Derma rollers were initially introduced in 2006 primarily for treating acne scars. Since then, they have evolved to address various skin concerns and conditions. Nowadays, people use it for different purposes, including promoting hair growth on the scalp, reducing the appearance of stretch marks, improving the appearance of chickenpox or accident scars on the face, and addressing androgenetic alopecia (baldness).
Derma rollers are tiny skin devices with many needles, and they come in different sizes from 0.5mm to 3mm. Usually, people use needle lengths from 0.5mm to 1.5mm.
How do derma rollers work?
Derma rollers work by harnessing the power of micro-needling, a technique that stimulates the skin’s natural healing processes and collagen production. When these fine needles gently pierce the skin’s surface, they create micro-injuries, activating the body’s repair mechanisms. This process helps with skin rejuvenation.
Dr Santosh Patani, hair and skin specialist in Pune, explains, “It increases collagen production, which helps in treating facial scars and reviving the skin,” he says. Collagen is a protein responsible for maintaining skin elasticity and youthful appearance. The micro-needling action of derma rollers triggers collagen formation.
According to Dr Patani, apart from making the skin soft and supple, these rollers allow products to penetrate deeply into the skin. “The needles create microchannels in the skin, facilitating the enhanced absorption of skincare products,” he says. This deep penetration ensures that the ingredients in these products work more effectively, leading to superior results.
Benefits of derma rollers
A 2016 study conducted by Dr Aashim Singh and Dr Savita Yadav from AIIMS, New Delhi, found that microneedling stimulates the reorganisation of existing collagen and the formation of new collagen resulting in tighter skin. After six microneedling sessions at two-week intervals, there was a significant increase in collagen types I, III, and VII, as well as newly synthesised collagen. This process reduces fine lines, wrinkles, pore size, and enhances skin suppleness and elasticity, contributing to a more youthful appearance.
When performed by professionals, derma rollers offer numerous benefits with minimal side effects like mild to moderate skin irritation and redness.
Dr Vijaya Gowri Bandaru, visiting consultant in dermatology at Sakra World Hospital, Bengaluru, notes that improvements in various skin concerns, including scars, stretch marks, and androgenetic alopecia (baldness), can be observed. Dr Bandaru notes, “Typically, improvements in scars can become noticeable from the fifth day of derma rolling, with the most noticeable changes occurring between the fifth day and two months after the treatment.”
Advantages of derma rollers
- Derma rollers reduce the appearance of scars, such as acne scars, stretch marks, and surgical scars.
- The collagen boost helps achieve a more youthful complexion. It diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a smoother and firmer appearance.
- Derma rollers can also stimulate hair growth on the scalp, making them a useful tool for addressing hair loss or thinning hair.
- These devices create microchannels in the skin, allowing skincare products to penetrate more effectively. This enhances the absorption of ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
- Derma rolling may help reduce pore size, leaving the skin looking smoother and more refined.
Professional supervision is key
Both experts pointed out that derma rollers should not be used without professional guidance. Dr Bandaru highlights that anaesthesia is often administered during the procedure to ensure a pain-free experience. Attempting derma rolling at home, without proper supervision, can lead to discomfort and potentially undesirable results. As such, it is strongly recommended to seek the expertise of a trained professional. Dr Patani highlights that some users may experience mild discomfort initially due to the tiny needle pricks, making it essential for beginners to seek professional guidance. He also emphasises the importance of careful analysis and ingredient selection. To make sure the treatment is safe and works well, one should think about allergies and skin sensitivities.
Frequency of usage
The frequency of using derma rollers varies person to person. Dr Patani stresses that it depends on the patient’s needs and skin type. “It is not a one-size-fits-all approach,” he says. It’s essential to consult with a professional who can prepare the treatment plan as per one’s specific requirements.
Before using a derma roller, it is crucial to consult with a dermatologist. They can assess one’s skin’s condition and needs. Dr. Patani emphasises the importance of proper analysis and evaluation of the skin, along with the selection of suitable ingredients. He mentions that it is important to consider allergies and skin sensitivities. The ingredients one chooses are crucial for making sure the treatment is safe and works well. Dr Bandaru advises, “For first-timers, it is crucial to avoid outdoor activities immediately after the procedure and minimise sunlight exposure.”
An effective tool for better skin
Derma rolling is a groundbreaking technique with the potential to address various skin concerns and enhance the absorption of skincare products. While its benefits are impressive, seeking professional guidance and supervision is paramount to ensuring a safe and effective experience. With expert guidance, derma rolling can be an effective tool in your skincare routine.