Dermaroller (Micro-Needling) Treatment: Indications, Benefits and Side Effects
Dermaroller treatments are also known as Collagen Induction Therapy or Micro-Needling treatments. Dermaroller treatment uses a series of needles to stimulate the collagen in skin cells. Collagen gives skin its tightness, which in turn results in better looking skin. Secondly Micro-Needling also helps in resurfacing the skin- much like what a medium depth chemical peel does, but with much less side effects. If you’re interested in having Dermaroller treatments, there are a few things you should know about the indications, benefits, and potential side effects of those treatments:
Indications (Are You a Good Candidate?)
There are several types of skin problems that can be treated with Dermaroller treatments. Here’s a quick list of the most common:
- Skin Wrinkles/ Aging
- Skin Tightening (much like how some Medical Lasers help)
- Skin Pigmentation (melasma, tanning etc)
- Various Types of Scars including acne scars and chicken-pox scars (Deep Scars May Require TCA cross chemical peel or Surgery in addition to dermaroller. Your doctor will discuss this with you before starting the treatment sessions)
- Alopecia (Hair loss), especially when combined with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy.
Of course, there are some relative contraindications to Dermaroller treatment. Patients with active skin infection in the form of impetigo, herpes etc, should avoid treatment until the infection subsides. Similarly patients with a history of recurrent cold sores/ herpes might need prophylactic anti-virals prior to treatment. Anyone still having active acne outbreaks probably won’t see good results from Dermaroller treatments, until the acne is controlled. Also, the treatment can cause people with bleeding disorders or people who take Aspirin and other blood thinners to bleed excessively. It is therefore important to seek a Dermatologist Consultation before you decide to undergo dermaroller treatment.
What happens during treatment? How is Dermaroller performed? How many treatments are needed?
The procedure itself is a relatively easy one. It is performed in an office/ clinic, but it may take quite a while, since the topical numbing cream needs to be applied for around 30-60 mins prior to the start of the procedure. Once the area is appropriately cleaned and numbed, the technician will use the dermaroller to roll over the skin in varying directions for approximately 15- 20 minutes.
It’s possible that you could experience minor petechial bleeding during or immediately after the procedure. Sterile gauze should be able to control it. Remember that the area should be kept clean and sterile after treatment.
You should also be aware that multiple dermaroller treatments (usually 6-10) may be necessary to achieve the result that you want. However, treatment sessions should be spaced a minimum of 3 weeks apart to allow the formation of new collagen between treatments.
One thing that attracts many people to Dermaroller treatment is its relatively low down-time and minimal side effects. The commonest side effect is facial redness/ erythema, minor swelling, oozing, or discomfort immediately after the procedure, which can last from 12-24 hours depending on your skin type. The treatment itself can be a bit painful/ uncomfortable. However the pain/ discomfiture is minimal as a local anesthetic cream is used before treatment.
After the first 12-24 hours you will notice that your face will start to peel off. The peeling can last from 1-7 days depending on your skin type and depth of needles used. It is important during this time to follow your doctor’s instructions, use liberal amounts of emollients and avoid any sun exposure. It is recommended to avoid any other facials/ creams unless recommended by your doctor.
Other than that, there is a small possibility of developing bacterial infections. But this isn’t usually a problem if the procedure is performed in a clean environment. Hyper or hypo pigmentation may rarely occur after treatment. This is again very rare and usually happens only if the treatment is performed by an untrained doctor/ technician.
If you are looking for a skin treatment with little recovery time and minimal side effects, Dermaroller treatment is a good option. Although, depending on the technique used, the size of the needles, and other factors you may not feel up to resuming your normal activities for a few days after your treatment is performed.
Benefits of Dermaroller Treatments
One of the biggest benefits of Dermaroller treatment is that it can be used on several different parts of the body, unlike some treatments that are specifically meant for the face or neck. Also, if you happen to have dark skin, you probably know that a lot of traditional skin treatments including chemical peels can cause pigmentation problems. That’s not the case with Dermaroller treatment, which is an excellent option, if you want to avoid any unpleasant pigmentation. Another benefit of Dermaroller treatment is that it doesn’t have the finality of some other treatments. In other words, there are certain skin treatments that aren’t safe to repeat, but you can have Dermaroller treatment any number of times.
As you can see, Dermaroller treatments aren’t for everyone. But, if you’re a good candidate, they can make a big difference in how you look, and by extension how you feel about yourself.