Of all the factors that make for radiant, youthful skin, collagen could be considered the single most important. It literally defines youth and beauty – in physical, structural terms. Radiant skin has an underlying padding of collagen. Collagen keeps the skin looking plumped, taut and smooth. Collagen damage leaves depressions in acne spots. It also causes stretch marks when the skin cannot catch up with sudden weight gain or weight loss. Collagen depletion causes wrinkles, lines and folds marking the passage of time.
Sometimes, a scientific solution can be ingeniously simple. The Derma Roller is one such instance. It is a handy, non-invasive way to restart the collagen engines under your skin in order to help your skin renew itself. It is based on the observation that collagen generation can be induced by deploying the process of micro-needling. This quality makes it remarkably useful for resurfacing the skin in order to reduce acne scars.
Let’s first take a closer look at the link between collagen and acne scars. Acne can leave behind two types of scars. Keloid or Hypertrophic scars which are marked by excess collagen formation. Essentially, the body healing itself too much. The other, is Atrophic scarring, formed as a result of tissue loss which makes the scar more visible. Although the type of scarring has been observed to correlate with ethnicity, Atrophic scarring is a lot more common, and responds very well to Derma Roller treatment.
The Derma Roller is a mechanical tool. As the name indicates, it has a rolling drum, festooned with over 500 thin surgical steel micro-needles with varying lengths, which can part the pores of the top layer of skin without damaging it. The roller is fixed to a handle. Hand pressure can be adjusted according to the softness of skin and the amount of penetration desired. This is, of course, up to the expertise and judgement of the dermatologist whose reading of an individual’s skin plays a large part in the quality of the treatment outcome. The wheel is rolled up and down the affected area several times.
The rolling motion of the wheel creates pinpoint punctures into the epidermis and dermis, which in turn causes tiny blood vessels below the surface of the skin to break. As a natural response, blood clots. The skin cells rush to heal this microscopic trauma, and this creates the ideal environment for collagen and elastin production through the wound healing process.
When the Derma Roller is moved across the face, it creates fine channels in the skin. These channels increase the absorption and efficiency of nutrients when applied topically, stimulating repair and regeneration.
First of all, it is reassuring to know that there is virtually no pain. The needles are tiny: 0.5 to 2.1 millimetre, and all you will feel is a tickling sensation. Your skin may turn reddish for an hour or so after the session and may feel like a light sunburn.
Positive changes in the skin are apparent within a week of the treatment. More importantly, the rejuvenation process which has been actively stimulated, continues for months after the procedure. Your skin renews itself every 40 days, so if the Derma Roller stimulation is synchronised with this cycle, changes can be quicker and more satisfying.
- Be gentle with cleansing. Use a soothing facial wash and pat the treated areas gently dry. Avoid rubbing.
- Hydration is key. Your skin is recovering from a micro-needling procedure and you need to avoid letting it dry out. Remember to moisturise – with a medicated product.
- Avoid direct sun exposure for a week after treatment, and use sunblock with SPF 350 or greater.
- Avoid skin care products that contain retinol, alpha -hydroxyl acids or Vitamin C for a week to 10 days after treatment.
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