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The Derma-roller is one of the most astounding and innovative developments in the skin-care field. It is normally used on areas of the skin and scalp which need treatment. The roller stimulates blood flow to the surface of the skin, gives a skin massage, and at the same time stimulates collagen re-growth, while clearing out the pores.
Derma-rolling is also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), Skin rolling or skin needling, and PCI micro needling.
Essentially, the derma-roller is a hand-held, cylindrical device which is studded with a large number of precision – engineered titanium micro-needles.
The derma roller needles can be of several lengths and densities. The most popular is the Derma roller with 0.75 mm to 1.0 mm micro-needles length. During derma-rolling sessions, the micro-needles puncture the top-most layer of the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. This layer is called the Stratum Corneum, or “Horny Layer” consisting of dead cells. This top-most layer is composed of 15 to 20 layers of flattened cells with no nuclei and cell organelles. The procedure creates micro – holes, or micro – channels, in this layer, without damaging the dermis, i.e. the lower layer of the skin. Studies have demonstrated that rolling over an area of skin with a derma roller device, for around 8 to 15 times, will produce hundreds of miniscule holes per square cm. Micro-needling or “Collagen induction therapy” induces the release of growth factors. These stimulate the synthesis of new natural collagen and elastin in the lower layer of the skin, the dermis. New capillaries are also formed. Thus, the treatment leads to the formation of healthy new skin and the reduction of all types of blemishes and scars.
This device can be used on almost all areas of the body, including the face, neck, scalp, arms, legs, stomach, buttocks, etc. However there are certain sensitive areas, described in detail below, where you should not use it.
Derma Roller skin therapy for acne scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
Derma-roller therapy has also been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of acne scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, scars, cellulite, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, and photo-ageing. These skin problems all have their origin in a lack of collagen. The use of a derma-roller can help your skin renew and repair itself to a cosmetic level. Derma Roller skin therapy is an all-natural cosmetic procedure which can be done in your own home, though it is always advisable to consult with your cosmetologist or dermatologist first. Derma Roller skin therapy is also known as “micro needle therapy”, “non-surgical face lift” and “skin needle therapy”.
It also helps ingredients and nutrients to be quickly absorbed through the skin, enhancing their efficacy so it can also be used for trans-dermal substances delivery.
Further, the Derma Roller gently exfoliates excess skin cells which contribute to scarring, hair follicle malnutrition, or premature aging, which can ultimately lead to hair follicle atrophy (death), stretch marks, wrinkles, cellulite or scarring. The roller stimulates blood flow to the surface, gives you a deep skin massage, and cleans out your pores. This stimulates collagen re-growth and gives the skin a fresh and rejuvenated look.
Derma roller treatment is also very effective for cellulite treatment, face firming, and face & body lifting.
Derma-roller therapy for Hair Loss
Derma roller therapy has also proved to be a promising therapy for treatment of hair loss, or alopecia, especially when it is used alongside conventional treatments such as Minoxidil or Propecia (Finasteride). Basically, the Derma-roller therapy allows deeper, direct penetration of the topically applied medication. This encourages better absorption and activates the scalp’s own natural healing and rejuvenation mechanism. This has been established by a number of studies, which have confirmed the effectiveness of this technique. It slows hair loss and leads to new hair growth. You can see a great reduction in hair fall and a dramatic increase in new hair growth when you use this revolutionary Derma-roller therapy.
Further, this technique is relatively simple to use. You can go to a dermatologist’s clinic, or even carry out the needling yourself, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, using the small and effective Derma-rollers available in the market. These machines have a very small micro-needle length, so that they can be used safely with minimal risk. Used correctly, as per the instructions, they will not cause any bleeding, but will gently and effectively stimulate the scalp. The derma- roller should be rolled over the affected areas of the scalp, with regular pressure, daily or weekly according to the directions provided. During derma-rolling sessions, these micro-needles will puncture the epidermis, i.e. the outer-most layer of the scalp, creating large numbers of micro-holes and tiny channels, without damaging the dermis, or the inner layer. Studies have demonstrated that rolling over an area of skin with a derma-roller device for about 8 to 15 times will produce hundreds of holes. This is a minimally invasive procedure which will allow the easier and deeper penetration and absorption of any topical medication such as Minoxidil or Propecia, and thus aid in the re-growth and rejuvenation of the hair.
How to use your Derma Roller safely and effectively
1. Before beginning the procedure, be sure that you wash your hands and face thoroughly, and scrub all areas well, to remove any bacteria that may potentially cause infection.
2. First of all, you need to choose the correct length of the micro-needle you plan to use, according to your skin area, skin condition and what you aim to achieve.
3. Your cosmetologist will advice you on which cream you should use before beginning the procedure, in order to prepare your skin.
4. Many patients do not require any anesthetic. If you have sensitive skin, however, you can use a topical numbing cream to avoid any pain or discomfort.
5. You should operate the Derma Roller using short rolling movements. These movements have to be done in an orderly and even manner. Smoothness and uniformity of strokes will assure a smooth result. The same strength and pressure should be applied on the device at all times. Do not press harder on some areas.
6. Each area of your skin should be treated with 3 steps of needling, to enhance the optimum formation of the micro-channels. You have to roll in 3 directions on each area of your skin or face: i.e. horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. With your free hand, hold a section of the skin, stretching it very lightly to give it some slight tension. Place the skin roller on that area and roll with a steady motion to the end of that section. Use the roller around 7 to 15 times on each area. You should try to ensure that the entire surface is rolled, and not even a centimeter is missed out, so that you can achieve a uniform and professional result. However, you must take care that you never repeat the rolling twice in the same session, i.e., never re-roll an already treated area.
7. To obtain optimal results in eliminating acne scars, other procedures such as subcision, punch elevation, etc, may also be combined with the procedure. Your dermatologist will advise you about these.
8. To reduce swelling and redness after the session, apply a cool mask or cold packs to the treated areas. This will help to ease any discomfort also.
9. Use of a moisturizing serum is advisable after every session, so that your skin can obtain the maximum benefit to support collagen synthesis and skin rejuvenation.
10. Be sure to avoid going out in harsh sunlight, and to use a sun block cream, for at least 7 days after the procedure.
11. There should be a gap of approximately 4 to 6 weeks between the procedures to allow the skin to repair and rejuvenate itself, and to obtain the fresh and youthful skin that you desire. Needling your skin more often will not give you better results. In fact it may lead to problems as the skin needs some time to heal and repair itself, and build new collagen. This process takes about 40 days, so keep this in mind when deciding the frequency of using your derma roller. Your dermatologist will be the best person to guide you about the frequency.
The Derma roller should never be used on sensitive areas of the skin like the armpits, and pubic area. Do not ever use it on non-skin areas like the nipples, lips, eye-lids or eyes.
Do not use your roller if your skin is injured or swollen, or if you have active acne lesions on your skin. This may worsen the condition, and could lead to development of an infection.
If you have had any type of herpes virus, even if is currently dormant, you should not use the derma roller on that area, because it may cause the herpes to flare up again. If you have suffered from cold sores (herpes complex) in the past, make sure the derma roller does not touch the lips when you are treating the area just above your lip line. If it does, it may cause a flare up of the cold sores. If using too much pressure or very long needles is creating severe pain, reduce it immediately. The whole procedure should be felt as slight pain or discomfort, but there should not be any severe pain.
Use shorter needles of 0.2 to 0.5mm for the facial area, as it is much more sensitive than the other areas of your body.
IMPORTANT – When done in the correct manner, this process does not draw a single drop of blood. If at any time during the procedure blood is drawn, it means that you are doing it incorrectly, and you should stop the procedure immediately.
Also, remember that you should never, never share your Skin Roller with anyone. This could lead to a cross infection.
Use of Creams during the procedure
First, you should be sure to disinfect the area of the skin you will be derma rolling. Use any type of disinfectant that suits you, e.g. Medicinal Alcohol. Next, you should apply a numbing cream, which is used for numbing the skin to feel less pain. Many people, however, do not feel the need for a numbing cream. In case you choose to use one, you should apply it only after applying the disinfectant. After the initial absorption (10-20 minutes), you should wipe away any cream that remains with paper towels.
Next, if you are using any special cream, e.g. for reduction of stretch marks, or for hair growth, apply a small amount of it and massage it into your skin.
You can now begin the rolling procedure.
After the procedure, apply some disinfectant or antibacterial solution at this point, and let your skin absorb it for about one or two hours. Then you can rinse it off with cold water. If you wish, you can apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation and redness. Also, you can apply more of the cream product of your choice. It is advisable to use a soothing lotion or a moisturizer. Use a high-quality product that contains vitamins A, C and E for maximum soothing of the skin.
The derma-roller needles can be of several lengths and densities. Various needle sizes are available. The 1.0 mm, 0.5, and 0.25 mm needles are more often intended for home use. The 1.5mm needles are usually for body use. The 2.0 mm needles are usually meant for use on scars and stretch marks.
The needles should pierce the skin to an adequate depth that will effectively assist in the absorption of skin care products, and remove wrinkles and skin pigmentations. They will also help in smoothing acne scars, pregnancy lines, and thick wrinkles and large pores. 0.5 mm and 0.75 mm needles are the most effective length of all, and can be used at home, without causing much discomfort.
However, it is important to note that the needles meant for home use are much smaller than the ones used by professionally trained operators. Never use longer needles that may cause bleeding as this may even lead to further scarring.
Remember that, used without proper instructions and care, derma rolling can damage your skin and may even trigger an infection.
Frequency of use
Different areas should be treated at different intervals.
If you are just starting to use the Derma Roller, stick with 0.25, and 0.5 mm needles, and use them only once in 2 or 3 days.
Normally, 0.25 mm, and 0.5 mm needles should be used once in 2 days. These needles are mainly used to improve absorption of applied skin or hair care products and can be safely used at home.
0.75 mm needles should be used once every 3 to 4 weeks.
1.00 mm needles should be used once every 5 to 6 weeks.
1.5 mm and 2.00 mm needles should only be used once every 7 to 6 weeks, as the body needs time to recuperate and heal after treatment. These needles should ONLY be used by trained professionals, or under professional supervision.
Please note that the above guide is only to give you an idea of the frequency of use. If your skin is still red, swollen or inflamed after the previous treatment, you must be sure that you do NOT perform the procedure again until the skin has healed completely, no matter what is stated in the guide. Over-use of the derma roller will interfere with the collagen synthesis and may lead to adverse effects. Remember that your skin must be fully recovered before you perform another treatment.
CE Certification, which stands for "Conformité Européene" means that your Derma roller has been approved for use and sale, and conforms to certain standards. The CE marking is the manufacturer’s certification that this product fulfills all the requirements that are applicable to certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). It is similar to the FCC “Declaration of Conformity” used on certain electronic devices sold in the USA. It is really important that your Derma Roller has this certification, so that you can be sure that it is of a high quality.
Caring for your Derma Roller
It is essential to keep your roller in a clean and sterile condition. Wash your roller in hot running water after every time you use it. Once a week, dip the roller in a container of any disinfectant, (preferably its own container) for about half an hour. You can buy a bottle of disinfectant e.g. Dettol, Savlon, etc. from any supermarket or pharmacy. Fill the small plastic cylinder 1/4 full of disinfectant, and 1/4 full of water, so the cylinder is half full. Put the roller in it head first, for about half an hour. Shake off any excess liquid and place it on a clean towel to dry. Put it back in its own clean container and close the lid. This sterilizes your roller as well as the plastic cylinder that it is stored in.
Remember that, over a period of time, even the strongest needle point will lose its sharpness. The roller should be replaced when this happens. After about 6 to 8 months of use, your derma roller will usually start losing its sharpness. It is an unfortunate fact that even the best and sharpest razor blades, knives or scalpels will gradually become less sharp. You should not keep using your derma roller after its needles become blunted by normal usage, or even due to improper care of the product.
Getting great results with your Derma Roller
Remember that you need a lot of patience when you are going in for Derma Roller therapy. You should not expect to see a miraculous result within a few hours after using the device, as the skin needs time heal itself, and repair the hundreds of micro-wounds made by the Derma roller. Your body needs time to produce new collagen and repair the micro wounds with fresh and youthful new skin. If you use this device regularly and meticulously, following the instructions carefully, you will soon see the results in the form of a fresh and rejuvenated skin, new and luxuriant hair growth, and a glowing and healthy complexion!