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 hassle-free and comparatively cheap modality which can also be used to administer drugs through the transdermal route.
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 typical dermaroller used for acne scars is drum-shaped and studded with 192 microneedles – 0,1 mm in diameter and 0.5 to 1.5 mm in length – arranged in eight rows. Reactive ion techniques are used to stamp the microneedles into silicon or medical-grade stainless steel. The instrument undergoes pre-sterilization through gamma irradiation. Medical dermarollers are designed only for single use.
How It Works
Every needle on a medical dermaroller has a length of about 0.5-1.5 mm. During treatment, the needles prick into the stratum corneum of the skin and create holes known as microconduits, without damaging the epidermis. Dermarolling over a specific area 15 times creates approximately 250 holes per square centimeter. Microneedling stimulates the release of growth factors that lead to the production of new collagen (natural collagen) and elastin in the papillary dermis (upper layer of the skin). Additionally, new capillaries are formed, and with this post-treatment neovascularisation and neocollagenesis comes a visible reduction of scar tissue. Therefore, the procedure is suitably called “percutaneous collagen induction therapy,” and is often used to treat photoageing treatments too.
Dermarolling Acne Scars
Microneedling or dermarolling is fast and simple procedure that can be done in any office. First, topical anesthesia is applied to the area of treatment, where it is left to work for 45 minutes to an hour. 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 entire procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how large the treatment area is.
Before a second treatment is performed, at least six weeks should pass – the period required for the formation of new natural collagen. For moderate acne scarring, three to four treatments are usually necessary.
In general, microneedling is well-tolerated by patients, although it can cause erythema, which may last for a maximum of three days following treatment. The dermatologist may advise photoprotection for one week and prescribe local antibiotic creams. Normally, patients will be able to go back to their regular routines after 24 hours.
Home-use dermarollers are often shorter than 0.15 mm in length, and are very useful for the transdermal delivery of lipopeptides and many other anti-aging substances. 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.