Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

claisen

Derma Roller (Microneedle Therapy System)

11 posts in this topic

Well, I've been wanting to do something about my 20 year+ scars for as many years. My scars are very bad, all-sizes and shapes, deep/shallow, small/large pitted, crattered, ice-pick, rolling, you name it, it is all over my face. In the last 5 years alone, I've consulted about 10+ dermatologists on what is the best procedure to improve my scars, I'd say most suggested dermabrasion with a couple advocating CO2 laser. But I've never made the jump because of the complications and negative-side effects associated with them (you know, more scarring, hyperpigmentation, infection, down-time, etc). Then about 2 months ago, I went to a dermatologist in Taiwan that performs both dermabrasion and derma-rolling and he recommended that I try the dermaroller. Hm, I thought about the theory behind it and did some research here and there on the web. Unfortunately, I could not find much supportive information except occassional stories of success as well as no improvements. I did find a site in US ran by Dr. Garcia in Las Vegas that thought derma-roller was almost as effective as Fraxel but consider both methods not very effective when treating scars. His belief is that more downtime means better result and he believes in CO2 lasers having the best effect. It could also be he doesn't have Fraxel or needed to pay off his expensive equipments. To be fair, other dermatologists here I've consulted have never heard of Derma-rolling either and think it is either a gimmick or not very effective.

Hm.. due to cost constraints and fear of complications, I decided to give derma-roller a serious consideration. The dermatolgist recommended at least 6 sessions to get what I desire - 50% improvement in the scar reduction. The cost would be close to US $2,500. Laser or derm will cost 2-5 times more for similar amount of sessions. I asked him why don't more dermatologists recommend this procedure, he simply said its new and not many know about this. He said he was the 1st one doing derma-roller in his city 2 years ago, still there are only a handful now. Seeing there are 12 cans of derma-roller, each with a patient name to it, and seeing that he has beeing doing this for 2 years, he is either a very bad dermatologist to be doing this for 2 years if he didn't think it was that effective or there is something to what he is advocating. It could also be argued that this doctor has no expensive CO2 lasers and must resort to less-costly methods as I don't see where the expertise or expensive is in this procedure. It is 90% profits as I can see as these dermaroller can't actually cost that much. Anyone can learn to derma-roll in a few hours. Ok whatever, enough with the doubts, just do it, start somewhere, right? I'm looking for the least complicated risk....

I paid by 3 sessions - as it is cheaper this way then doing it one at a time. I thought the worst that can happen is that I see NO improvement and lose $1,250.

My 1st rolling session was on Nov 17th. The whole thing took about 2 hours. First, he put some topical anathestic on my face and waited an hour for my face to numb. I lied on on the bench, and with a 1.5mm roller, he proceeded to work on my face. Let me tell you, it hurted like hell. I've had tatoos done on my back without anathestic and it didn't hurt this much. I say, he spent a good 10-15 minutes rolling my face. He later told me that he didn't apply excessive pressure because I looked like I was in a world of pain. After it was done, I see blood everywhere, on the roller itself. The tissue used to clean my face was soaking red. After wiping clean, he applied Growth Factors made from Human Placenta. 10 minutes later, a tissue mask was applied followed by an ice pack. About 15 minutes later, he applied anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial cream all over my face. I was given a prescription of antibiotics and anti-inflammation as well as Cetaphil mild soap. I also bought Vitamin C, Neocutis Bio-restorative Skin Cream with PSP & Mitochondria 5ph Nutmeg (Martrixyl, Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing complex). These cost additional US$160. I was told to apply PSP and the Nutmeg 2xs a day for about 10 days after each derma-rolling session. The plan is to do these sessions approximately a month apart for best result (in his opionion). Although on the manufacturer website, it adviced to wait 3-6 months in between sessions.

Ok, so when I 1st looked at my face, it was bloody and bruised. There wasn't much pain except stingy feeling here and there. It took about 4 days for my skin to recover to the point you couldn't tell anything has been done except for some faint sun burn. There was some peeling on the 3rd day which went away within a day or two.

So, after the 1st week, the people that haven't seen me a week noticed that my skin has become smoother and more radiant. I couldn't actually say there was any % of improvement, but rather something has happened to my face. I feel my complexion is a bit fresher. But then these people knew I had it done and they may just be saying it to make me feel better.

After 3 weeks, I stopped using the PSP and Nutmeg but still took 1 mg of Vitamin C a day. About a month later, I went in to do my second session. The derm took another picture of my scars. Honestly when I compared the 2nd one to the 1st one, I could not tell much difference when you look at the scars as a whole. They are still there. But perhaps I was looking at the pics inside the camera and it is hard to judge the difference looking at one at a time. I can tell when I look at my face as a whole, it was a little cleaner and less rough. The derm said that my smallest scars/pores have improved and it was unrealistic to expect improvement from my large scars after only one session and my face has tons of big scars. I was having 2nd thought about this procedure and was beggining to feel like I wasted my money. But then, I was thinking that alot of people here don't see results in laser either after 1st session. I told myself to reserve my judgement until a month after the 3rd session.

The derm told me that he took it easy on me the 1st derma-rolling session because I was in so much pain. This time he would inject local anathestic in addition to topical cream. He would also spend more time and apply 2x as much pressure. I think it may have lasted 15-20 minutes this time. Well, the places that matter, my cheeks, didn't hurt that much, but the side of my faces and forehead where only topical anathestic was used, hurted like hell (but not as much as the 1st time). The worst part of my scars is on both of my cheeks and that is where the doc spent most of the time rolling -promising I will definetely see a result in the photo next month.

The aftermath of the 2nd derma-rolling wasn't as bad as 1st one. I think my body is more used to this invasive procedure. My face wasn't as red and swollen as the 1st time even though he spent more time and force on the 2nd rolling session.

If I had to put a percentage of change after 1st rolling session, I say about 1-7% improvement in scars while face looks about 10-15% smoother - but it can due to my face peeling. These are totally subjective (maybe I'm wishing to see these results) as I've not chance to compare the pics taken side-by-side. Maybe collagen rebuilding takes many months. The derm told me that only after 3-6 months will you see a 'sudden' improvement - these day by day improvements are really hard to measure by. After talking to him of my worries, he is still sure that this is the best treatment for me with the least complication. He said although you will see better result in ONE dermabrasion there are also many associated risks. He believes I will achieve results similar to laser/derm in 6 sessions. Hm..but in the back of my mind, there are still some doubts...

I will wait till after the 3rd session to make a determination to my next course of action. It all depends on much improvement I see. It maybe either 3 more derma-rolling session or I will go with Fraxel treatments. I may even consider laser/dermabrasion.

One note is that I think my frown lines may have improved about 30%! But then this maybe due to the Nutmeg also as it claims to reduce wrinkles.

So those of you heading into dermarolling DON'T expect much improvment after your 1st one. You will see something have happened but you can't really pinpoint what...

I will keep updating my progress...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey!! thanks for much for the info! I had actually logged on to acne.org after quite a long time coz i was interested in looking for information on Micro needle therapy system. I also just had my first one on Dec 6. I haven't seen much improvement, although the first few days, it seemed like the scars were much better (and few of my friends even said it looked better and more raised). Lately though, it looks the same as before.

Anyway, I'm also not trying to lose hope after the first one, so I have booked my second one for the 27th of Dec (it's 3 weeks after the 1st one). I hope I see some improvement and have even asked the doctor to treat my deeper/older scars with a single needle.

I'm really hoping for some change. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us!

I'll update as well once I've had my second one!

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hey!! thanks for much for the info! I had actually logged on to acne.org after quite a long time coz i was interested in looking for information on Micro needle therapy system. I also just had my first one on Dec 6. I haven't seen much improvement, although the first few days, it seemed like the scars were much better (and few of my friends even said it looked better and more raised). Lately though, it looks the same as before.

Anyway, I'm also not trying to lose hope after the first one, so I have booked my second one for the 27th of Dec (it's 3 weeks after the 1st one). I hope I see some improvement and have even asked the doctor to treat my deeper/older scars with a single needle.

I'm really hoping for some change. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us!

I'll update as well once I've had my second one!

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah guys it takes time, you need to stick with it for atleast a year for really good results, and when i say a year i mean atleast 4-5 sessions and TIME, coupled with the use of effective topicals...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? A whole year huh? wow...the doctor said that after 3 needling sessions i'll definitely see some.

and claisen, yeah i think that's what happened, the first few days, it was just becuase the skin was raised coz of the bruising from the needles. awwww. haha..i was so excited too!

ugh it's so frustrating.

anyway, lamarr, what kind of effective topical are you talking about? my doctor didn't really mention anything abot that, about what i should use on my skin after the needling. please let me know! thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some update, well its almost 4 day since my 2nd session. My skin has a nice pinkish glow. I went out for dinner with some friends and first thing they said was what happened to my face? Did you get a sunburn or are you drunk? hehe.

They said they noticed the pores on my cheeks are smaller and smoother. I think the results are definetely better this time than the 1st time. I say about 30% improvement!! But I know this maybe temporary - my cheeks are a little puffy probably from a combination of mild inflammation and my epidermis going haywire with all sorts of chemicals and regeneration going on - therefore making the scars seem much softer and overlapping with each other. I wish it would stay like this... but I think it will recede again once the puffiness goes away and my skin normalize.. sigh.. We'll see in few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan 26th, 2008 Update:

I've been very busy working, finally got a chance to do my 3rd session. Some thoughts about my 30% improvement in the 2nd session: I think the skin tightens for few weeks after the needling, and coupled that with new skin forming that is maybe why I saw a 30% improvement. But later these improvements goes away and now I estimate it is 10-15% improvement in my overall complexion. The scars are still there... still, the larger ones are a little less pronounced. I'll have a better analysis a month after my 3rd session. I noticed though that my body has the strongest reaction to the 1st needling and it tappered of each succeeding session. After I did my 3rd session today, it wasn't as bloody as 2nd session. I'm a little worried now that if I decided to do dermabrasion later, it wouldn't be as effective because my skin has become a little more tolerant of these invasive procedures....I heard a doctor say that you will get your best result from your 1st dermabrasion so make sure you do it good... oh well.

To tell you the truth, I'm not happy with my results so far.. but then I don't have the empirpical data to back it up, it is just that my face looks not much different.. nothing i can wake up and say, wow, there is a definite change...I think I can safely say don't expect any miracles with this technique in the short-term. Now I kind of wish I had gone for dermabrasion instead... I think I'm done after the 3rd session, unless my results for 3rd session is very noticeable from 1st

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I wouldn't be too disheartened. I think it takes time for collagen to grow, which is what will give you the results you are looking for. If you haven't yet, you might want to find the self-needling thread on this board. There were people on there that had good results from needling using various methods. Maybe it wouldn't be bad to stop after your 3rd treatment and give it a few months to see if there is any longer-term change.


We stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.

-Woody Allen


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful regarding the derma roller. I am licensed acupuncturist in NY state. According to every state's "Clean Needle Technique" laws - all needles that are reused (and this includes needles that are not hypodermic needles) must be sterilized in an autoclave (the rollers that I have seen would not stand up to an autoclave). If they are not sterilized they are to be disposed of each time. Even if they are using the needles for one patient only, bacteria can be transferred from one part of the body to another so they are not allowed to do that either.

I would suggest that you try acupuncture for acne and/or scars. Find an acupuncturist in your area that specializes in dermatology or facial rejuvenation acupuncture. We treat not only locally but systemically. Remember, what's going on in your body is going to show in your skin. We bring the body back into balance - and we do so with little or no pain. I have successful treated many cases of acne - people who have had acne for many years and have been to countless doctors and on many meds. The acne flareups slowly dissipate and clear up and the scars and redness disappear over time as well.

If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer and help in any way.

www.classictouchacupuncture.com

Karen Chase, L.Ac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites