The Dermaroller, How It Works and Its Benefits
Microneedling with dermaroller is a new treatment method against wrinkles, scars and stretch marks, and for total facial rejuvenation. It is a straightforward and relatively cheap modality that may also be used for administering drugs transdermally.
Dermaroller first became popular as a simple way of treating scars, specifically acne scars. With minimum training, any licensed dermatologist can safely use it.
The Dermarolling Instrument
The usual dermaroller used for acne scars is made in the shape of a drum and has eight rows of 192 microneedles, each one with a diameter of 0.1 mm and a length of 0.5-1.5 mm each. Reactive ion techniques are used to stamp the microneedles into silicon or medical-grade stainless steel. Gamma irradiation is used to pre-sterilize the instrument. Medical dermarollers may only be used once.
How It Works
Each medical dermaroller needle is 0.5-1.5 mm long. During treatment, the needles stick into the skin’s stratum corneum and create microconduits or holes very gently – that is, without causing epidermal damage. Dermarolling over a specific area 15 times creates approximately 250 holes per square centimeter. Microneedling causes the release of growth factors that stimulate new collagen (natural collagen) and elastin formation in the top layer of the skin known as the papillary dermis. Moreover, new capillaries are formed, and because of such neovascularisation and neocollagenesis that follow treatment, scars are evidently reduced. Hence, the procedure is rightly called “percutaneous collagen induction therapy,” and has been used for photoageing treatments too.
Dermarolling and Acne Scars
Dermarolling or microneedling is a quick and easy procedure that may be performed in any office. The area of treatment is first anesthetized for 45-60 minutes using topical anesthesia. When the area has been readied, the dermatologist begins dermarolling, making 15 to 20 vertical, horizontal and oblique, horizontal and diagonal strokes. The site will then be wet with the use of saline pads. The whole procedure runs for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area.
Before the next treatment, no less than least six weeks must pass – the time it takes for the skin to form new natural collagen. Moderate acne scars will probably require three to four treatments.
Microneedling is generally well-tolerated by patients, but it may cause erythema that may last for up to three days after treatment. Photoprotection for one week is recommended and application of local antibiotic creams may be necessary. Patients can usually return to their normal routines the very next day.
Self-use dermarollers are typically shorter than 0.15 mm, and come in handy for delivering lipopeptides and other anti-aging substances through the transdermal route. In most cases, they are designed for biweekly use up to a hundred times. After each use, the rollers should be cleaned using hot tap water and shaken dry.