Micro Needle Derma Roller FAQ
Q. What is a micro-needle roller?
A. A microneedle roller is a small handheld device. The main part of it is a drum studded with tiny ultra-sharp needles. The most common material used for needles is stainless medical-grade steel. The needles can be also covered with titanium vapor, which gives the needles additional strength. Titanium vapor coated needles have golden look.
Q. Does microneedle roller work for everyone?
A. As with many skincare products, the microneedle roller does not work for everyone. If you do not feel comfortable dealing with needles, even tiny ones, – then you’d better look for another product. The needling may be uncomfortable for you are sensitive to pain – just like waxing.
Also, you should take into consideration the necessity of precautions after needling to avoid possible inflammation.
Q. How does the roller work? Are there any studies that prove its effectiveness?
A. The roller works in two ways. First, it punctures the skin and the needle reaches a dermal level where the collagen matrix is located. As the needle punctures the skin, it causes a micro-damage which in turn triggers so-called “wound response” – the growth of new tissue. The same principle is used for RF and IPLlaser rejuvenation, Retinoid treatments. It is commonly known as “CIT” – collagen induction therapy.
The other application of the Microneedle roller is so-called “TDD” – transepidermal drug delivery. The studies have shown that during usual cream application such particle as liposome can only penetrate (through the stratum corneum) 0.3% of the total count, when using a microneedle roller this number increases up to 40 times.
Q. What is the difference between titanium and stainless steel needles?
A. Stainless steel needles are made of medical-grade SUS-304 steel (the same grade of steel used for manufacturing hypodermic needles). The thickness of the wire, used for the needles is 0.20mm in diameter. Titanium needles are made of medical-grade SUS-304 steel covered with titanium vapor – the composition widely used in implant surgery. It makes the steel stronger but at the same time, the wire becomes thicker up to 0.30mm. The punctures made by titanium needles are larger and more visible.
The span life of titanium needles is 6 month VS 3 months for stainless steel.
Q. What needle’s size is the right size for me?
A. Because different parts of the body have different skin thicknesses the needle lengths should be chosen accordingly.Areas with different epidermis thickness
Around the eye area, lips
Neck, decollete, wrists
Cheeks, chin – fair skin
Thighs, scalp, scar tissues
For CIT (Collagen Induction Therapy) the needle needs to penetrate 0.5mm deep into the dermis. Considering that the top layer of the skin has a thickness of 0.3-0.8mm (on a face) it gives you a 1.00mm -1.50mm microneedle roller to work with. If you have fair, sensitive skin – downgrade it one size.
Q. Is the roller one-time use only?
A. It is recommended to use micro needle roller as a single-use device if you are a professional treating clients (due to sanitary requirements).
For home use (individual) it is acceptable to use it few times until the needles will wear out.
The span life of titanium covered needles is 6 months vs. 3 months for stainless steel ones, providing the roller was not dropped, dragged, haven’t been left sitting on a hard surface, needles didn’t catch hair or clothes when rolling. It also depends on the way you roll.
You will feel that it is time to get a new roller if it starts to “pull” the skin.
Q. How to sterilize my roller?
A. The roller comes pre-sterilized in a sealed bag. The sanitation directions are included in the manual: you can use denture tablets, alcohol, or high temperature (boiling water).
Sanitation – You may use denture tablets (in water) to clean the roller. Denture tablets are enzyme cleansers and enzymes take off fat as well as reduce bacteria. While not as effective, you may also use alcohol (isopropyl). Consult a pharmacist for the best advice for a sterilization solution. Fill the small saucer or tray with sterilization solution place a soft cloth pad at the bottom and roll the roller into the pad with medium pressure. Leave the roller in the cleaning solution for about 15 minutes – ensure that the roller drum is constantly wet with the cleaning solution. Do not leave immersed in alcohol for a long time, although PE-500 polymer of the drum is chemical resistant, the long exposure may cause the polymer to swell.
Make sure you rinse the roller after sterilization and put it into the storage dry. Although the needles are made of SUS 304 steel (the same used for hypodermic needles) it is stain-less, not stain-proof and if stored moist in an enclosed environment it may be prone to corrosion. The best way is to dry it with a blow-dryer or leave it to dry completely in the open air.
This model can be also sterilized under high-temperature 130C (266F).
Q. How often to use the roller?
A. The roller with short needles (0.20-0.30 mm) that are used for product penetration may be used daily.
The roller with middle lengths needles 0.50-1.00mm may be used once a week for a few weeks. After that, your skin would need a rest.
The roller with long needles over 1.00mm may be used once in 3-4 weeks.
Q. How to roll?
A. Divide your face mentally into small squares about 1 square inch each. Choose the correct size of the roller. Do not use needles longer than necessary! There is no need to inflict more pain and take additional risk.
Roll each of the 4 axes about 10 times. Roll slow, applying a little pressure to make sure the needles penetrate the skin. Do not roll fast! Do not lift the roller from the skin in the middle of the motion.
Q. When do I see the results?
A. Normally you will notice the difference after 2-3 weekly treatments. If you use the roller for product penetration you will see results as soon as the active ingredients of your cosmetics start to work.
Besides, even if the shorter needles doesn’t penetrate deep enough to stimulate collagen fibers, they will work in the upper epidermis layer and stimulate natural growth factor and tighten the skin.
Q. Does the roller help to get rid of broken capillaries?
A. The micro-needling will not help do diminish broken capillaries, as it is not supposed to reach deeper than 0.5mm into the dermis (that is why it is important to use the proper size of the roller), but due to the overall improvement and tightening of the skin, the treated area may start to look better.
Broken capillaries can be removed by a procedure called thermolysis. During the thermolysis, high-frequency electricity of IPL flash is applied and coagulates the tissues.
Q. Does the roller help to reduce cellulite?
A. Micro needling stimulates collagen production only – it doesn’t penetrate deep in the hypodermal level, where the problem is located. Collagen and elastin fibers are located in the dermis, when the hypodermal level (the very bottom layer of the skin) holds enlarged fat cells. Using the roller you will stimulate the collagen “net” under the skin that supports the top layer and make the skin look smoother.
The best anti-cellulite procedures are vacuum massage and infra-red wraps as well as 4Khz ultrasound treatment (the latter is available in salons only).
Q. Does the roller help to reduce enlarged pores on the face?
A. The micro-needling alone will not reduce enlarged pores. You would need to incorporate some dermabrasion procedure into your skincare (glycolic peeling, diamond or crystal dermabrasion, etc.).
Micro-needling stimulates collagen production only – it doesn’t abrade the skin. Collagen and elastin fibers are located in the dermis, when the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) is responsible for enlarged pores. Using the roller you will stimulate the collagen “net” under the skin that supports the top layer and makes it look smoother.
With the use of nutrient serums when rolling, the new cells in the epidermis will start to replace the old ones faster. Together with removing the top layer of the skin with microdermabrasion procedures, you will accelerate the restoration process.
Q. Will the roller help to reduce hyperpigmentation?
A. The roller will not help with this problem. It affects only collagen fibers that are responsible for skin elasticity. On the contrary – it may cause some transient hyperpigmentation of Type IV and higher skin types. Normally, this pigmentation is temporary and will go away shortly.
Q. What topical (cosmetics) should I use before, during, or after micro needling?
A. If you use short needles for product’s penetration (which by the way provides results in skin tightening and wrinkle reduction as well) you should apply active serums or creams before needling. You can use any of your favorite products, providing they come in airless pump-up bottles that prevent the serum from contamination by bacteria.
Do not use creams in jars, where you scoop them with your finger. Those creams are usually full of bacteria and may cause inflammation of the skin.
For deep rolling (CIT), prepare the skin for few weeks before you start your needling sessions by applying vitamin C serum. You do not need to apply any product when needling. You may use a numbing cream that contains lidocaine (Novocain). Apply the numbing cream and let it sit for about 5 min. so it will start working. Lidocaine numbing effect lasts for about 15-20 min.
Wash your face with boiled saline water after the procedure and let it dry.
A. After deep micro needle rolling the usual practice is to clean the skin with a saline solution (distilled water+salt) and wait until the blood will stop. Apply antibiotic cream as an additional precaution and do not touch your face for at least 6 hours.
If you do not roll aggressively and there is no damage to superficial capillaries, you may apply a collagen mask. It is individually packed in a sealed container and safe to use (make sure you do not have an allergy to its ingredients).
Q. Do you sell any numbing cream?
A. We do not sell any numbing cream, as it is a medical product. You can buy it at your local pharmacy.
Q. I am also after a mask that can be used on the face before derma rolling.
A. Applying the mask before rolling doesn’t improve the penetration of the products, because at this point the skin barrier has its usual state.
Q. How to choose the right roller to treat scars?
A. The best way would be to ask your dermatologist. As a specialist, he could evaluate your scar, its thickness and give you advice on what size of roller you would need, and can apply it professionally. This type of treatment must be performed under medical supervision.
Remember, long needles may cause damage to nerves and vessels.
The needle is supposed to penetrate under the scar tissue to release fibrous bands at a dermal and deep dermal subcutaneous plane.
A small hematoma is allowed to be formed, which supports the released scar. Hemostasis is maintained with pressure and ice application on the day. Repeated treatments are required for better cosmetic results. Treatments are done after a 3-weeks interval. Care should be taken to avoid the preauricular, temporal and mandibular areas to avoid injuries to the facial nerve and major vessels.
Q. What to expect after rolling?
A. Rolling with a microneedle roller that has short needles does not draw blood but you should experience a distinctive swelling and redness in the area. If you use longer needles (1.00- 1.50mm) you may have tiny bleeding where the superficial capillary system got reached.
You may experience some small hematomas the next day – like red dots or dotted scratch lines. They may turn bluish as the blood will coagulate (bruising). It is very important to roll correctly. Please, remember to take great care during the treatment.
It would be best to roll on Friday – the face may have some marks the next day. If you do not feel comfortable with the marks on the skin, we would recommend to starting with a 0.20-0.30 roller.
When rolling with a micro needle roller of this size, there is no damage to the capillary system and the face looks normal the next day (however skin reaction is very individual). After rolling you may have slight redness. The skin may feel a bit itchy and dried out. The feeling resembles light sunburn. It is a normal reaction. Make sure you have a good moisturizer on hand and avoid sun exposure for a few days.
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way.
Copyright © NEW SPA , 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may be freely copied and distributed subject to the inclusion of this copyright notice and the link to this article.
Bibliography and useful links:
Micro Needling and Injecting Platelet Rich Plasma to Enhance Collagen Synthesis and Skin Tightening.
Author: Joseph F. Greco, PhD, PA/C
Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Collagen Induction
Desmond Fernandes, MB, BCh, FRCS(Edin)
Percutaneous Collagen Induction Therapy: An Alternative Treatment for Scars, Wrinkles, and Skin Laxity. Matthias Aust, M.D. Des Fernandes, M.D. Hilton Kaplan, M.D. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery April 2008
Euro Medi Travel. Chapter 8 – ROLL-CIT – natural induction of collagen synthesis
Cosmetic vs. Medical Needling. Methods & Conclusions by Dr. L. Setterfield
Medical roll CIT