What Is Micro-Needling?

Microneedle therapy (also referred to as Skin Needling or Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT)  is one the newest, easiest and most effective skin treatments available and is a process which can be carried out clinically or in the home. Skin Needling or Micro-Needling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy which is intended to significantly improve the appearance of acne scars, aged and sun damaged skin, facial and décolleté lines, wrinkles and stretch marks. It is also said to be useful in dramatically increasing absorption of topically applied skin preparations.

How does skin needling work?

 The concept of skin needling is based on the skin’s natural ability to repair itself whenever it encounters physical damage such as cuts, burns and other abrasions. Immediately after an injury occurs to the skin our body reuses the damaged collagen and elastin fibres as well as other damaged skin components to produce new ones. Skin needling allows for controlled induction of the skin’s self repair mechanism by creating micro “injuries” in the skin which triggers new collagen synthesis, yet does not pose the risk of permanent scarring. The result is smoother, firmer and younger looking skin.

How is the skin needling treatment administered?

Skin needling procedures are performed by professionally trained medical practitioner with the use of the sterile Dermaroller/ Dermastamp in a clinic or salon. The procedure is normally completed within 30-45 minutes depending on the required treatment and anatomical site. Before the procedure commences a topical anaesthetic or local block should be applied to the client’s skin to ensure their comfort and a painless experience. After the skin is numbed, the practitioner gently rolls or presses the  Dermaroller/ Dermastamp over the client’s skin to puncture the outermost layers of the skin and create miniscule sub-cutaneous injuries. These microscopic wounds stimulate new collagen deposition which may last for up to a year, yet they close within less than an hour causing no bruising or injury.

What happens post-treatment?

After the procedure the clients skin will be red and flushed in appearance in a similar way to moderate sunburn. The client will also experience skin tightness and mild sensitivity to touch on the area being treated. This will diminish greatly after a few hours following treatments and within the next 24 hours the skin will be completely healed. After 3 days there is barely any evidence that the procedure has taken place.

How quickly are results visible?

 Visible results of skin rejuvenation are seen after just 6-8 weeks following procedure and continue over the following months for up to a year. A course of three  skin needling sessions, at 6-8 week intervals, is usually recommended to achieve optimum results; however great skin improvement is noticeable after just one treatment. Clients are also encouraged to use the Home use  Dermaroller/ Dermastamp model on a daily basis in between their  skin needling sessions to enhance procedure results.  

Is skin needling safe?

 Skin needling does not involve injections and therefore allergic reactions and side-effects are unlikely. It is minimally invasive, involves minimal downtime (max. 24hrs), rapid healing and requires simple after-care. Clinical skin needling is minimally invasive and normally no blood is drawn, however small amounts of pin point bleeding in clients with thin skin may occur and should be considered as normal.

Can skin needling be carried out on Asian skin?

Skin needling can be safely performed on all skin colours and types. There is no risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation as the melanocytes remain intact, like the epidermis, during skin needling. Other invasive procedures such as laser resurfacing are not recommended for Asian skin due to the potential risks of delayed wound healing, pigmentary changes and scarring. This is where skin needling has an advantage as these potential risks are very unlikely due to the epidermis remaining intact. Use of skin needling is viewed as a suitable procedure as it does not affect the heightened wound healing response in Asian skin. This natural reaction is not induced by skin needling as it does not disrupt the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin which is a pigment responsible for skin colour.

Does micro-needling hurt?

The home use 0.2mm and 0.3mm models are specifically designed to penetrate deep enough to be very effective, and yet not deep enough to touch nerves and cause appreciable pain. When used according to the directions, the ultra-sharp titanium needles will penetrate the upper layers of skin without causing bleeding or permanent injury. Therefore, when using a home use Dermaroller, no topical anesthetic is necessary. Longer needles (1.0mm, 1.5mm, 2.0mm and 3.0mmm) can cause pain but also produce significantly better results. Therefore they can only be used by experts and have to be accompanied by a topical anaesthetic will be applied to numb the skin making the procedure comfortable. Normally this is a 4% Lidocaine or other anaesthetic creams applied 45 minutes before procedure takes place. Once the procedure starts if the patient is still experiencing pain, although lignocaine cream has been applied, doctors may apply 2% xylocaine directly onto the skin and the roll it into the treated area – this normally helps to improve the patient’s pain tolerance.

What topical serums can be used along with the Dermaroller/Dermastamp?

Skin needling will induce collagen synthesis on its own (dry skin needling), but skin improvements is significantly enhanced by combining skin needling treatments with the topical application of vitamin A  prior, during and post treatment. Vitamin C  is an essential co-factor to be used alongside vitamin A. Both vitamin A and C work synergistically to induce collagen synthesis and help regenerate the skin. Because treatment with the Dermaroller/ Dermastamp can also enhance the skin’s absorption of the active ingredients from topical serums and creams, it is also highly recommended to use the roller/stamp with problem-targeted products.

What are the indications for having a skin needling treatment?

Skin needling is especially effective for ageing concerns such as wrinkles, lines, folds and crows feet. Because collagen is produced, scars can also improve from treatments especially indented acne scars or chicken pox scars. Pigmentation issues can be helped including hyperpigmentation as well as hypopigmentation. General lack of skin radiance, skin firmness and compactness are also an indication for skin needling treatments and visible improvements can be seen.

What are the contraindications of skin needling treatments?

Relative contraindications include; keloid or raised scarring; history of eczema, psoriasis and other chronic conditions; history of actinic (solar) keratosis; history of Herpes Simplex infections; history of diabetes; presence of raised moles, warts or any raised lesions on targeted area. Absolute contraindications include; scleroderma, collagen vascular diseases or cardiac abnormalities; Rosacea and blood clotting problems; active bacterial or fungal infection; immunosuppression; scars less than 6 months old.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with skin needling?

Side effects experienced with skin needling are very minimal and usually subside within 24 hours. They include redness, stinging, itching, tightness and slight peeling.

Titanium Dermastamp vs. Titanium Dermaroller

What is the main difference between the Dermastamp and the Dermaroller?

Both the devices are innovative skin rejuvenating techniques in the form of skin needling. Dermaroller has a cylindrical barrel with microneedles arranged in rows which is rolled over the skin to stimulate collagen and help rejuvenate the skin area. Dermastamp boasts all the benefits of the Dermaroller but the circular head comprising 38 microneedles ensures accuracy and precision for specific, localised skin concerns and hard to reach areas.

Can both devices be used together?

Yes, the devices will complement each other and can be used together when a whole rejuvenating treatment is wanted. For example, if a complete anti-ageing facial treatment is required then the Dermaroller can be used on the larger areas on the face (cheeks and forehead) followed by the Dermastamp being used on the smaller, target areas (around the eyes and peri-oral area).

Why are Medik8 rollers better?

Because the Medik8 Titanium Dermaroller can be used more intensively than previous dermatological versions, the needles benefit from being manufactured from Titanium and not stainless steel. Titanium gives a finer edge that lasts much longer, preventing excess irritation caused by blunted needles. The needles are manufactured in Sweden as engineering parts, not in China or Korea where many skin models are manufactured. The titanium needles are also gold-plated to help inhibit microbial growth and maintain sterility. This technology produces extremely accurate and pinpoint punctures in the skin, with the aim of improving the treatment results, while ensuring user health and safety. No other needling devices are made with Titanium needles.

If I have wrinkles, which skin needling device should I use?

Skin needling is very effective for ageing concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles and skin that has lost its elasticity. The device used depends on the size and anatomical site of the target concern. If the wrinkle is isolated or around the eye or peri-oral area, then the Dermastamp device would be best suited due to its enhanced precision capabilities to accurately target the concern. Larger areas of ageing concerns such as forehead wrinkles would be best treated with the Dermaroller.

If I have scars which skin needling device should I use?

If you have localised, isolated scars for example individual acne scars, then the Titanium Dermastamp is ideal to accurately target the scar to encourage rejuvenation. Larger scarred areas for example, as a result of major accident or large burn scars, then the Titanium Dermaroller would be more appropriate.

If I have pigmentation issues, which device should I use?

Isolated pigmentation issues such as age spots or white spots can be accurately targeted with the Titanium Dermastamp. Larger areas of hyper- or hypo- pigmentation can be focused on with the Titanium Dermaroller.

Can the Titanium Dermastamp and the Titanium Dermaroller be used on all areas of the body?

The Titanium Dermastamp can be used on all areas of the face and body, including the delicate eye and peri- oral area. This area is difficult to reach with a Titanium Dermaroller which was addressed in the design of the Titanium Dermastamp.

How does the application method differ?

Both devices are available in personal use models as well as clinical and medical treatments. Instead of rolling the device across areas of skin as with the Titanium Dermaroller, smaller, targeted areas are ‘stamped’ with the Titanium Dermastamp by repeatedly pressing the needles into the skin concern.

Is one device easier to use than the other?

Both devices are safe and easy to use. Neither device is easier to use over the other but they are both designed to target different areas and concerns. Titanium Dermastamp has an enhanced handle grip for greater control and accuracy during use.

Is there a difference between the mechanisms of action?

The mechanism of action of the titanium skin needling devices work in much the same way. The precision engineered titanium needles penetrate the epidermis of the skin and provide penetration pathways to enhance the absorption and consequently, the power of the topically applied skin care product. In addition, longer needles encourage independent stimulation of new collagen synthesis, resulting from the skin’s natural healing response.

Are the treatments administered in the same way?

Yes. Treatments are administered in a similar way using anaesthetic if required followed by needling and either finished with the application of Medik8 skincare products or left as a dry needling treatment.