Acne After Morpheus8: Causes, Care, and Solutions

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Mastering Aftercare to Combat Acne After Morpheus8

Morpheus8 is a fractional micro-needling device that uses radio frequency (RF) energy to stimulate deep collagen production in the skin. It is primarily used to address skin concerns like acne scarring, signs of aging like fine lines and loose skin, and other issues that impact the dermal and subdermal layers of the skin.

While highly effective for its cosmetic applications, some patients may experience mild acne breakouts in the days or weeks following a Morpheus8 treatment session. This article addresses the potential concern of post-procedure acne development.

What Causes Post-Procedure Acne?

Morpheus8 works by creating micro-injuries in the skin with its fractional RF tips. This triggers the body’s natural wound healing response, which includes increased cell turnover and collagen production. The skin undergoes this process as it repairs, which can clog pores and lead to temporary breakouts.

There are 2 main reasons why acne may develop after the treatment:

  1. Changes in Oil Production: The fractional treatment may cause sebaceous glands to temporarily overproduce oil to help the skin heal. This excess oil can accumulate in pores. Along with increased cell debris from rapid skin renewal, it provides an inviting environment for acne-causing bacteria.
  2. Acne-Causing Bacteria: P. acnes bacteria naturally live on the skin and usually do not cause issues. However, post-treatment there is increased sloughing of dead skin cells and oilier conditions for bacteria to thrive. This environment allows for bacteria overgrowth that can lead to pimple development.

The Importance of Proper Aftercare

It’s important to strictly follow post-care guidelines from your doctor, which may include cleansing the treated area gently with a mild cleanser, applying a hydrating serum or moisturizer, and using sun protection. 

Cleanliness and Hygiene

  • Gently wash your face 1 or 2 times a day with warm (not hot) water and a mild soap or cleanser.
  • Use an over-the-counter lotion or gel that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
  • Use a clean towel to dry your face after washing.
  • Change your pillowcases regularly and avoid touching your face with your hands.

Skin Hydration and Balance

Sun Exposure and Its Effects

Direct sun exposure can trigger breakouts and worsen acne issues by inducing inflammatory responses, producing hyperpigmentation or erythema, and damaging collagen over time. Proper sun protection is important for healing skin after Morpheus8.

The Importance of Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Post-Procedure

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours.
  • Choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen to avoid clogging pores.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a hat and long-sleeved shirt, when possible.

Avoiding Tanning Beds and Direct Sunlight

  • Avoid tanning beds and direct sunlight, especially during peak hours from 10am-4pm.
  • Seek shade when outdoors.
  • Use an umbrella or other shading device if sun exposure is unavoidable.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect the sensitive eyes from UV damage.

Skincare Products to Use and Avoid

a woman applies moisturizer on her face while looking at the mirror

The skincare products used in the weeks following a Morpheus8 treatment can significantly impact acne occurrence and the skin’s ability to heal properly. While daily cleansing and moisturization are still important for care, it is best to choose mildly formulated products and avoid anything potentially irritating to sensitive skin during this period.

Safe Skincare ProductsProducts to Avoid
Use a mild cleanser to gently wash your face 1 or 2 times a day with warm (not hot) water.Avoid using glycolic acids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide as they can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
Use non-comedogenic moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores.Avoid using heavy makeup that can clog pores.
Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and labeled as broad-spectrum to protect your skin from the sun.

When to Resume Normal Skincare Routine and Active Skincare Products

  • Wait at least 24 hours after acne treatment before resuming your normal skincare routine.
  • Wait at least 2 weeks before using any acidic products such as retinoids or tretinoins, acne medication products, AHAs, BHAs, benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C products, lightening agents, or exfoliative products.

Potential Side Effects of Morpheus8 Not Limited to Acne

While acne is an expected potential side effect of the wound healing process, there are also some risks of thermal damage or side effects from the Morpheus8 treatment itself. Any abnormal symptoms should be reported to the treating physician.

Thermal Damage and Skin Concerns

Recognizing Abnormal Texture or Adverse Side Effects

If you experience any abnormal texture or adverse side effects, such as excessive swelling, severe pain, or signs of infection, contact your doctor immediately. It is important to follow post-treatment instructions carefully to minimize the risk of side effects.

Navigating Makeup and Cosmetic Applications

Heavy cosmetics can worsen skin concerns like acne by clogging pores. It’s best to avoid makeup for 24 hours after treatment to allow healing. Give the skin time to recover before applying products.

Importance of Clean Makeup Tools

Makeup tools like brushes should be cleaned regularly with gentle cleansers to prevent bacteria buildup. Dirty implements can transfer microbes to the skin and potentially cause irritation or breakouts.

Recommendations for Skin-Friendly Makeup

Choose non-comedogenic, oil-free formulas labeled as hypoallergenic or gentle when makeup is used. These are less apt to disrupt healing skin. Opt for products suited to your individual skin type and concerns as well.

Expert Recommendations and Tips

  • Consultation: Schedule a follow up visit to monitor healing progress and discuss any concerns. Experts can assess if further care is needed.
  • Importance of Patience: It may take 4-6 weeks to see final results as skin undergoes collagen induction and regeneration. Stick to an aftercare plan without picking.
  • Seeking Additional Treatments or Touch-Ups: Most acne clears within 2-3 weeks but a touch up may be needed. Further microneedling or extractions can be done once healed if breakouts persist.

Concluding Tips for Smoothest Recovery

a staff from Good Vibe Medical performs morpheus8 procedure

Morpheus8 is an advanced cosmetic treatment highly effective in tackling issues like acne scarring, aging signs, and lax skin. While temporary acne may occur due to the natural healing process, with proper aftercare most patients enjoy seamless recovery and excellent results.

Sticking to a gentle skincare routine, avoiding direct sun, limiting makeup usage, regularly following up with a board-certified dermatologist or injector, and allowing skin ample time to heal fully are key steps towards minimizing acne complications. Patience during the 4-6 week period is also important to achieving the full anti-aging and skin rejuvenating benefits of Morpheus8.

For any lingering questions or concerns regarding acne post-treatment, consult with the experienced providers at Good Vibe Medical. Our expert team is dedicated to delivering outstanding Morpheus8 treatments and extensively guiding patients through optimal healing. Book for a consultation today or call us at (973) 620-2069.