What Is A Derma Roller?
For the uninitiated, the derma roller is a beauty device that contains hundreds of tiny needles. When rolled over the skin, the needles create micro-tears that stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. This results in the reduced appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other skin concerns.
Some users have claimed that their derma roller has helped lighten under eye bags, plump lips and lighten acne scars. However, results may vary according to various factors including, size of needle, the severity of the scar and frequency of use.
Besides helping users lighten their scars, some doctors also use derma rolling to help enhance the efficacy of certain skincare products before medical procedures.
What Are The Risks Of Derma Rolling And How Do I Pick The Right Size Of Needles?
According to Dr Teo Wan Lin, founder of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, derma rolling may pose a higher risk of infection when done at home instead of by an accredited dermatologist. “Medical microneedles are currently made of medical-grade stainless steel sterilised by gamma irradiation and are for single use. Home derma rollers are usually made of smaller and shorter needles, for multiple uses,” she says.
“[Besides, the risk of infection], derma rollers should also not be used by anyone with active acne, skin infection like herpes labialis, warts as well as eczema and psoriasis,” adds Dr Teo. Users with blood clotting abnormalities and keloidal tendency, too, should stay away from using derma rollers.
When choosing your derma roller, it’s important to note that there is a whole range of needle sizes and different sizes yield different results.
The last we checked, the smallest needle size is at 0.25 mm while the largest is at 3.0 mm. It’s important to note, too, that needles above 1.5 mm should only be used by a trained professional.
According to research, a 0.25 mm derma roller is best used to help boost the efficacy of skincare products and better the skin’s absorption rate. It might not help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as much, as it does not stimulate as much collagen as a larger needle. Of course, it inflicts the least pain and, if used carefully, should not cause bleeding.
With all of the information I received from Dr Teo and the skincare reviews I’ve read on the Internet, I eagerly purchased my Sdara Skincare derma roller off Amazon in 0.25 mm.
I was glad to see that the brand received plenty of positive reviews on Amazon and would answer questions posed by users online. I have to stress that it’s important to purchase any sort of skincare product from a reputable site, especially since a derma roller could pose plenty of risks, as mentioned above.
When the derma roller arrived, my first impression was, how scary could this derma roller be? After all, when I tried rolling it on the back of my hand, it didn’t seem to hurt that much.
I was excited to rid my inner left thigh of the stretch marks (above) that have plagued it for years. In preparation for my procedure, I prepped my inner thigh with an essence and a hydrating face serum. Next, I gently rolled the derma roller upwards to see if it would hurt.
If we’re being honest, my skin prickled a little and the sensation was a bit more painful than I had expected (but less irritating than ant bites). This is probably because the skin on my hand is less sensitive than the skin on my thigh.
I spent about 10 minutes derma rolling my skin that night and stopped the moment I felt that it was too much to go on. My skin felt tender but thankfully, I didn’t emerge with blood spots or any bleeding.
The next day, I gave my skin a break but kept applying moisturiser to soothe the area. Derma rolling can dehydrate the skin so it’s important to moisturise between sessions.
I repeated the process of derma rolling, giving my skin a break and moisturising it for a week (four sessions in all).
After about a week and a half, I was quite surprised to actually see some results. While remnants of the stretch marks were still there, they appeared lighter and less obvious.
I’ve since taken a break from derma rolling to see if the results are temporary but so far, my stretch marks have not returned.
While derma rolling has helped make the stretch marks on my inner thighs less obvious, I doubt I’ll try it on a larger surface area like on the side or outside of my thighs. It takes too much time and effort. I’d probably go to a professional for that.
As mentioned above, the efficacy of derma rolling is dependent on several factors including the age and severity of the scar or skin condition.
If you’re intending to try derma rolling, be sure to consult with a professional first to find out if it’s suitable for your skin. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and are not representative of The Singapore Women’s Weekly and The Singapore Press Holdings.