Derma Roller Microneedling is a very popular anti-ageing treatment that creates visible results with no downtime. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our microneedling treatments. If you’d like any more information, call 02037 335839 to speak to one of the team or arrange a consultation.
Medical Micro needling is a treatment that constitutes a form of Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). It is also referred to as a non-ablative skin treatment. This means that the deeper parts of the skin are treated without removing the top layer of skin. It is designed to treat various skin conditions such as fine lines and wrinkles, light scarring from acne and photodamage, and to improve skin colour and other skin texture changes.
The idea behind Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) is similar to that of many other non-surgical skin-tightening procedures in that it aims to create a controlled injury underneath the skin’s surface, thereby inducing the body to respond through the formation of new tissue layers of elastin – and collagen fibres (neo-collagenesis) as well as new capillaries for an improved blood supply (neo-angiogenesis) in the treated area. The skin plumps and thickens in response to this stimulus, ultimately reducing the appearance of scars, and fine lines and other skin texture changes. In addition to CIT, the channels made from the micro-needles allow topical gels and creams to be absorbed more effectively through the top layer of skin.
Microneedling improves the skin by improving thickness of the dermis as well as the epidermis. This in return improves skin texture and reduces wrinkles. It can also have a positive effect on hyper-pigmentation as well as on hypo-pigmentation. Disfiguring scars, especially acne scars, can many times also be improved. New collagen fibres elevate any depressed scar tissue. An improved blood supply (neo-angiogenesis) into the previous fibrotic scar tissue also harmonises and blends the pigmentation with the periphery skin.
As already mentioned, medical microneedling is a non-ablative treatment i.e does not remove the top layer of skin. Alternatives are the ablative skin treatments such as lasers, chemical peels and dermabrasions which do remove the top layer of skin and subsequently have more down time and associated side effects and possible risks. However, in situations where the top layer of skin is more obviously affected with more severe changes in colour, wrinkles and quality of skin, then ablative treatments may be indicated and preferred over non ablative skin treatments.
Unlike ablative procedures which are mainly used for facial skin, the Medical Microneedling can be used on all skin parts of the body (neck, décolleté, arms, leg) and face.
The skin is cleaned and numbed with an appropriate numbing cream. Occasionally local anaesthetic injections may be required in certain sensitive areas. The treatment involves rolling a small hand held roller device that is covered with numerous tiny closely-spaced needles many times back and forth along the affected skin region. The skin is thoroughly needled in such a way, that each skin part is needled about 15 to 20 times. As the device rolls along the skin, these needles penetrate the upper layers of skin to a depth of up to 2 mm (depending on the needle length used) producing thousands of tiny puncture marks or micro-medical needle-channels in the skin. Each channel goes no deeper than the skin layer and will be approximately 0.1 mm in width. An even pattern of petechiae (minute haemorrhagic spots, of pinpoint to pinhead size, in the skin) develops after the procedure and is usually the best indication that the procedure has been done effectively. More recently our clinic has also been using the Dermastamp which works slightly differently from the roller device by being more useful in certain difficult to get to areas.
In general, the whole procedure takes between 20-30 minutes depending on the area treated.
A numbing cream on the skin is used before the treatment in order to render the procedure significantly less painful. Very occasionally a local anaesthetic injection may be needed for very sensitive areas. Nonetheless, some pressure sensations will still be felt, although these should not be too painful.
Recovery after this treatment depends on the length and density of the needles of the rollers used. The skin will be pink or red in appearance for 24-48 hours, much like a sunburn with some minor bleeding and very occasionally mild bruising. The skin may also feel warm, tight and itchy for a short period. Generally the inflammatory reaction of the skin is usually quite short and fades significantly after a couple of days on average, depending on the skin colour of the individual. Patients with a more sensitive skin type or older patients may take upwards of one week to fully recover.
Side effects and risks are minimal with this type of treatment and typically include minor flaking or dryness of the skin, with some mild scab formation in rare circumstances. Infections are extremely rare. Since the tiny pricking channels close within minutes, and provided the procedure is done under clinical conditions, post-op infections are very unlikely. Nonetheless small white skin spots (milia) may form on the skin which can be treated if these become persistent. As this is a non ablative treatment hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin area treated is highly unlikely but can very rarely occur. This is usually temporary and subsides after the first couple of months. Suitable make-up will be able to conceal this if necessary. If you have a history of cold sores we may need to prescribe appropriate anti-viral medication prior to treatment to avoid any appearance of your cold sores.
Following treatment it is advised to use tepid water to cleanse the face for the first 48 hours and to dry the area gently without rubbing. Please ensure your hands are always clean when touching the treated area to avoid any infections. It is also advised to avoid applying make-up products for the first 12 hours following treatment although after this time mild mineral based make-up products are allowed. Optimally it is suggested that you use a home based cosmetic dermaroller 2-3 times a week in conjuction with an appropriate regime of topical skin care products to maintain results. We will advise you accordingly at the consultation.
It can take between 6- 8 weeks before visible signs of skin regeneration are seen but the process will continue to evolve over the ensuing months providing a gradual improvement. Although a single treatment can provide a noticeable result, ideally a series of 2-3 treatments spaced about 6-8 weeks apart, are recommended to achieve optimal results.
As often as required, but with a minimum separation time of 6-8 weeks between treatments.
Principally there is none, both models (medical and home care) only differ in needle size. While the medical Dermarollers used in the clinical settings have longer needles from 0.5 to 1.5 mm to induce collagen in deeper skin layers, the needles of the Home Care Dermaroller are very short, not more than 0.18 to 0.20 mm. In fact, when done at the home you only get a reddening of the skin which lasts for a few minutes. It should become part of your daily routine, Although the Home Care Dermaroller does not induce new collagen formation, and is not suitable for scar treatment, it does however help to maintain healthy looking skin. The Home Care Dermaroller basically helps to: (a) Stimulate epidermal cells for proliferation that results in a faster renewal cycle of the epidermis and thickening of the epidermal cell layers. (b) To improve and support results after and in between collagen induction therapy from medical microneedling. (c) To enhance active substances through the skin barrier (stratum corneum) by removing sticky scales on the stratum corneum that block gland ducts and pores.
Generally it is not suitable for patients who have used Roaccutane (isotretinoin) within the last 3 months, or have any history of keloid, hypertrophic scars or poor wound healing, or those who have open wounds, cuts or abrasions on the skin. Moreover patients who have had radiation treatment to the skin within the last year are also advised to not have this treatment. It is also best avoided in any patient who has any kind of current skin infection, condition, herpes simplex in the area to be treated.