Microneedling (also often referred to as dermarolling) is a form of collagen induction therapy, in which the skin is deliberately punctured with many tiny needles to encourage a healing response from the human body. It's often used as a method of producing smoother and firmer skin, however, it can also be used to treat more serious issues such as scarring and stretch marks.
How Exactly Does Microneedling Help My Skin?
When your skin is damaged there is a natural healing response from your body to repair the damage. This response includes increased cell proliferation, increased collagen production, and increased elastin production. With microneedling, the damage done to your skin is enough to induce this response, but not enough to cause any permanent damage such as scar tissue formation.
The result of this healing response is healthier and younger-looking skin - the increase in collagen helps to moisturise the skin and diminish imperfections, whilst the increase in elastin helps to restore skin elasticity.
Microneedling is also able to reduce the appearance of more serious skin problems, such as scars or stretch marks, both of which are made up of fibrous tissue and lack elasticity. By damaging the skin through microneedling it is possible to break down this fibrous tissue and have it replaced with healthy skin tissue. It can take some time, depending on the size and depth of the scarring, but there should be noticeable differences within 2 or 3 sessions.
What Can Microneedling Treat?
Microneedling has been shown to be effective through both testimonial evidence and clinical evidence. It can be used to treat:
- Skin tightness
- Stretch marks
- Sagging skin
- Sun damage
- Hair loss
This list is not exhaustive.
Is Microneedling Safe?
If done correctly, microneedling is certainly safe. But, if mistakes are made then you can do more harm than good. For instance, if you fail to disinfect the microneedling device (such as a derma roller) prior to use then you can end up with a skin infection. Also, if you treat your skin too frequently or too roughly then you can cause semi-permanent or even permanent damage. In this first instance, treating your skin too often does not give it a chance to recover and rebuild itself, and therefore you are causing damage to already damaged skin, which can lead to scar tissue. In the second instance, by being too rough, you can cause more damage than your body can easily heal. Instead of ending up with new youthful skin, you can end up with 'tracking' marks, where the needles have made holes which are too large (and thus resulted in fibrous tissue forming).
It is rare for people to have these issues, and when they do occur, it is always due to those looking for a quick fix. Remember, when it comes to your skin, it is a marathon and not a 100m sprint.
How Much Does Microneedling Cost?
Microneedling covers a lot of different products and services, which means the price can vary considerably.
If you are visiting a clinic, then you should expect to pay $250+ per session. The treatment will most likely use a professional Dermapen or similar device.
If you decide to treat yourself at home, then you can expect to pay $10+ per session (the cost of a derma roller). Obviously, treating yourself at home is much cheaper, and even more so considering that derma rollers are reusable. However, it is more painful (derma rollers/derma stamps etc are slower and there is more pain induced from the needles being in the skin layer for longer). You are also missing out on (presumably) professional advice from the clinician.