Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery is pleased to announce the addition of the Bellus SkinPen® to our Pittsburgh skin treatment services. The SkinPen® is a cutting-edge tool for collagen induction therapy (CIT) – also known as micro-needling. With this device on top of the education and experience of our team, you will have arguably the best results in microneedling Pittsburgh has to offer.
Microneedling procedures have become incredibly popular in recent years. This minimally invasive procedure boosts the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin. The purpose of this procedure is to stimulate collagen and generate new skin tissue that is softer, firmer, smoother, and more toned.
Patients who have undergone our Pittsburgh SkinPen® treatments thus far have been impressed by how radiant their skin looks. Cheekbones glow like never before. Wrinkles and fine lines on the face are reduced. The appearance of acne scars is diminished. Patients have also been pleased by how soft their skin is to the touch.
Understanding collagen induction therapy
Boosting collagen levels is the key to healthier looking skin. Collagen is a protein that gives skin its strength, firmness, and elasticity. As we get older, no matter how meticulous one’s personal skin care regimen is, the body’s natural production of collagen decreases. On average, each year, we lose about 1% of our body’s collagen production. Collagen production can be further depleted by exposure to the sun, lack of sleep, environmental pollutants, smoke and other sources of free radicals; not to mention basic genetic aging. This loss of collagen is the primary reason we visibly age.
Skin loses its volume and elasticity. Wrinkles and fine lines appear on the face. Stretch marks develop on the body. Acne scars or pockmarks become more pronounced. For the longest time, we’ve accepted this as an inevitable part of aging. But, what if we told you, you actually can change the inevitable?
How does microneedling work?
By stimulating collagen production, micro-needling enables the skin to repair itself. Tiny needles are used to create micro-channels in the skin. Pinpricks from these needle piercings micro-injure skin tissue.
Although these pinpricks are so tiny they can’t even be seen, they’re significant enough for the body to respond by initiating its wound healing process. This produces new collagen-rich tissue. This new skin is more even in texture and tone. It is also firmer and appears healthier, rejuvenated, and brighter.
In essence, the more we keep collagen production going through our lifetime, the more likely we are to prevent wrinkles and keep our skin firm, plump and elastic as we age. This is why our microneedling in Pittsburgh is best used as a preventative procedure you’ll ideally want to schedule every 4 to 6 weeks.
What does microneedling help with?
- Smooths and tightens skin
- Smooths out skin texture
- Fades out acne scars and divots
- Balances uneven skin tone
- Erases stretch marks
- Lightens dark spots on the skin
- Treats lax, aging, or thin skin
- Improves the appearance of trauma or surgical scars
- Reduces large pores, clogged pores, cholesterol deposits
- Improved efficacy of topical skincare products like hydrating oils
The nuances of SkinPen microneedling in Pittsburgh
While microneedling itself isn’t a new treatment, the advanced technology of the SkinPen® has been a game changer. The introduction of the SkinPen® – the only microneedling device that’s been studied, cleared, and approved by the FDA – has transformed the world of CIT. The procedure is now viewed much more positively and has entered the mainstream.
The SkinPen® must be used by a physician or a registered nurse trained in skin care. This makes for a much safer and more effective experience than the dermaroller microneedling done at home or at a day spa without medical supervision.
Dermarollers vs. SkinPen microneedling
Dermarollers have shorter needles – less than .5 mm long. These needles lack versatility and don’t penetrate deeply enough to mechanically break up existing scar tissue. This makes them especially ineffective for acne scarring and other types of scarring.
Dermaroller needles can also be dulled or skewed which can damage the face. Skin tissue can be damaged so badly by a dermaroller that the face becomes more susceptible to infection or scarring.
What are the advantages of SkinPen cutting-edge technology?
The SkinPen® incorporates the very latest microneedling technological advances for optimal results, less patient downtime, and much lower risk of an adverse reaction. It is lightweight and ergonomically shaped; making it easy to maneuver. This allows Dr. Leong to reach delicate and difficult to treat areas of the skin around the mouth and nose.
The risk for broken capillaries is reduced by an exhaust port on the SkinPen® that prevents suction. Needle cartridges are sterile and disposable. This and the device’s Bio Sleeve lessen the chance of cross-contamination or infection.
Who is microneedling good for?
Our Pittsburgh SkinPen® treatments are ideal for women or men who:
- Seek skin rejuvenation – In this era of the selfie and social media, people today are more inclined to do something to offset or prevent visible signs of aging.
- Have busy lifestyles – People are busier than ever these days. Trying to balance work and family. Responsibilities and fun. Our Pittsburgh SkinPen® is a short lunchtime procedure with virtually no downtime. Repeat sessions are scheduled at least 4-6 weeks apart, which makes treatments easy to fit into even the busiest of lifestyles.
- Want to prevent age-related skin problems – Starting microneedling in your 20’s can help prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Seek a minimally-invasive non-surgical alternative to cosmetic surgery – Going under the knife isn’t for everyone. The SkinPen has made collagen induction therapy a better alternative than it was with a dermaroller because it’s safer and produces a much more consistent and more effective result.
While our SkinPen® collagen-induced therapy is ideal for most patients, there are a few exceptions. The SkinPen isn’t recommended for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, patients with active acne, or patients on autoimmune therapy. This will be discussed during your in-depth consultation with Dr. Leong or our registered nurse.
During this consultation, realistic expectations will also be set. It’s important to remember that no skin rejuvenation is guaranteed to produce the “perfect” result because no such thing exists. You and Dr. Leong or our nurse aesthetician will talk to determine exactly what you’re hoping to achieve from the treatment.
How is microneedling done?
The team at Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery usually recommend a series of 3 to 6 SkinPen® collagen induction therapy (CIT) treatments. Fewer or more treatments may be necessary depending upon your skin’s condition or your desired result.
For instance, a patient aiming to achieve a look of radiant or glowing skin might need a series of 3 treatments. A patient with deep acne scarring might require 6 or more treatments to achieve his or her desired result.
Treatments are typically about 4 to 6 weeks apart and there is little to no downtime involved. The SkinPen® can be used on any skin type at any time of the year. Unlike laser treatments, you can receive a SkinPen® treatment during the summer with tanned skin, although it’s not recommended if you have sunburn. The SkinPen® is also safe for all ages and skin types. Healing is also scab free.
The SkinPen® has a tiny set of needles that can reach anywhere from .25mm to 2.5mm into the dermis. This allows for completely customizable micro-needling treatment to address each patient’s specific needs. When a patient comes in for SkinPen® microneedling, the first thing we do is apply a numbing cream. We then let them sit for 15-20 minutes for the numbing cream to seep into their skin. Then we use a hydrating gel to help glide the pin across the skin’s surface and further optimize comfort.
This generally makes for a tolerable and usually pain-free 15- to 20-minute treatment.
Afterward, depending on the depth of penetration, the patient may notice redness and may also see little pinpoints of bleeding, but that is all wiped and cleaned off before they leave the office.
Paul Leong MD FACS
The Facial Specialist
Dr. Leong completed his medical degree at the Yale University School of Medicine. He then dedicated the next seven years honing his skills specifically in head, face, and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh—a university consistently ranked among the top five otolaryngology programs in the country. Dr. Leong continued to develop his surgical skills through a fellowship in Advanced Oncologic Surgery of the Head and Neck at the Pittsburgh Medical Center. This was followed by yet another fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University.
Microneedling recovery & results
The SkinPen is considered a lunchtime procedure, so it requires very little downtime. There are three phases to the wound-repair process of a SkinPen® procedure – inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling.
Patients should expect their skin to be red/pink and mildly inflamed directly after treatment. This will last for approximately 24-48 hours. The appearance is similar to that of sunburn.
Over the next few weeks, some patients may experience a light peeling of the skin. Some patients with sensitive skin have also reported mildly uncomfortable itching for a few days.
Patients generally start seeing results at about 2 weeks after their first treatment and continue to see beautiful results throughout the series of treatments.
Contact Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery
For more information on SkinPen Microneedling, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Leong to talk more about your options, please contact Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery today.