtime after the initial redness which usually lasts 24-48 hours.
Patients who undergo microneedling may expect mild side effects such as skin irritation and redness after the procedure, but these tend to fade away a few hours or day after. These side effects are totally natural and aren’t a cause for worry, as these are your body’s natural responses to the micro-injuries caused by the needles in the treatment.
It is important that you help your clients remember to wear sunscreen after a microneedling treatment, as their skin will be extra sensitive to the sun. This is because the skin will currently be in the rejuvenation stage as it creates new skin tissue. Results aren’t immediate, and patients should typically see improvements in their skin within a couple of weeks after the procedure and will continue to improve for 90 days.
For maximum results, patients should return for multiple sessions and any other treatments their doctor may recommend. Patients can expect to undergo anywhere from 3-6 microneedling treatments for their ideal results.
Choosing You As Their Ideal Microneedling Practitioner: Our Best Tips
The success of a microneedling treatment primarily relies on the way the treatment is performed. This means choosing a microneedling doctor or practitioner should be done very carefully. MD Needle Pen works to make sure that each doctor or practitioner who purchases from us truly understands what they are doing.
Here are our Top Tips for you to share with your patients about picking the Best Professional Microneedling Practitioner. Assuming you are a professional with experience and skill, sharing these suggestions will give your clients the confidence to move forward with you.
- Find someone with referrals. Referrals from people you know and trust are the best kind of reviews you can find, but these aren’t always so easy to get. So if you are thinking about getting microneedling, ask around your various networks. You may know someone from your old college friends or from your workplace who actually already had microneedling, and they may know the best doctor in town with their own personal reviews.
- Check out their reputation. If you don’t know anyone who has undergone microneedling (or if you want a second opinion), then the internet is a great place to check out what people are saying about the microneedling practitioners you find. There are various review sites online, and you can also check out the Google Business and Facebook pages of any clinics online. Check out their ratings, what people say about them, and of course, how they respond to any negative criticism.
- Ask for their certifications. Certifications and qualifications are incredibly important. Anyone can buy a microneedling device and start calling themselves a microneedling expert, so you need to triple check that they are actually the professionals they say they are. Look into their educational background, their work history, and any extra certifications they may have as well as any professional medical organizations they may be a part of. People with the right certifications won’t be afraid to tell you what those might be.
- Feel out their staff. The staff of your microneedling practitioner will be just as important in determining your experience as the practitioner himself, so try to feel them out before scheduling your appointment. Are they nice? Are they friendly and welcoming and personable? Do they answer your questions? Are they open and trustworthy? If something feels off, trust your gut.
- Think about their location. You will want to find a place that is a convenient location for you, because you will need to do more than one microneedling session. If your chosen clinic is a 5-hour drive away from your house, then you might never want to go again. You also don’t want to subject yourself to a long drive after the procedure, when all you want to do is be at home and rest.
- Sleep on it and trust yourself. Never sign up for a series of treatments on the day you meet your “perfect clinic”. Spend a night or two to think about it and ask yourself — do you still want to do it? Did they answer all your questions? Did they make you feel comfortable? Did the office feel clean and professional? Trust your gut and go with what you feel.
Choosing the best professional microneedling practitioner for you is a very important part of the process, but only if you are getting your microneedling done in a clinic rather than using a DIY microneedling device. But is it better to use a microneedling device at home? We explore this in the next section.
In-Office and At-Home Microneedling: What’s the Difference and Which is Better?
Your patients and clients may have seen microneedling products in a store or online, like a dermapen or a dermaroller, and may wonder: “Why should I get microneedling done in-office or in-clinic when I can DIY it myself at home instead?”
Fair question. Here are some helpful tips for you to answer them:
When you get your microneedling done by a professional practitioner or doctor in their clinic or med spa, you experience the following advantages:
- You don’t have to think about buying the perfect device or learning how to do it properly. The doctor or practitioner does everything for you, and all you have to do is sit back and relax.
- The doctor understands skin physiology and the treatment depths to use for specific conditions for the best outcome
- You don’t have to worry about potentially hurting yourself, and you know you can trust the doctor to give you good results because of their experience and skill.
- Reduced risk of infection because of the sterile office environment and disinfectant protocols.
- You can ask the doctor any other questions you might have to help you understand the treatment and the recovery process
- Your microneedling doctor or nurse will give you a more comprehensive plan that combines microneedling, with professional grade skin care products and other treatments they offer to achieve your desired results.
The main difference between the two, aside from having the help of a trained and experienced doctor, is the depth of the treatment. The microneedling you experience with an esthetician or dermatologist is typically more intense than the microneedling you can do at home because the prescription anesthetic cream used before the procedure. This patient comfort allows the needles to really penetrate the skin to treat conditions like skin laxity, sun damage, wrinkles, acne scars, and more.
Individuals who use at-home microneedling devices typically won’t be able to treat to the depth to create the injuries required for real change. Wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, hair loss must be treated in the dermis where pinpoint bleeding will be seen on the skin surface to actually stimulate change. When trying to treat pigmentation, incorrect procedure depth can actually stimulate the melanocytes and cause more hyperpigmentation.
While you will not be able to educate all clients out of doing home skin needling treatments there are a few benefits
At-home treatments improve the skin in two ways:
- While the needles may not penetrate the skin very deeply, they go deep enough to promote cellular turnover.
- After at-home microneedling is done on the skin, topical skincare products can penetrate the skin at a deeper layer, leading to better results.
Other disadvantages of using at-home microneedling devices include:
- It can be significantly more expensive for lesser results as compared to having microneedling done with a doctor or nurse
- Your at-home microneedling efforts will not be a part of professionally guided routine
- Your face will not benefit from biggest boost in collagen production, giving you a plumper and fresher glow year-round
- You risk infection from an unsterile procedure environment.
- No access to professional grade skin care products to use after microneedling.
- Incorrect treatment parameters can cause more harm than good.
- Increased skin trauma from derma roller.
While home treatments won’t produce the same dramatic results as in-clinic treatments, they can help with:
- Exfoliation of dead skin cells.
- Increased product absorption
- Improvement of superficial discoloration if used with a lightening product
- Skin rejuvenation for fine lines
Studies have found that individuals who consistently stick to in office microneedling procedures and complex home skincare routine will experience significant long-term improvements to their skin within 3-4 months.
A Quick Look at Setting the Correct Depth
The puncture depth you set your microneedling device depends on the skin condition being treated, area of face or body and goals. A detailed medical history and review of current skin care and previous services is imperative before deciding on the needle depth parameters to set.
Here’s an easy-to-understand table matching needle depth with skin issues:
|Needle Length||Skin Issues|
|0.5 – 1.5 mm||Uneven skin texture or skin tone, sun damage and pigmentation|
|1.0 – 2.0 mm||Shallow acne scars|
|1.5 – 2.5mm||Deep acne scars|
|0.5 – 1.0 mm||Enlarged pores, Blemishes (hyperpigmentation)|
|1.5 – 2.0 mm||Sagging skin, Wrinkles|
|2.0 – 2.5 mm||Surgical scars|
|1.5 – 2.5 mm||Stretch marks|
Product Type: Pen or Roller?
Again, many patients will have already wandered all over Google looking for info about microneedling and realize that choosing between a practice that offers microneedling with a pen or microneedling with a derma roller isn’t easy for them.
Yes, both devices can perform some kind of microneedling treatment. Both will puncture the top layer of the skin with micro-injuries, tricking the body into producing collagen and effectively repairing the skin with new, even, and smooth tissue.
One issue to be aware of, is that the microneedling roller tends to be more popular in the minds of older consumers, simply because it’s the traditional device used for microneedling. If you’re not familiar, a roller device has tiny needles across its round surface, and this device is rolled against the skin back and forth, inflicting the small punctures in the skin. The microneedling pen works differently: the pen is glided over the skin, and the motor pushes tiny needles into and out of the tip of the pen, oscillating in and out to puncture the skin.
So which of the two devices is more effective? The answer is simple — while the microneedling with a derma roller is the more traditional and familiar option to many people, the microneedling pen is actually the superior device for a number of reasons.
Here are some reasons why the microneedling pen is superior to the roller:
- Greater precision: Microneedling pens offer greater precision than rollers. With dermarollers, the needles puncture and leave the skin at an angle, making larger but also less effective micro-injuries in the skin. Microneedling pens create punctures that go straight down into the skin, making it more effective and easier to treat less accessible areas like around the eyes, the nose, and the upper lips.
- More micro-injuries: Microneedling rollers do not create an adequate number of micro-injuries at the correct depth to promote serious change. The MD Needle Pen motor oscillates at 10,000 rpm’s creating thousands of collagen stimulating channels.
- Customized treatment: With most microneedling rollers on the market, needle depth can’t be adjusted, so you are stuck with the same needle depth for all your microneedling. Microneedling pens offer adjustable needle depth. This allows users to treat different areas of the face with various penetration levels for different conditions, creating the best results possible.
- Less epidermal damage: As microneedling rollers penetrate at an angle, there is a greater chance of it causing unnecessary damage to the skin, tearing the skin and increasing the pain and recovery time. Microneedling pens penetrate vertically, meaning there is minimal damage to the skin, minimal pain, and minimal down time.
- Quicker treatment: Microneedling pens have built-in motorized systems with maximum precision and accuracy, making them much quicker to handle, with the ability to treat tiny sensitive areas than dermarollers.
Why Using a Microneedling Pen at Home Is a Bad Idea for Your Patients
It’s normal, we all want to save money. However, choosing to go with a professional microneedling treatment over an at-home microneedling roller is often the best choice for your patient’s skin. While some at-home results are possible, the best results require an adjustable needle depth.
Here’s everything you need to know on how to talk to you patients about the illusion of at-home microneedling:
- You have researched and chosen the best pen: As a trained professional it is obviously much easier for you to select a microneedling pen that works for your patient’s needs.
- Needle depth: As we listed in our chart above, different needle depths promote different results. Professional Microneedling pens typically have adjustable needles that range from 0.25mm to 2.5mm. For wrinkles and fine lines, you will need 1.0mm to 2.5mm needle depth. Acne scars will require at least 1.5mm. This is not possible with at-home treatments.
- You have read and completely understood the instructions: While pens generally work the same way, every microneedling product is unique, and you know the intricacies behind your microneedling pen will help your patient achieve optimal results.
- Sanitize before every use: As a professional you are already well-trained to always make sure to clean your equipment properly before and after using it. It is important to only use sanitized instruments when it comes to microneedling, as the tiny punctures on the face can become infected by bacteria or germs. Here is where the disposable single-use cartridges come into play – nothing to think about.
- Document and plan: Take pictures of the clients skin condition and plan the procedure depth settings throughout the area.
- Apply numbing: A topical anesthetic should be applied 15-20 minutes before starting the procedure to reduce patient discomfort and allow you to perform microneedling at the correct depth.
- Obviously, clean the face: Just as you should sanitize your pen, you must also obviously sanitize or clean your patient’s face after numbing and before beginning. Remove any product or makeup they may have on their skin and wash with warm water and a cleanser as thoroughly as possible. Pat the skin dry after cleaning and clean again with an astringent to ensure that any product, grime, or dirt is gone from their skin. Again, your patients are not set up for this.
- Divide the face into sections: You will divide their face into small 2” x 2” sections. If you try to cover the whole face in one go the gliding product will dry up and not be pushed into the skin and will not be a smooth application. This will ensure that you go over the entire area of their face evenly with the microneedling pen.
- Pull the skin tight: As you apply the pen to the face, make sure to pull it tight with the other hand and apply a small amount of serum. You want to make sure that the skin is tight and being properly engaged by the needles within the pen.
- Apply minimal pressure: While it may seem better to press the pen as hard against your face as possible, this actually isn’t necessary. You will want to apply minimal pressure while pressing the pen against the face so as to avoid causing undue trauma to the skin.
- Care and recovery: After every microneedling treatment, it is important to avoid washing the face or area for the first hour post-treatment. Once the area is clean apply a calming serum, a moisturizer and sunscreen to protect Red skin is a normal side effect after the treatment so nourish the skin with good products and give it time to breathe, rest, and recover.
Final Tips for Microneedling
|Before Using the Pen||After Using the Pen|
|Buy the best microneedling device you can find, based on your needs and budget||Avoid washing the face/area in the first hour after the session. Use lukewarm water and gentle cleanser after this time|
|Clean the face efficiently, removing any makeup, dirt, or product to avoid infection||Moisturizers and creams can help soothe the skin after the first hour|
|If there is active acne on the skin, DO NOT use the pen over those areas as this will increase inflammation and spread the acne bacteria||Tell your patient to moisturize and take collagen supplements after treatment to further enhance the results|
|Understand the instructions of the device and skin care products perfectly before using it||Advise your patient to use sunscreen outdoors and even indoors as well|
|For extra pain relief, consider using a numbing cream on the skin beforehand||In general tell your patients to give their skin the time to breathe, recover, and heal|
MD Needle Pen is not only the best value professional microneedling device on the market but we will give you all the tools to produce great outcomes for your clients. Our device was developed by industry experts and is trusted by thousands of doctors and nurses all around the United States and Canada.
Get your microneedling pen today from MD Needle Pen.
Learn more: Is Microneedling Better Than Botox?