18 Feb Health Canada Issues Warning About At-Home Microneedling Devices
Why go into the clinic for a treatment when you can DIY at home? There are many reasons to avoid at-home treatments, but unfortunately, TikTok trends have encouraged unsuspecting users to microneedle at home—sometimes with dire consequences. This has led Health Canada to issue a warning against microneedling devices, particularly “Dr. Pen Auto Microneedle System.” However, there are countless so-called microneedling devices available online, and Dr. Pen is just one of many that is causing damage to buyers.
According to the official Health Canada warning, “These devices are not authorized and may pose health risks. Do not use these unauthorized medical devices. Consult your healthcare professional if you have used them, or have had them used on you, and have health concerns.” After receiving “a number of complaints” about this particular pen, Canada took action which included reports from several public health departments. Dr. Pen and other devices have been available online, at spas and salons, and even cosmetology schools. The latter was using the pens as part of their training programs as a means of cutting costs.
Microneedling Across the Border
Like the United States, Canada considers “real” microneedling technologies a medical device, which means a license from Health Canada is required in order to procure them. Health Canada, similar to the FDA, is in charge of assessing all such devices for safety, effectiveness, and quality before they are sold. However, Health Canada is not required to undertake such testing for devices marketed as non-medical (such as Dr. Pen). Also like in the U.S., it is against the law to import, sell, or advertise medical-based devices without licensing. Dr. Pen and other such devices went around regulation, but it is the users who pay the price.
Unlicensed devices like these have not been considered by any governing body, so they have a much higher risk. They may not work at all, be lower quality than in-office devices, or, in worse-case scenarios, can be harmful. Currently, there are no at-home microneedling devices that have been authorized by Health Canada. At the moment, Health Canada has only approved devices for professional use.
How Microneedling Works
All microneedling devices are equipped with tiny needles or pins that are meant to repeatedly puncture the top layer of skin. Medical-grade devices have the highest quality needles of just the right length and depth. Still, only providers have the training and skills to properly administer them. Microneedling is a kind of collagen induction therapy that depends on the body’s natural response to build collagen where there is an injury. Proper microneedling is a controlled injury that poses virtually no risk to the client. However, you can imagine what might happen if needles that are too long or thick are used, or if the device is used by someone who is untrained.
Health Canada stresses that at-home microneedling can lead to “short-term or potentially permanent [unwanted] changes to the skin.” Some of the subtler complaints include excessive dryness, redness, bleeding, crusting, rough skin, and bruising after using microneedling at home. More serious reports include infections, permanent changes to pigmentation, swollen lymph nodes, the activation of dormant cold sores and herpes, and even blood-borne diseases due to cross-contamination (sharing devices). Those with blood or clotting disorders face additional risks including scarring, compromised immune systems, and more. Additionally, those with more melanin, who are breast feeding, on certain medications, under treatment for cancer, or who are allergic to one of the products used in the devices can face serious adverse reactions.
How to Get Microneedled
Health Canada says, “It is recommended that individuals seeking microneedling treatment only seek treatment from an experienced professional who can answer all of their questions about the benefits and risks for their individual circumstances in order to make an informed decision regarding their treatment.” If you are interested in collagen induction therapy via microneedling, RefinedMD is home to the latest microneedling devices that are medical-grade and designed for optimal outcomes. Our providers are highly skilled, undergoing lifelong training so that you can enjoy a safe and effective treatment.
Microneedling in some form has been around for well over a century. It was initially designed to treat severe scarring, but has since progressed to be one of the most in-demand treatments. To learn more about microneedling and other means of improving your skin in a safe manner, contact RefinedMD today by calling the office or completing the online contact form.