Dermaroller Therapy and Skin Needling

Monday 21 October 2013

Dermaroller Therapy and Skin Needling

What is a derma roller?

Derma roller vs medieval torture device
A derma roller compared to a medieval torture device
Derma roller is a hand-held rolling device with lots of needles. It is used to rejuvenate ageing skin, reduce the appearance of scars, improve the texture of the skin and for a lot more.

According to Daily Mail, it resembles an antiquated torture equipment, which I found rather hilarious. If we zoom in to a photo of a dermaroller, the similarities are obvious.

I cover a lot of things in this post, however, please read the other article which discusses things you need to know BEFORE buying your first skin needling device.

How does skin needling work?

Skin needling or micro needling works by making tiny wounds in the skin. As the outer layer of our body heals, collagen and elastin production is stimulated, which helps us fight ageing. Appropriate size needles must be used for this to happen. If only very short needles are used, production of collagen and elastin may not be effected. However, it will then allow deeper penetration of cosmetic products, such as serums or anti-aging face creams, which in turn may produce some positive results.

What should you use a derma roller for?

A typical derma roller

Micro needling can be used to smooth out scars, wrinkles, improve the texture of the skin, i.e., minimise the pores in some cases. It can also be used to reduce stretch marks, cellulite and even thinning hair. Rather impressive!

When should you NOT use skin needling?

You should avoid using the device if you have one or more of the following:
  • active acne
  • active herpes infection
  • fungal infection
  • eczema
  • psoriasis
  • moles
  • skin allergies
  • any open wound, etc.
Do not use a dermaroller if you have any problems with skin healing.
Follow special instructions if you are pregnant or lactating. Always consult a doctor if you are not sure about whether you should be using the needling device or not.

How frequently and how to use a derma roller?

1mm titanium microneedle derma stamp,
usually used for more difficult to reach
and delicate areas, such as around eyes
Do your treatment before going to bed as your skin is likely to be very red after the needling. You certainly do not want to go out for at least a few hours after the needling session. You may need to use makeup to hide the redness in the morning, but it depends on how aggressive your treatment was. If you roll the device gently a few times only, your skin is likely to be fine in the morning.

After you have sterilised your dermaroller and the outermost layer of your flesh, some numbing cream may be applied on the treated areas, but it is optional. Personally, I have never used any numbing cream, but a sterilising solution is easy to acquire. I got mine at Boots for approximately £5.

The procedure does hurt a little bit, especially if a derma roller with longer needles is used, so the aggressiveness of the treatment depends on your tolerance to pain. Usually a derma roller will come with instructions on how to use it, but you can just simply roll it on those areas that you want to rejuvenate the most. It is advised to roll up to ten times in each direction: up and down, and across.

The same applies to treatment frequency; some sources claim that a derma roller with needles of up to 0.5 mm may be used as often as one likes, but frequency of needling with longer needles needs to be around once a month. The longer the needles, the less frequently a derma roller should be used.

You can apply a serum and/or a moisturiser during or after the derma rolling treatment. This will give you maximum benefit as your skin's permeability is particularly high during or immediately after the procedure.

In the morning a sun cream with high SPF is a must, i.e., SPF 30 or more. If it's a hot sunny day, then a sun block should be used, or, even better, plan your treatment when the sun is not at its hottest: on a cloudy day or in winter.

Do not use a derma roller with irritating products, such as retinol cream, especially of high concentration. Avoid steam, sauna rooms and high temperatures after your treatment. Do not use scrubs, exfoliating products, microdermabrasion for around a week after skin needling.

Do not share your derma roller or stamp with anyone.

Needle sizes

Different uses attract different needle sizes:
  • Any size needle can be used for cellulite reduction. 
  • Needles of size starting from 1mm should be used to reduce stretch marks.
  • 0.5 to 1.5mm needles used for anti-ageing. 
  • 0.75 to 1.5mm - for acne scars.
  • Deep scar removal from 1.5mm needle size.
  • Hair restoration 0.2 to 0.5mm.
  • Pigmentation treatment 0.75 to 2mm.
  • For increased nutrient absorption for face needle size up to 1mm should be used.
Ideally, derma rollers or stamps with 1.5mm needle size or even longer needles should be left for physicians' use.

Does it work? Dermaroller results, before and after pictures

I am a huge fan of derma rollers, and became one before even acquiring my first device. How can this happen? Well, I'm impatient, and figured that any sharp needle should be a reasonably good approximation of the genuine article. There was no specialist treatment involved and I did not have a derma roller, but I could see the technique was working.

Dermaroller before after
Before and after pictures: my forehead four years ago(at the top)
and now (bottom picture) after using a needle and a derma roller
to smooth out the wrinkles
I had these annoying two lines (glabella wrinkles) in between my eyebrows which had started appearing when I was only 27, so I targeted them. You are welcome to read my other article called How to Get Rid of Glabella or Furrow Lines Between Eyebrows or watch my YouTube video on How to Get Rid of Frown Lines Between Brows. After sterilising the needles and the treatment area, I punctured the problem wrinkles multiple times. I did this a few times for a few weeks, then I stopped. After a couple of months of not doing anything the wrinkles did not come back, so I was in awe. I cannot say that the lines are fully gone, but they've definitely faded, and no one, except me, can notice them now, whereas before they were easily visible.

Now a dermaroller and a derma stamp are permanent fixtures on my make-up table. I love these skin needling devices. Given my sensitivity to pain, I usually have only a short session once or twice a week before going to bed. My skin looks smoother and I believe at least some of the effect is permanent.

Botox alternative

For those who have never considered botulinum injections for line smoothing this may sound crazy, but I know at least a couple of girls that have been addicted to Botox since their mid or late twenties.

So, for all those young Botox fans I would h
ighly recommend to replace that expensive habit with skin needling or a derma roller.

Firstly, the needling smoothes out the wrinkles. Some of the dermaroller effect is temporary due to swelling, but there is also some genuine anti-ageing effect, which is permanent.

Secondly, you will save yourself a lot of money and you will reverse some of the effects of the ageing process; botulinum toxin injections, however, only produce temporary results and they are very expensive.

Here I have added my favourite device that you can buy straight from my blog. This derma stamp is a real time saver if compared to a single needle, but it's not as harsh as a derma roller can be. It's perfect for someone starting out. Definitely worth some consideration if you are serious about getting rid of your lines.

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