Seeing the toll time and aging has taken on our faces can make the strongest of people feel self-conscious. Common concerns are fine lines and wrinkles, minor loosening of the skin, uneven tone and texture, and scarring left behind from acne. There is an innovative way to feel confident behind your skin again—microneedling with SkinPen. The caring and skilled staff at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA can help you decide if this is the right option for you.
Why Does Skin Age?
Time is the easy answer, but what causes the signs of aging like loose skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven tone and texture? In one word—collagen, or lack of it. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, making up skin and connective tissue. It is responsible for the plump, smooth and hydrated look of our youth.
As we produce collagen, it works with elastin, which is responsible for skin bouncing back into place, and hyaluronic acid, which lubricates the skin, keeping it hydrated. Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid work together to keep our faces structurally strong and our skin from getting thin and fragile.
As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen. Around the time we turn 18, the decline begins, and production goes down by about 1% each year. Spending a lot of time in the sun and/or smoking further contribute to the slowdown of collagen production. Once we lose collagen, our skin is less likely to bounce back, keep its shape and ward off fine lines and wrinkles. The SkinPen can help rebuild lost collagen.
What Is the SkinPen?
The SkinPen is an innovative microneedling device loaded with ultra-fine needles that, when used on the skin, creates micro-channels or very tiny pinpricks. As the handheld device is gently moved over your face, the creation of the micro-channels triggers the body to start its natural healing process.
This microneedling tricks the body into thinking there’s an injury it needs to heal. When the body begins to heal the small puncture marks on your face, it produces collagen. As collagen production increases, fine lines and wrinkles are filled in, skin tone and texture become more even, and it reduces scarring.
Because the SkinPen leverages the skin’s natural rejuvenating abilities, it can be used on areas other than the face. Its design allows it to go many places where you may be experiencing minor skin laxity. The SkinPen is a revolutionary solution for many signs of aging without using invasive measures or requiring downtime following treatment.
What to Expect
After your initial consultation, if you and your provider decide this treatment is the right solution for you, they will make an appointment. On the day of your treatment, there is no prep to be done other than beginning with a clean face. Your provider may apply a topical numbing agent to ensure your comfort during the session.
The SkinPen will be lightly guided over your face, creating the micro-channels. Once the treatment is complete, your skincare specialist may apply a serum or other appropriate nourishing product. The process is fairly quick and requires no real downtime. Many clients go back to their normal daily routines immediately.
Immediately after your treatment, you may see some plumping. That’s your body’s natural reaction to the microneedles. Results only get better as a few weeks pass because your body continues to make collagen. As collagen is made, fine lines and wrinkles start to fill as the skin thickens and has better structural integrity.
Even the appearance of acne scars or “pits” will be dramatically reduced. Pitted scars are caused by a cyst that has formed in the deeper layers of the skin. When the cyst is resolved, a gap is left between the top and bottom layers of the skin, resulting in a concave scar. The extra collagen works to fill in those scars, resulting in a smoother texture and look.
Microneedling improves your skin’s ability to absorb the benefits of skincare products. Your provider may suggest you use a line of products best suited to prolong and maximize your results. Some clients see their desired results after one treatment, while others may want multiple sessions to improve their results. Each client’s results are different.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Because this treatment isn’t harsh or invasive, requires no prep and little to no downtime, most people experiencing signs of aging are a good candidate. Only you and your provider can determine if this is the right solution for your skin issues. During your consultation, let your provider know if you have any of the following concerns:
- Uneven skin tone
- Uneven skin texture
- Sun damage
- Dark spots
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne scarring
- Large pores
- Minor skin laxity
Because this treatment doesn’t use heat, it’s safe for all skin colors and types. If you have multiple concerns that microneedling alone doesn’t address, this treatment can be used with other available treatments as part of a comprehensive plan.
SkinPen With PRP
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma and is an all-natural and effective solution created with a sample of your own blood. On the day of your treatment, a small sample of your blood will be drawn. That sample will be spun in a centrifuge, where the plasma bonds with other regenerative properties creating PRP.
Plasma is the first substance your body sends to a new injury. There, it starts to repair the wound by producing collagen and regenerating new tissue. When PRP is paired with microneedling, the micro-channels created by the SkinPen give the PRP a direct pathway to deeper levels of the skin.
Because microneedling improves your skin’s ability to absorb any products, introducing PRP will trigger a restorative process. Your skin will continue to regenerate, so results will continue to get better in the weeks after treatment.
If you have deeper set lines that microneedling won’t address, ask your provider about different injectables. Injectables can be the quickest way to achieve subtle but transformative results on deeper set lines and wrinkles.
Dermal fillers are used to fill in areas where the support of the tissue beneath your skin has deteriorated or been lost. When the underlying support of your skin diminishes, your skin falls to fill in the void, causing visible wrinkles. Injectables like Juvéderm or Belotero Balance use injectable gels based on hyaluronic acid—the protein that attracts and keeps moisture. Each addresses a slightly different cosmetic goal.
Many of the fillers work to prop up and smooth your skin, producing a firmer, more youthful appearance especially in the parentheses lines at each side of your mouth. There are fillers are designed to volumize and add contour to your cheeks while they design others to fill in the vertical lines around lips or just add volume to thinner lips.
Your medical provider will go over all the options that may be right for you. There are a lot of dermal fillers to choose from because each one does something different. Some are designed to stay close to the injection site while others are meant to disperse. After a facial analysis, the right filler will be recommended as part of your treatment plan.
What to Expect
Most people tolerate dermal fillers very well. Because it’s such a quick, minimally invasive treatment, there is very little prep. You may be asked to stop any blood thinning OTC medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. On the day of treatment, the only preparation is to arrive with a clean face.
Your provider may add a topical numbing agent to maximize your comfort. Small injections will be made to the areas to be treated. They might send you home with small ice packs to ensure your comfort at home. You’ll want to stay out of the sun for a few days and follow any other after-care instructions you’re given.
Results can last up to a year for some fillers and you’ll get a recommended schedule for follow-up and maintenance sessions.
BOTOX is the number one cosmetic treatment in the world. It’s an FDA approved product made from Clostridium botulinum bacteria. While fillers are used to fill wrinkles and lines when the support underneath the skin deteriorates, BOTOX addresses the cause of crow’s feet and moderate-to-severe frown lines between the brows—movement.
Over the decades, you make the same facial expressions, and your skin comes along for the ride. When your muscles move, over time, your skin will show the map of those movements in the form of wrinkles. BOTOX works to reduce neuro impulses from reaching the muscle. When the activity of a muscle is temporarily reduced or blocked, it relaxes. When that happens, it gives the skin time to smooth out.
Results begin about a week after treatment and get better from there. They can last up to four months. The more often you follow-up with scheduled maintenance, the better your long-term results will be. Botox is minimally invasive and requires no downtime. Many clients have this treatment done on a lunch break.
Other Anti-Aging Treatments
Microneedling and injectables aren’t the only anti-aging treatments available from a comprehensive aesthetic menu. There is a solution to address every concern and to fit almost every budget.
There are many chemical peels available, and the only way to know which is right for you is to discuss your concerns with your skincare specialist during a consultation. Peels gently remove the outer layers of the skin so your face is left looking refreshed and energized. Peels can be illuminating, revitalizing and rejuvenating.
Talk to your provider about non-invasive chemical peels if you have concerns about:
- Fine lines or wrinkles
- Uneven skin tone
- Uneven texture
- Acne scarring
After any of these treatments, you’ll want to take care of your skin to maximize your results and prevent as much future damage as possible. Comprehensive skincare offices will offer specialized skincare lines to recommend to their clients. No product, treatment or treatment will stop the aging process altogether, but the right line of skincare will promote skin health and keep it looking radiant and hydrated.
Ask your skincare specialist for a recommendation of skincare products that will best address your specific concerns, like:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Uneven tone and texture
- Enlarged pores
- Sun damage
- Acne and acne scars
- Dark spots and age spots
Call for a Consultation
Taking control of your own aging process can give you a renewed sense of self-esteem, confidence and an overall feeling of happiness. We’ve earned every wrinkle, but we don’t have to live with them.
Call the caring and experienced staff at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA. We will take the time to understand your individual concerns. They will partner with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses every concern you have. A more youthful and revitalized you is just a call away.