What is ingress protection and how does it work in microneedling devices?


Q: What is ingress protection and how does it work in microneedling devices?

Microneedling pens cause controlled micro-injuries in the skin, which release blood and a serum-like liquid containing cytokines and growth factors, initiating the wound-healing cascade. The phases are inflammation and cell proliferation, followed by skin remodelling, which is for the treatment of ageing, wrinkles and scar tissue.

These procedures have become extremely popular with clients because they’re so effective. However, some important considerations for safety should be addressed. Some mechanical pens now have “ingress protection”, which ensures no blood or fluids from the treatment have the potential to cross-contaminate by migrating into the pen, and then back again into the cartridge.

Sterile disposable “one use only” cartridges are imperative, but the needle cartridge should also prevent fluids and blood from each individual patient migrating into the reciprocating mechanism – this is usually the pen, but more recent models have the reciprocating mechanism in the cartridge itself, essentially creating a risk-free disposable device.

Before using a microneedling device, three cross-contamination path shields should be checked. First, that the cartridge is 100% sealed – a waterproof sleeve contained in the cartridge creates this safety barrier. The cartridge is able to contain fluids that may be produced during the procedure and stop them from penetrating into the microneedling pen itself.

Second, the base of the pen should be 100% sealed as it’s virtually impossible to clean the inside of a pen. It should have no visible opening. If there is an opening, then it’s clear that any fluid or germs can enter via the cartridge. The germs can then pass back up into the next cartridge.

Lastly, the whole device should have a protective sheath covering it for further safety. Cross-contamination path shields are essential to ensure clients receive a contaminant-free microneedling treatment, and that the operator also is risk free.

Kathy Taylor-Brewin is managing director of BioActive Aesthetics, which distributes Skinpen Precision, a microneedling device that has ingress protection which prevents crosscontamination through body fluids. She is a Level 4 aesthetician and has more than 25 years’ industry experience.