Microneedling is a procedure gaining incredible momentum in the medical aesthetic world. Environ™, led by plastic surgeon Des Fernandez, MD, introduced a microneedling roller as far back as 1996 for treatment of fine lines around the mouth. I have used an Environ™ derma roller for many years. There are new dermal rollers entering the market every year. Most have a needle range of 0.25 – 2.50 mm. Many and find it to be a cost effective anti-aging option.
How Derma Roller Microneedling Works
Microneedling is a procedure whereby thousands of tiny holes are punctured in the skin. It is ‘controlled skin injury.’ These holes or ‘micro-wounds’ trigger the body to fill in these holes by producing new collagen and elastin in the dermis along with new capillaries. The new blood flow and collagen production results in improvement of scars and rejuvenation of the skin. The texture, firmness and hydration of the skin are also improved. The depth of the needle penetration dictates the level of injury to the skin and the potential results to be achieved. So why is microneedling increasing in popularity? I see six main reasons.
Reasons to Choose Microneedling with a Derma Roller
- It is an effective means to treat a wide variety of common skin concerns.
- It is less expensive than laser skin resurfacing. We all know laser treatments are expensive; because lasers are very expensive. The cost for buying or leasing a laser will rival most home mortgages. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of cosmetic laser treatments but I am also a realist. Most people will choose to get tangible results for less money when possible.
- There is far less downtime with microneedling vs. laser skin resurfacing.
- Unlike chemical peels, microneedling can be used on any skin type.
- Studies have shown that microneedling with a derma roller is a simple, inexpensive method for treatment of facial scars.
- Microneedling creates hundreds of micro-channels allowing for enhanced penetration of skin care products deep into the dermis.
“Microneedling Helps the Skin Help Itself”
We have seen this before
In medical aesthetics we have seen other types of skin damage result in improved skin appearance. Chemical peels, for instance, penetrate through skin layers in an attempt to clear dead cells and stimulate new skin cell and collagen growth. New cells make the skin more vibrant while new collagen (and elastin) makes the skin more smooth and firm.
The Derma Roller Verdict
Microneedling has clearly come of age. It is less expensive, comes with less down time and is less damaging to the skin than laser resurfacing. Microneedling with the use of a dermal roller brings a long list of benefits to your skin. Unlike chemical peels, it can be performed on all skin types. Derma roller devices (i.e. Skin Spin) offer people a very cost effective at-home way to treat a wide range of skin concerns including:
- Fine lines and Wrinkles
- Mild to moderate acne scarring, or other scars
- Loose skin (the face, neck, décolleté area)
- Uneven skin texture or large pore size
- Stretch marks
- Melasma / hyperpigmentation
A few cautions with the Derma Roller:
- While your skin is healing, sun exposure should be limited for at least 2 weeks (or use SPF 50).
- Avoid use of Aspirin or NSAIDS (Advil/Aleve) for 3 days prior to 2 weeks after procedure.
- Avoid use of Retinoid (Vitamin A) creams or serums for 1 week.
- Skin infections should be fully resolved for 1 week prior to treatment.
- Micro needling should not be done until 3-4 weeks after Botox, Dysport or dermal filler treatments.
- Not all needles are the same, and the treatment can be technique dependent. For example, overly aggressive needling may cause scarring and potential hyperpigmentation in certain skin types.
Anti-Aging skin care, to a large degree, involves making improvements to the surface (epidermis) while improving the collagen and elastin (architecture) of the dermis. Microneedling is one procedure that provides and effective means of making noticeable results in both the epidermis and dermis of your skin, leading to a fresh, vibrant and youthful result.
Dean M. Tomasello, MD