Micro-needling is one of those skin treatments that sounds—and looks—mighty strange. Also called derma-rolling or Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), the treatment involves using a handheld rolling device— known as a dermaroller— with 200 very tiny needles that is rolled over your skin. The theory of course, is that rolling the dermaroller across the skin and creating the tiny holes which penetrate the skin’s epidermis produce hundreds of microscopic channels under the skin, which stimulate the body’s own functions to produce more collagen. As a result, the skin is thickened, looks plumper, fine lines and acne scars are less visible, collagen is jump started, and we know the rest.
Most often the procedure is done in a dermatologist’s office, although there are home treatment kits available. The cost varies depending on where you live in the country, but they can range from $300 to $500 per session. My advice is to have the procedure performed professionally to see the proper technique demonstrated, and to find out if it’s appropriate for your skin issues.
As with any skin treatment, there are pros and cons to be weighed. Only you can decide if this treatment is right for you, but here are some factors to consider:
Visible results. The results of micro-needling can be pretty dramatic for a variety of skin issues. It can reduce acne scarring, diminish the appearance of fine lines, melasma, and even improve stretch marks. And, they say the results are sustainable and long lasting, in some cases reported up to several years.
Improves penetration of products. This is probably the biggest “pro” reported—that the dermarolling improves the penetration of serums with vitamins A and C—helping the skin appear fresher and younger. This is a crucial aspect to the success of the treatment. You should continue to use topical vitamins A and C for at least six months after your procedures to ensure the continued production of healthy collagen and elastin. And, while we’re on the subject of products, skin needling enhances your skin’s permeability to whatever is applied—so, in my humble opinion, I’d make sure that all the products, serums and vitamins you use are as pure as possible.60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream, and after micro-needling, the skin is able to absorb up to 1,000 times more product, so to me, it’s even more critical that what you put on your skin is reputable, nutrient-filled and synthetic-free.
Minimal side effects. While your skin is red and irritated following the treatment, there’s a relatively short healing period—usually no more than seven to ten days, and often much sooner. There’s also little or no sun sensitivity, and no post-treatment pain. Because there’s no permanent damage to the skin, the treatment can be safely repeated for better results. Compared to other treatments such as dermabrasion and chemical peels, micro-needling sounds far more “skin-friendly.”
Can be painful. Well, let’s be honest. Rolling a device with hundreds of needles over your face is going to hurt a little. There are different needle lengths, and some people report only minimal pain, while others find it pretty uncomfortable. Many dermatologists apply a topical anesthesia to minimize pain and you can certainly ask for this cream.
There are risks. It’s important that the dermaroller be thoroughly cleaned between each use in super-hot water. Quality equipment that’s appropriately cleaned and sterilized is a must. There is the possibility of drawing blood, leaving the skin open to infection. If you purchase a micro-needling kit for home use, make use it’s for your use only—never share your dermaroller with anyone.
May take a while to see results. Since the effectiveness of the treatment is dependent upon the formation of new collagen, results can take three to nine months to be fully apparent. Two or more additional treatments may be required, and you’ll need to space out the treatments, typically four to six weeks apart.
Before you decide to run with the roller, spend some time researching whether it’s really for you, and safe for your skin condition. But if like the idea of your skincare products working harder for you with micro-needling, give it a whirl!
About the expert
Suki Kramer founded Suki Clinically-Proven Natural Solutions Skincare with a commitment to education, empowerment and 100% natural beauty products that work like they should. Suki’s vision for the brand is without fail reinforced by an open and honest belief that every beauty product should guarantee efficacy and longstanding benefits to its users. Her passion for effective, natural products and ingredients has made her a leader in the health skin movement.