Did you know your body’s powerhouse making collagen slows down from around 30 years old. That means that skin repair happens far more slowly as we age.

Dermal rolling with the intention of inducing collagen production started being used around 1995, although an earlier German dermatologist came up with the idea of causing trauma to the skin to result in healing in 1905.

Today, there are a wide variety of skin rollers as well as needling devices that are either stand alone or combined with radiofrequency to stimulate and tighten the skin.

Dermal rolling has a few functions

  1. stimulate collagen by tricking the body into thinking it’s been damaged, thus turning on the healing mechanism that incorporates making more collagen
  2. creating channels in the skin so products are not only applied to the outer, dead skin cells, but actually penetrate into the deeper layers
  3. disrupt skin cell bonds causing them to break so that the cells slough off quicker, leaving fresher cells- this helps to give the skin a glow.

Almost all skins benefits from dermal rolling. But sensitive skin and skin with active acne or other infections, should stay away from this process. You don’t want to spread infection by rolling needles over the area.

The needles used for rolling vary from very short, to longer, in clinic needles. The longer the needle, the more uncomfortable. Short eg 0.2mm needles are, at worst, minimally uncomfortable and shouldn’t leave any marks. When done on a daily basis, from home, results are cumulative and build over time. Microneedling refers to short, at-home rollers whereas needling usually refers to the in-clinic and in-salon treatments, which usually have some downtime or recovery time.

The effectiveness of any active skincare products is usually enhanced by adding in microneedling. Scars are improved and improvement in sagging and wrinkles is seen.

I spoke with Florida USA, dermatologist, Dr Neal Beightol, and asked him how its possible that at-home microneedling can deliver such incredible results. He explained that the consistency and frequency of use results in small benefits that compound over time. Unlike in-clinic treatments where the skin is more traumatised and has to recover, microneedling at home results in a regular, gentle, yet effective benefit.

This makes sense to me. I had tried resurfacing laser for depressed scars that were caused by High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU) burns. Not much changed with the scars. Subsequently I began microneedling daily at home and within around 10 months, the scars became almost invisible. My delight and amazement were massive as I hadn’t expected a simple treatment to have such an impact.

Bear in mind, if you use a roller regularly, you need to make sure you sterilise it. Otherwise theres a good chance you will develop a skin infection!

(This article does not constitute medical advice. Please make sure to discuss your individual circumstance with your healthcare provider)