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What Is A Dermaroller? It is a skincare/cosmetic device used to help rejuvenate the skin, stimulate hair growth, treat acne scarring, and reduce signs of aging. It can fill in fine lines and wrinkles, reduce under-eye bags and dark circles, improve skin texture, reduce the size of pores, and fade blemishes and marks. The dermaroller was introduced in the mid-90s, however, it got traction within the last few years as it is an accessible, effective, and relatively non-invasive skin treatment. Over a short period of time, it has gained mass popularity and acceptance as it is a simple, cheap, safe, and effective technique requiring minimal training.

It also can be used for intradermal delivery of drugs and vaccines. Studies suggest that 90% of the serum gets absorbed into the skin during dermarolling. The dermaroller dilates the infundibulum and hence that serves as an additional route of penetration of the drugs and cosmeceuticals.

Types of Dermarollers

Five basic types of medical dermarollers registered with the FDA are as follows and most dermarolling devices are adopted from these elementary types

  • C-8 (Cosmetic type), is the basic dermaroller with a needle length of only 0.13 mm (130 ?m) used for enhancing penetration of topical agents. It is completely painless.

  • C-8HE (Cosmetic type for hair-bearing surfaces, scalp) has a needle length of 0.2 mm       (200 ?m). Even this length is below the pain threshold.

  • CIT-8 (CIT: Collagen Induction Therapy) has a needle length of 0.5 mm (500 ?m) and helps in collagen induction and skin remodelling.

  • MF-8 type has a needle length of 1.5 mm (1500 ?m). This creates deeper microchannels on the whole epidermis and dermis and at the same time destroys scar collagen bundles.

  • MS-4 is the only dermaroller that has a smaller cylinder, 1 cm length, 2 cm diameter, and subsequently 4 circular arrays of needles (total 96 needles) that have 1.5 mm length. It is used in areas where better precision and deeper penetration is required. It is mostly used on facial acne scars.

  • Devices similar to MS-4 are available with needle lengths of 0.5–0.75 mm, which are used for thin-skinned areas such as the periorbital and perioral regions.

Home care dermaroller

Home-care dermarollers (C-8) are used by patients themselves as they are of needle length less than 0.15 mm . They can be used twice or thrice a week for up to 100 times. After use, the rollers should be cleaned in hot tap water and shaken dry

Precautions To Be Taken

  • Individuals with pre-existing eczema, psoriasis, and warts should not use rolling as it is likely to exacerbate the condition.

  • Avoid derma rollers in active acne (open wounds or cysts).

  • A person needs to have a fairly high threshold for pain and discomfort caused during the procedure.

  • One needs to take care of device hygiene by cleaning it with a sterilizing agent and soaking in alcohol-based soak.

  • Cleanliness of skin is utterly important as the procedure is associated with blood.

  • Ensuring fineness of the needles, as thick and blunt needles would damage the skin.

  • Need to take precautions in people with health conditions like diabetes which can slow down wound healing.

  • Taking anticoagulants or other medications, if required.

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When the tiny sharp needles of dermaroller are rolled on the skin surface it creates many microscopic injuries on the skin (that can bleed). This prompts the body’s natural healing mechanism that sends collagen and elastin production into overdrive to heal the injuries. The result: skin becomes tighter and plumper. For more pronounced results lipopeptides and other anti-ageing topical medicines can be used after every session of dermaroller.

Similarly, the dermarolling of the scalp also prompts to produce more collagen which supports the growth stage inside the hair follicle and improves blood circulation. The increased blood circulation is a reaction of the epidermis to the wound, hence, it is highly advised to apply topical medicine that substantiates the hair growth such as peppermint oil or minoxidil following dermarolling sessions.

Dermaroller studded with 192 needles of 200 µm length and 70 µm diameter create approximately 250 holes/cm2 when applied 15 times over a certain area.* Skin produces new collagen (natural collagen) and elastin in the papillary dermis in response to microneedling as done by dermaroller. This neovascularisation and neocollagenesis following the treatment with dermaroller leads to the reduction of scars. A recent study of microneedling therapy showed safety and effectiveness against atrophic acne scars in Vietnamese patients.

Similarly, clinical studies in androgenic alopecia patients demonstrated clinical effect after using derma-rolling for hair loss over 12 weeks. In a small study of alopecia areata patients, dermaroller used three times at three-week intervals showed significant results.

People with acne scarring, larger pores, who want a skin-tightening boost, androgenic alopecia and hair thinning for hair regrowth get benefitted. For acne scars thicker and deeper needles are required and to tighten the pores short needles are required. For hair regrowth, microneedles of 0.5mm are sufficient in most of the cases. The needle length of 1.5mm and above may require professional expertise.

Microneedling induces wound healing cascade with minimal damage to the epidermis, which, allows enhanced absorption of topical medicines across the thick stratum corneum. Microneedling as novel, simple, well-tolerated and cost-effective treatment is increasingly popular among the dermatologists. The procedure also allows cosmetic and therapeutic benefits for the topical delivery of medications in the treatment of atrophic scars, alopecia, actinic keratoses, photoaging, and disorders of pigmentation such as melasma. Hence, it can be used to treat localized diseases of inflammation, dyschromia, and photodamage by using as adjunctive therapy for enhanced drug delivery.

While varying dermarollers with different needle length are freely available in market and online, a dermatologist’s expertise is needed:

  • To understand whether the condition would benefit from dermaroller or some other procedure is required.
  • The technique is tough to perform on your own face and scalp so need expert handling as inefficient use can potentially lead to scarring or inadequate coverage of the area to be treated.
  • Self-application of pressure is always inhibited due to pain sensation experienced while dermarolling.

At Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions, we have hundreds of treated patients who have benefited immensely from Dermaroller treatment for hair loss and scars. The experienced staff takes the utmost care to deliver treatment following scientific methodology, safely and hygienically.

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