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Are at-home microneedling and chemical safe and effective?

Posted July 31, 2018 in Chemical Peels, Microneedling

A Warning…..Home micro-needling devices? Chemical peels?

In today’s day and age, it seems like you can get almost anything online. Just type in a few keywords and you’ll easily find home micro-needling devices, pharmaceutical skincare products, and even medical-grade chemical peels! Yes, chemical peels! Of course, we all want to look and feel our best, but id it looks too good to be true…it probably is! According to the FDA, every year there are thousands of reports from customers that have suffered serious infections, burns, and allergic reactions due to over the counter online home chemical peels, home use micro-needling devices and even beauty products.

There are many kinds of at-home micro-needling devices available, but the most popular seems to be the Dermaroller devices.

What is Dermaroller?

A Dermaroller is a device that works by creating tiny punctures into the skin. This device can be purchased online for home treatment. The size of the dermarollers needles are usually between 0.25mm to 0.5mm. Dermarollers are being advertised as devices that can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.

Dermarollers are not hygienic. According to their manufacturers, the same device can be used multiple times on your face. Dermarollers have the capacity to puncture your skin, causing redness, pinpoint bleeding, and inflammation where bacteria can easily grow. Dermaroller manufacturers instruct users to clean their devices using 70% alcohol. The only method to destroy micro-organisms that can develop on microneediling devices is to properly sterilize them using an Autoclave (a medical device that uses pressure to sterilize instruments). Let’s keep in mind also, that dermarollers are not FDA approved devices!

Another important risk to consider is that improper technique can cause nerve and blood vessel damage, superficial tears of the skin, transmission and spreading of medical conditions such as warts and herpes, or even more serious conditions such as precancerous and cancerous lesions. If you are not a well trained medical provider you can be dermarolling a wart or skin cancer lesion and spreading it to the rest of your face! This is absolutely not worth the risk!

Chemical peels are an excellent choice of treatment to rejuvenate your skin! When properly used, they can reduce and correct hyper-pigmentation, acne, fine lines, uneven skin tone, and uneven skin texture. I personally love chemical peels, and I get them often to keep my skin looking fresh and younger!

Over the counter chemical peel products such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid are only safe to use by the customer if the formulation is no more than 10%. Consumers using over the counter formulations of 10% glycolic or salicylic acid generally won’t see much improvements in their skin problems (wrinkles, fine lines, acne or discoloration), but they will with higher percentage formulations only available with medical-grade chemical peels.

Medical grade chemical peels can only be used under a doctor’s or medical aesthetician’s supervision and have a concentration of 30% or higher. The higher the concentration, the deeper the chemical peel. Chemical peels are available with varying degrees of depth from very superficial to superficial to medium and deep. Some chemical peels can go as deep as to the dermis, which means you have to be extremely careful to prevent complications. Proper knowledge of the ingredients and medical technique of application is essential with chemical peels. Ingredients such as TCA, phenol, resorcinol or jessner, have been proven to reduce skin imperfections and the genuine ingredients/formulation is only available to medical providers. Online chemical peels are truly not effective OR safe!

Here’s a true story that happened to one of my patients….

I will never forget the day I got a phone call from one of my patients who decided to perform her own at home chemical peel. She called me on a Friday night crying and concerned about how her skin looked after one application of this chemical peel she got online. I immediately asked her several questions and got in touch with my dermatologist and boss. After speaking with her together, I could not believe that one of my biggest fears had come true…she had first and second degree burns on her face! We were able to see her the following day, but it took us almost 8 months to reduce some of the hyper-pigmentation left from the chemical peel. We had to use skin brightening creams and various other office treatments. Unfortunately, I was not able to correct all of the post-peel burn side effects. I share this with my patients and friends as a strong voice of caution; trying to save money by using at-home chemical peels is NOT safe, can do a lot of damage, and may cost you a lot more money in the long run.

Please be cautious when browsing skin treatments online. Many are not genuine products and are sold by third-party sellers. The only way to guarantee safety and effectiveness is to purchase them from a licensed medical facility.

I hope that you now understand the dangers of at-home dermarollers and chemical peels.

There’s good news though! Mountcastle Medical Spa offers FDA approved chemical peels and microneedling treatments provided under a doctor’s supervision by medical aestheticians. The SKIN Pen Precision micro-needling device is the only class II FDA cleared micro-needling device. The results are safe, natural, effective, and have a minimal recovery time!

Check out our August Specials which feature microneedling and chemical peel treatments.
Now is the perfect time to think about what you need to do to prevent, correct, and protect your skin.



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