Home dermal rollers are currently really popular due to the all the isolation and lockdowns. But are they any good? And what is skin needling anyway? Here Giulia answers all of your questions to get to the bottom of this trend.
Why have skin needling done by a professional?
Skin needling is done under the science that a controlled injury to the skin, delivered at just the right depth, can cause an expected and controlled response. So when you seek out this treatment in a dermal therapist office, the dermal therapist is targeting a specific layer of the skin that contains the right kind of cells, so that we can correct or improve a particular skin condition. Typical targets are acne-producing bacteria, right at the top of the skin, whereas deeper targets are collagen-producing cells.
When we are performing skin needling in a medical setting, we do not use rollers at all. Instead we use a needle that oscillates up and down. This way the needle penetrates precisely to a depth in a vertical controlled fashion. At Dermal Distinction, we use SkinPen and the DermaFrac System which is FDA and TGA listed because it is so precise.
Home use rollers: What are they?
1. Dermal rollers use needles that are fixed in position, and they rotate around the roller into the skin. This means that as the needle is rolled, the needles move sideways, entering the skin at a 45 degree angle and then swivel to a 90 degree angle, before arching back out of the skin through a 45 degree angle. This now moves away from a precise, controlled injury as there can be tearing of the skin on entry and exist of the skin. This is not so much a problem if the needles are very short (think 0.3mm long). Any longer, and there can be serious injury to the skin, and possible pigmentation as a result. So when purchasing a roller, do not use anything with needles longer than 0.3mm.
Do they get blunt?
Any kind of needle gets blunt each time it is used. So when a dermal roller is used, the needles get blunter and blunter. So unless you throw the dermal roller out after 2-3 uses, the needles are likely to have barbs on them as the needle tips start to bend over on themselves. Again any injury that is not controlled, but instead causes inflammation and uncontrolled trauma, has the likelihood of causing infection or pigmentation
What should you never do?
I have heard crazy stories of people using dermal rollers to imbed BB cream into their skin for a flawless finish. This has possible disaster as a consequence. Tattooing anything into the skin that is not designed to be tattooed, has the potential to cause life-long skin drama. This can include granulomas, or cysts in the skin, that need surgical excision or treatment. Use the roller on freshly cleansed skin. Do not use with any other products, unless directed by a dermal therapist.
How do you care for your roller?
Caring for your dermal roller is very important. Remembering that our skin harbours bacteria, each time we use a roller on the skin, bacteria are picked up by the roller, along with skin cells and other debris such as blood. This can become a haven for bacteria to breed. So when you next use the roller, hey presto! Skin infection here you come!
So when looking after a dermal roller, follow these steps:
- wash the roller under cold water for 30 seconds.
- place the roller in a clean glass, then pour isopropyl alcohol over the roller and soak for 60 minutes. Isopropyl alcohol can be purchased from a pharmacy or some supermarkets.
- remove from the glass and air dry (simply leave the roller, roller side up, in a glass).
- dispose of the roller after no more than 3 uses.
Not all needles are created equal. If the roller is something that is purchased off eBay, or very cheap, there is the possibility of the needles breaking off in the skin, the needles being made of a harmful metal, or the actual quality of the needle not being sharp in the first place. Only buy from reputable companies, or purchase from a dermal therapist office. Whenever we sell dermal rollers at our office, we show our clients how to use them, how to clean them and above all else, make sure that the rollers are medical grade quality before hand.
What is a great dermal roller?
At Dermal Distinction, we have searched high and low. There are so many on the market, but we found that the Lonvitalite Dermal Roller is superb. It is a gorgeous design, but it has a safety record which is impeccable. You can find it on sale here.