Smoother looking skin & reduce lines with Dermarolling
Skin needling is the method of pricking the skin with tiny needles to :
- tighten loose skin and reduce lines or wrinkles,
- reduce scarring (e.g. acne scars, surgical scars, pitted scars/indented scars, raised scars/hypertrophic scars)
- restore normal skin pigmentation (e.g. hypopigmented, hyperpigmented or uneven skin)
Dermarolling is skin needling done with a dermaroller. A dermaroller is a hand-held roller with a surface of tiny needles. They come in different lengths and sizes.
A look at what happens to skin during and after needling
Why skin needling and dermarolling can be effective
To understand why skin needling or dermarolling can be so effective to all the conditions above, it’s necessary to have a basic understanding of what happens after skin is pricked by a needle deep enough to cause pinprick bleeding.
To the human eye, after the skin is pricked by tiny needles, the pinpricks will bleed slightly, scab and then heal. This appears to be the end of the story. But it isn’t.
Beneath the skin’s surface, much more is going on. In fact, the healing response which begins immediately upon the injury kick-starts a healing process that last for several months, and up to a year. This natural healing process is when the real improvements take place.
An overview of the needling/dermarolling healing process over a 12-month period
- Fibroblast will migrate to the injured site and produce and deposit new extracellular matrix
- The new matrix cross-links and organizes itself
- Over time, new collagen will:
- fill in any depressed scars and deep lines that are present
- break down and reorganize any scar tissue
- realign and stimulate new pigmentation
- After a few months, this new collagen will start to shorten. This leads to the slow tightening of the skin.
- After a year, this healing process will eventually lead to the formation of a thick layer of collagen, healthy elastin and improved blood flow at the initial injury site. Nestled in a small area, each needle prick’s healing process will blend seamlessly together to lay down an almost continuous sheet of collagen below the epidermis.
- The visbile results of these can be that:
- Hard or raised scars will soften and flatten
- Indented scars like acne pits will fill in and appear less depressed
- Lines and wrinkles will soften, revealing tighter and smoother skin
- Hypo-pigmented areas will regain coloring, while hyperpigmented (darkened) skin will lighten to the color of normal skin
- Restored nerve endings will renew the skin sensitivity for badly damaged areas
The advantages of skin needling and dermarolling
The surface skin remains intact. Unlike lasers which burn through the skin’s layers, including the topmost surface layer that is visible to us (the epidermis), needling does not destroy the surface layer. The tiny pinpricks will bleed with the initial injuries but these heal quickly, leaving the visible skin intact. As the skin is intact, there is no peeling or molting involved. And with that, very little downtime (roughly 5 days).
Low maintenance. The long healing process underneath will happen without any intervention. You may have to needle the site a few times for the best results, but other than that, your own body’s healing mechanism will do all the work.
Needling results in thicker and healthier skin. Needling does not permanently damage skin like lasers can. In fact, the skin’s natural healing mechanisms leads to healthier and thicker skin.
- If you decide to start skin needling and intend to do it yourself, you should be prepared for some amount of pain. The pain can range from mild discomfort and redness (for shallow pricking) to that of getting a tattoo (for needle pricks that penetrate about 1.5 mm into the dermis and cause slight bleeding).
- In general, deeper needle penetrations into the dermis produces better collagen and elastin production. The breaking of blood vessels appears to be key to kick-starting the 12-month healing and reorganizing phase. Anecdotal evidence supports this as some people have reported that treated areas that bled and scabbed led to better results than ones that didn’t.With very short needle lengths, the needle only reaches the topmost layer and there may be improvements but no dramatic results. However, even with very short needle lengths you may find improvements as any topicals you use after needling will penetrate deeper and become more effective many times over.