People are often haunted by skin problems throughout their lives. Sometimes these problems remain the same, sometimes they get worse, and in most cases they have a negative psychological impact.
A huge industry has developed around trying to address skin problems around discoloration, cellulite, aging, acne and scarring. And often it appears that spending a large sum of money creams or specialist treatments is not needed. A growing group of people are finding that simply using a derma roller on the skin can over time have an amazing effect.
It may seem unlikely that a skin condition which has a negative impact on your life can be improved simply by rolling small needles across it, but an increasing body of evidence suggests the case.
Obviously results will vary, but if you can improve your self-esteem, not feel so self-conscious, and maybe even improve your quality of life by minimizing the visibility your skin problem, then experimenting using a derma roller on your skin is a low-cost way of doing just that.
What Is A Derma Roller & How Does It Work?
More and more people are using derma rollers to combat conditions such as acne, scarring, cellulite, stretch marks, and improve the texture of the skin and pores.
A derma roller is simply a metal or plastic handle with a roller on it. The roller contains hundreds of small needle points that you roll across the skin.
So known as micro needling, when you roll a derma roller over your skin, small needles puncture it creating micro wounds. The result of this is an increase in blood flow and collagen production in the area, sent by the body to deal with these wounds.
This mini trauma to the skin, repeated occasionally will help your skin to reactivate the healing process and potentially reduce the effects of skin conditions through the collagen and elastin production creating new skin cells that start to fill out and reduce the existing problem.
Is A Derma Roller Safe? Any Side Effects?
The great news is that under normal conditions using a derma roller is safe. It can be a gentle and effective way of treating skin conditions such as acne and cellulite.
However, you must ensure that the derma roller is sterile, and also that the skin is sterilized before and after treatment, to reduce the risk of side-effects through infection.
Generally, when you use micro needling, you will experience some side effects which are normal:
These side-effects are completely normal, as long as they are within the bounds of normal. Soreness and redness should disappear after a couple of days. Blood that doesn’t stop flowing means you have applied the derma roller far too heavily and should seek medical assistance.
Generally, micro needling is well tolerated by the skin. However, side-effects can be above normal if you have problems with blood clotting, poor healing or other conditions which could react negatively.
How Derma Rollering Can Help Your Skin
In terms of the effects of using a derma roller on your skin, the creation of increased blood flow, collagen and elastin will produce stronger new skin cells.
On top of that, this improved healing process create thicker, rejuvenated skin. If you make sure you are eating well and using other relevant treatments, micro needling can really reduce the effects of many skin conditions:
Particularly with acne, a derma roller has been shown to deliver very positive skin responses.
There are two types of acne scar, depressed scars (ice pick, boxcar and rolling) and raised (hypertrophic) scars. Micro needling has produced good results on both types, although less successfully in deeper pitted scars.
With other conditions relating to scarring, micro needling helps because it produces collagen which helps to reduce scar tissue. A lack of collagen is a key reason why the skin does not regenerate as it used to, which is why all skin creams use it. The problem is that topical skin creams don’t penetrate the skin well, so collagen made in the body is more effective.
Does The Science Back The Benefits Of Micro Needling?
The problem with anything you read on the Internet is wondering if it’s true, or if it’s just yet another piece of Internet hype with no evidence backing it up.
But thankfully, micro needling skin benefits are being proven through an increasing body of worldwide scientific evidence. Numerous studies point to a positive response when affected skin is treated with a derma roller.
For example, in this study subjects with different types of acne scars were treated using micro needling for several weeks. At the end the skin was visibly healing and also collagen production had increased.
This is just one of literally hundreds of studies around acne and other skin problems that have seen rejuvenating healing effects from the micro-wounding of subjects skin.
Even pitted skin has now been the subject of scientific studies in relation to micro needling. In one study conducted during 2007/8 skin casts were taken before and after sessions of micro needling which showed that micro needling positively affected the depth scars on the skin.
So there is increasing evidence that micro needling can produce an increase in collagen which over time improves the appearance of the skin.
How To Use A Derma Roller On Your Skin
The first thing to say about using a derma roller yourself is that practice makes perfect.
A great way to see how a good micro needling technique looks is to view YouTube videos. You can also practice yourself on an area of the skin that is hidden, tolerant and easy to reach, for example your thigh.
The key to successful micro needling is to choose the right gauge of derma roller for your skin. Basically, the larger the needle, the more it will damage the skin. This will mean it is more painful, there will be more blood and discomfort during and after. You will also probably experience a rash that lasts for several days.
Anything over 1mm tends to be more damaging. However, some people push up to 1.5mm with no problem.
But the recommendation to make your journey easier is to start with needles below 1mm. A great starting point would be 0.5mm and then after a few sessions try a 1mm needle size.
The basic instructions for successfully using a derma roller are:
- Choose the right needle for your skin. The more significant the issue, the larger the needle size you should choose, or work up to.
- Wash your hands and skin thoroughly with an antibacterial solution to sterilize the skin. You could also use 90% alcohol, but this can dry out the skin.
- Ensure that your derma roller is clean and sterile by submerging it in an antibacterial solution for several minutes.
- If your skin is incredibly sensitive you can use numbing cream in advance as well.
- Roll the derma roller cross your skin slowly and evenly, pressing too hard.
- Roll along the treatment area, then across it, then diagonally in both directions as well. The total passes over the treatment should be 4-7 in each spot. Don’t exceed this, and don’t go back over an area.
- After treatment, gently wash the area with cold water and again use an antiseptic liquid to keep the skin safe.
- After use, thoroughly clean your derma roller with antibacterial soap and water. Make sure it is completely clean before storing. Obviously you should never share your derma roller with anyone else.
Tips On buying A Good Quality Derma Roller
The brilliant news is that it’s very easy to get started with using a derma roller.
They are widely available from the major marketplaces, especially online stores like Amazon where they are available very cheaply.
A really good tip is to buy a derma roller kit. This comes with several different rollers, each with a different gauge of needle. This will allow you to experiment with different sizes without additional expense. You simply click in the roller and use it.
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As we have already covered, the deeper the scars, or the more serious the condition you are addressing, then generally the bigger the needle size you will require to make an impact. But you should always be conservative initially.
You will want a good quality handle that allows smooth rollering and handling. A good quality metal handle is better than plastic in most cases.
A derma roller kit will usually come in a plastic container which doubles up as a sterilization chamber for the rollers.
On top of that, a good quality derma roller kit will also contain one or more micro needle stamps. This is a flat set of needles will allow you to more carefully target certain areas by literally pressing the stamp onto the skin.
If you are certain of the gauge of needle you want, then you can simply buy a high quality single gauge derma roller. Something like titanium is superior to medical grade steel, but it’s not essential if the cost is prohibitive to you.
A good quality derma roller kit, or high quality single derma roller could cost as little as $20, sometimes even less if you are happy with a plastic handle. The best derma roller for your needs will vary, but using these guidelines will not go far wrong.
So micro needling really can be accessible to anybody, and certainly worth experimenting with sensibly if you have acne scars, discoloration, uneven skin problems or wrinkles that you would like to lessen the visibility of.