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Submitted by Dr. Mohan on 08 December, 2011

We introduce a completely new and easy way of improving the firmness, elasticity and glow of skin. This can be done easily in the office and later at home and is relatively inexpensive.

Called Derma-Roller and by various other names, this method involves making thousands of controlled micropunctures on the facial skin using a spiked roller device. Although it sounds like a torture method, in reality is is quite easy and well tolerated. The needle spikes are so tiny that it is not very painful; besides, in the professional procedure, a numbing cream is applied before-hand.

The theory: Each needle puncture is treated by the body as a small tiny injury and the body heals it by producing new collagen tissue. Multiply this by thousands and an impressive amount of neo-collages is formed. Many other methods aim and hope to do the same by heating the skin layers to a controlled degree by laser and other such energy sources. Doing this by spiked rollers is simpler and cheaper. The other aspect is the temporary breach of skin security. Again while this is itself sounds bad, this short time period can be exploited to deliver active nutrients and substances deeper into the skin – something which otherwise would not be possible. Skin is a tough barrier and many medicines and active substances cannot penetrate the skin.

The proof: Research has proved that there is 1. Increased new collage and increased skin water content as well as thickening and 2. Increased permeability to substances. The long term persistence of the extra collagen is however unproven but it does stay in the medium term. Repeat skin stimulations are easy and recommended

How is it done?There are two levels of this treatment: 1. The professional and 2. The self treatment. In the professionally performed treatment, rollers with longer spikes for example 1mm are used in order to do deeper in the skin. This is done in the clinic after applying skin numbing cream and professionally cleaning the face. Infections are avoided by following all surgical precautions. This should only be done by the doctor. A serum containing nutrients is applied finally to take advantage of the increased permeability. At the end of the procedure the face is reddish and appears as if mosquitoe bitten. But this clears up quickly in a day or two. In about 3 weeks, one can experience tighter and fresher skin.

In the self treatment, the subject uses her/his own roller to do the same at home following instructions given by the doctor. Numbing cream is not necessary, the rollers spikes are shorter [0.5 mm]and finer and usually there is no bleeding. Serum is applied after the rolling. This continues to maintain the benefits brought on by the earlier professional rolling sessions.

Cautions: The rollers should be sterile, They should NEVER be shared by two persons. Safe disposal of such sharp rollers is mandatory, the used ones may be brought back to the clinic/hospital for disposal following safe practices.

What can you expect? Tighter skin with better glow, less fine wrinkles. This method cannot correct deep wrinkels or facial sagging or volume loss but it nicely complements any other deeper surgical or non-surgical treatments.

Its place in therapy:

  1. Someone who is interested in improving skin texture, laxity and fine wrinkles but does not want anything very involved or expensive. Derma rolling can give useful improvement and can help her to enter the world of advanced therapies with smaller steps.
  2. Following gel injections or facial fat grafting to get that extra tightening of skin
  3. After laser or chemical peels to have something easy to do herself in order to maintain the benefits at home.
  4. For dull skin where active ingredients need to penetrate the skin to achieve greater effect
  5. For a busy person who cannot afford longer down times but wishes to delay skin sag and ageing of facial skin.

Who should not do it:

  1. Persons with keloid tendency
  2. Getting frequent cold sores
  3. Person on Ro-Accutane treatment
  4. Person on blood thinnners.
  5. Person having active infection in the area
  6. Any other person who in the doctor’s opinion is risky.