Although Skin Biology does not carry any skin needling devices, we have posted the following article in an effort to make clients aware of a technique for reducing the appearance of scarring utilizing skin rollers or needles. Many clients have used this technique successfully while using copper-peptide products.
Article written by Dr. Phillipa McCafferey
ClearSkincare Level 1,
100 New South Head Rd
Edgecliff, NSW 2027,
"Skin Needling has been performed for many years, using a variety of instruments, to soften the look of depressed scars and deep lines.
Dr Philippe Simonin, a Swissfrench Dermatologist, published his results in Baran’s Cosmetic Dermatology 1994, but his ground breaking technique, which he named Electroridopuncture (ERP), remained largely unknown to the wider medical community. In his study of 600 patients, he examined results for 2 patient groups – one with Skin Aging and the other with old scars. He performed 10 treatments on all patients.
In the patient group with Skin Aging, 40% showed significant improvement, 22% moderate improvement and 13% some improvement – as measured by comparative skin imprints. In the patient group with old scars, 60% improved with 5-6 treatments. Best results were obtained for old fibrous and depressed scars.
Another pioneer of Skin Needling was Dr Andre Camirand, a Canadian Plastic Surgeon who made a chance observation of improvement in the texture and depression of the scars of some of his facelift patients, who had undergone tattooing for scar camouflage. He experimented with tattooing facelift scars without pigment, and noted improvement in texture and colour. He published an article on his results in JACPS in 1992.
Dr Camirand postulated that hypochromic (depigmented) skin repigmented through the transplantation of melanocytes (pigment producing cells) from normal skin into the hypochromic (depigmented) skin during the needling procedure. He also reported flattening of hypertrophic (overgrown) scars. He performed his needling procedures using a high speed tattoo gun, under local anaesthesia and treated each scar to pinpoint bleeding. He repeated the procedure every 2 to 8 weeks and no side effects or complications were reported.
Skin Needling can be safely performed on all skin colours and types. There is no risk of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (pigmentation of the skin as a result of skin trauma) as the melanocytes remain, like the dermis, intact during Skin Needling. This is the major distinguishing safety feature when comparing Skin Needling and other invasive procedures that are used to treat deep lines and depressed scars, i.e. laser resurfacing, deep chemical peels and dermabrasion.
• Reduced risk of infection
• Significantly reduced downtime period for healing
• Significantly reduced comparative cost
Skin needling with a skin roller produces hundreds of tiny dermal injuries. Each dermal injury triggers the body’s natural rejuvenating response within the skin, producing a more beautiful look as the skin itself works on depositing new collagen in the treatment area. Each successive treatment triggers the skin to work on its own production and deposition of new collagen that progressively gives the look of a decrease in the appearance of depressed scars and deep lines. This infilling process can continue for up to 12 months after a treatment has been performed.
Results vary between patients, with some achieving 90%+ improvement in the appearance of their scarring and others less than 50%. However, all patients achieve some improvements.
Before & After Pictures - Click on pictures to view enlarged image
There are now a number of skin rollers available for home use and they come in many different needle lengths, needle diameters and needle numbers, which can make it very confusing for their users. In my own practice, I have tried many different needle lengths and needle diameters, in an attempt to determine the best combination for reducing the appearance of scars and rejuvenating the skin. The number of needles on a roller is the least important feature, as repeated rolling causes numerous dermal injuries. Needle diameter is very important as we are seeking to maximise the dermal injury without creating a new scar. In my experience, 0.25mm needle diameter is the maximum that can be used without causing a new scar in the skin. Smaller diameter needle skin rollers can be used but do not maximise the dermal injury and therefore will be slower to produce results.
Needle length is also a critical issue. The target when we needle the dermis is a layer in the upper dermis called the intermediate reticular dermis. This dermal layer contains the highest number of stem cells which are able to produce new collagen. The epidermis ( the outer layer of the skin ) varies in depth from .05mm on the eyelids to 1.5mm on the soles of the feet. The epidermis of the face ( other than the eyelids ) varies from 0.3mm to 1mm in depth and therefore a 0.75mm to 2mm needle length is more than adequate to reach the intermediate reticular dermis. In my experience, needles more than 2mm in length have a tendency to catch and tear the skin.
Skin needling is now well established as a treatment option for reducing the appearance of depressed scarring. It is a far more cost effective option than fractional laser therapy and delivers very similar results with repeated treatments.
As the skin has a memory and will seek to return to its previous state, I recommend repeated Skin Needling treatments over a period of 1 to 2 years. I also recommend that my patients continue home needling to ensure the longevity of their blemish improvement.
At-home needling can be safely combined with the use of a mild Copper Peptide Serum and /or tretinoin to maximise improvements in the look of depressed scarring."
Current Research at Skin Biology - Click on picture to enlarge
Skin Biology clients are using the following technique to gain results in diminishing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Click on graphic to enlarge.
Note: Use all skin needling rollers as directed by the manufacturer. Do not misuse by performing skin needling more often than the instructions indicate. In the following graphic it mentions that one could use the device "later" after an application of hydroxy acids. "Later" means the next time you use the device. It does not mean these devices should be used twice a day.