Recently, a patient interested in anti-aging skin techniques wanted to know about Derma Rollers. So, I thought I’d put together some information for my readers as well so that all of you can benefit. A Derma Roller (also called skin roller, microneedling, microneedle roller) is a device that is used in Dermatology Esthetics (skin beauty) as an anti-aging device. Here’s what you should know about the procedure before deciding to spend money on a treatment…
Can You Look Younger Using a Derma Roller?
Many of you over the age of 45 are looking for products and treatments that will turn back the clock on your skin’s appearance. There are many devices, creams, and procedures available on the market that promise some rejuvenating or age-reversing quality. The Derma Roller is one of them. It is a hand-held device that has a roller barrel end covered with very small needles – often called microneedles. These microneedles come in different lengths recommended for different skin treatment effects. For example:
- 0.25mm – Increased penetration of skin care products; improvement of color and texture
- 0.5mm – Smoothing of wrinkles, light acne scarring, mild chicken pox or ice pick scars, also recommended for thinning hair
- 1.0mm, 1.5mm – Softening of deep stretch marks, reduction of cellulite and deep scarring — 1.5mm is generally the maximum needle length recommended for facial use
- 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm – For more severe deep scars and wrinkles, badly damaged skin
How Is A Derma Roller Used?
After the application of a topical anesthetic, the dermatologist, or esthetician, rolls the Derma Roller over your skin several times to create thousands of microneedle columns. These tiny needles reach the innermost layers of your skin and stimulate production of collagen and elastin. These two substances “knit” your skin more tightly together so it can resist developing lines, wrinkles and furrows. The more collagen/elastin your skin has, the less profound the lines and wrinkles will be. Stimulating the production of collagen and elastin helps rebuild lines and wrinkles from the inside out. These columns then heal rapidly and create the “wrinkle refill” effect that is visible within 6 weeks, sometimes sooner, depending on the collagen level in the person’s skin to start with. Usually 3-4 treatments are scheduled, with 6 weeks intervals between for healing.
Reviews from people who have had professional Derma Roller treatments are, for the most part, pleased with their results. They do make your facial skin rather reddened for a few days, which subsides. The cost of Derma Roller treatments can vary in different parts of the country from $100 to over $200 per treatment. There are also personal Derma Roller devices that you can buy and use at home but the results are largely dependent on the individual person’s understanding of how to properly use the device.
How Effective Are Derma Roller Treatments?
Pros: Clinical research studies have shown that using a Derma Roller can be a useful, non-surgical, non-ablative (tissue destroying), age-fighting method of skin rejuvenation. It’s been shown to be helpful in reducing fine lines, as well as deeper wrinkles; reducing the severity/look of stretch mark scars, cellulite, and evening out hyperpigmentation (overly colored) spots.
Cons: In anecdotal testimonials from customers using at-home Derma Rollers, the drawbacks can vary from a) not working at all, b) fine lines became worse but overall skin tightness improved, c) dryness, redness of the skin (a good moisturizer is always recommended after professional treatments), d) some pain in using them (they’re not getting the topical anesthetic that professional dermatology estheticians use).
What Else Can You Do To Prevent Aging Wrinkles?
There are several diet and lifestyle practices that can make your skin age faster and more profoundly than it needs to. Here are some of the worst offenders:
- Nutritional deficiencies. Diets deficient in Vitamin C and protein will show up on your face in telltale deep lines and wrinkles as both help build collagen and elastin.
- Toxin exposure. Smoking also robs your body of its Vitamin C stores as well as oxygen. It also adds 4,000 toxins to your body each time you smoke. This overall body toxicity that smoking creates can result in profound reduction in skin elasticity and wrinkling.
- Sun exposure. A little sun everyday is good to help your body make beneficial Vitamin D which keeps your entire body healthy. Yet, too much sun can act like a toxin to your skin – decreasing collagen and elastin and causing wrinkling and “sun spots”, or solar keratosis, those brown spots some older people develop.
- Dehydration. Lack of proper water intake everyday can result in your skin losing its water base beneath the surface and result in sagging and wrinkling. Be sure to drink half your body weight in water ounces per day. Example: If you weigh 160 lbs, you need to drink 80 ounces of water per day. Water also flushes toxins out of your skin which helps your largest organ (your skin) detox.
How well you take care of your skin (and your general health) to begin with – diet, sleep, water, cleansing routines, sun/weather exposure, etc – can determine how well your skin ages. I have patients in their 80’s who have beautiful, clear, unlined skin, and much younger patients whose skin makes them look older than they are. The reason is that everyone’s skin ages differently, depending on their overall health and what toxins, stress, etc, they are exposed to. Following the recommendations above will help your skin stay younger looking much longer.
If you’re interested in possibly getting a Derma Roller treatment, before you go out and buy your own device, I recommend you first try a professional level treatment by a dermatologist or a dermatology esthetician – it can make a big difference in your results. In addition, there are several videos on YouTube that feature the Derma Roller procedure that you might want to check out as well.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Natural Health News
Derma Roller and Microneedling, http://www.bcam.ac.uk/about-aesthetic-medicine/treatments/dermaroller-micro-needling.asp
A Review of Derma Roller, Home Micro Needling, Scar, Wrinkle and Cellulite, http://www.dermarollerreview.com/
Derma Roller Stories http://www.realself.com/review/sf-bay-area-derma-roller-hope-pain-equals-gain