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Combining Dermaroller With Fillers

dermaroller fillers juvederm restylane dermastamp ice pick

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#1 crystalized

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:35 PM

Hi everyone.

Has anyone any experience or opinion on the possibility of combining both dermal fillers (e.g. Juvederm, Restylane) and the Dermaroller?

My situation is that I have rolling scarring, but on top of that I have a bunch of ice pick/pitted scars. I figured that fillers will help for providing volume, but once I have achieved the volume I am looking for, I'm still going to have the shallower/surface scars that I think will benefit from Dermarolling.

On paper, I can see the benefits: both options are said to stimulate the production of collagen and generally it's a good thing if you can combine treatments to allow for synergy. Add to this a healthy diet, exercise, daily use of sunscreen, Hyaluronic Acid/Vit C serum & moisturiser, and you have the potential there for some goodness to occur.

However, I know that fillers are susceptible to migrating from where they were first injected, and wonder whether aggressive use of the Dermaroller on top of them might render them somewhat redundant.

Interested to hear your thoughts.


#2 Lynnn82

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:45 PM

I tried fillers once on my ice pick scars and there was really no result from it. I even went to a good dermatologist who has a great reputation but didn't change the fact that nothing changed on my scars. If it's not very expensive for you, just try it it will not make your scars worse!

#3 crystalized

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:10 PM

I've actually had some Juvederm recently and it has provided the volume I was after, but I know that it's temporary and I'll need to repeat the treatments (indefinitely? Probably. Posted Image) to sustain the lift. It's definitely helped with my rolling scarring though, for the time being.

The problem is I still have the ice pick/box car/pitted scars closer to the surface of the skin that haven't benefited from the filler, which is what led me to considering dermarolling/dermapen/stamp in combination with the fillers.

#4 crystalized

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

I've posted some photos to show what I'm starting from. Quite a lot of work to be done!

Last year I had two subcisions and some Restylane: the subcisions untethered my rolling scars quite well (see the final 2 photos, where I have stretched my skin to show how they 'disappear'). I don't want to go through subcision again if I can avoid it - the downtime was too much, and the procedures expensive.

So, my idea now is to go for dermal fillers and/or Dermaroller/pen/stamp to try and kick start some collagen production, per the original thread topic. There are four depressed scars on my left cheek which I hate most -- planning to target those with the filler, although ideally would treat as much as possible with filler. Similarly want to target the depressed scars on my right cheek with this approach.

Anyone have any advice or comments?

right cheek

right cheek

left cheek

right cheek

left cheek

right cheek (stretched)

left cheek (stretched)


#5 Dirtbag

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 07:38 AM

Hi, so far I've paid for 4 professional dermarolling treatments. At the last dermarolling session I had what is called a 'Gel Needle Lift' which is an injection of Restylane Vital followed by dermarolling. The effects were very good, I have to say. Although I have - and family and friends have - seen significant improvement in my skin since dermarolling, the difference has occurred over a long period of time (seven months), whereas the results of the Gel Needle Lift was instantaneous. It helped a lot with confidence by filling in rolling scars and brightening up my overall complexion. I'll show you some photos but the 'after' lighting rarely ever matches the first, so they might not accurately reflect the results. However, I can also gauge the improvement by the effect it has on my life. For example, I'm far less self-conscious about being under bright and unflattering lighting, I've been to work without makeup (something that would have NEVER happened before undertaking professional dermarolling), not suffered a serious mood and confidence drop after being sat in front of a mirror at the hairdressers for 3 hours (long hair; needed to be lightened!) and I wear my hair up more. I used to compulsively check my reflection, whereas I don't as much now. Hope this helps! The photos are a bit mixed up, but the one where the sun is shining on to the right side of my face (your left) is yesterday, the one where I'm wearing the denim jacket is before the gel needle lift but after three dermarolling sessions, and the one wear I'm wearing a checked shirt was taken in work last week. This is one of the places where my skin looks it's absolute worst: the lighting is just horrible.

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#6 Nyssa

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:34 PM

I can't speak to the "gel needle lift" procedure, but I've read that you should wait maybe 4 months after using a filler to do dermarolling. Given that more aggressive dermarolling sessions are supposed to be done 2 months apart or so, and given that microswelling from a dermaroller session tends to subside within a week for most people, I might suggest doing the dermaroller session first and then a week or two later using the filler. Wait 4 months and then dermaroll again. That will give your collagen some time to form while you are enjoying the immediate benefits of the filler. I'm going that route now with Juvederm and dermastamping.

#7 crystalized

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:52 PM

Thanks both for your input. I am going to start out by giving the fillers some time to do their thing - I'll ensure I make good use of Vit C serum/moisturiser, sun block, oral Vit C, well balanced diet, exercise, etc. Then hopefully can reassess in a few months time!

#8 Tevez

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 12:45 AM

Dirtbag your skin looks a lot better from the gel needling session I've had 8 rolling treatments but never herd of the gel rolling.

#9 michi31

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:29 AM

Crystalized, can I ask you about your subcision procedures? Did you have them alone or with Restalyne at the same time? What was the effect of subcision alone vs. with Restalyne?

#10 crystalized

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:07 AM

Crystalized, can I ask you about your subcision procedures? Did you have them alone or with Restalyne at the same time? What was the effect of subcision alone vs. with Restalyne?

Hey,

I had: subcision, subcision, Restylane, in that order, approx 6-8 weeks between the subcisions and then the Restylane one week after the second subcision. The difference was that the volume gain lasted longer with Restylane. After the micro-swelling of my first subcision had died down I was mostly back where I started. With the second one, I would say I got an extra 4 weeks before the positive Restylane effects wore off. For the price I paid for the filler I was not happy with only getting four weeks gain: I was told I'd get "up to six months" (standard Derm sales pitch).

What I DID gain from the procedures (subcision mostly) is that it broke up the tethering of the rolling scar tissue. If you look at my pics above - where I am stretching the skin on my cheeks - the scars flatten out and are not visible. Before, they were still visible even when stretching the skin. However, I still need a lot of volume gain.

I stopped because I ran out of money (went into it unprepared and got ripped off) and was disillusioned with the derm I was seeing -- he was one of those money grabbers who wasn't really interested in my well being. This time round I went to 4 different derms for initial consultations and settled with the one I felt had my best interests at heart. He offers me discounts and doesn't push expensive procedures onto me (indeed, I thought Juvederm Voluma would be ideal, but he suggested Juvederm Ultra (cheaper) because Voluma is injected quite deep into the skin, so it's harder to target individual scars).

So, my plan now is to try out Juvederm Ultra with a treatment every 6-8 weeks for probably 6-9 months. Financially this is more affordable than subcision for me, and also there is zero downtime. It's difficult for me to take time off work for downtime. Once I have some consistent volume I plan to roll/needle: at that point my scarring should be quite superficial and shallow, so hopefully that will help somewhat.

Ultimately what I/we're trying to do here is to increase volume by facilitating the production of collagen. So as well as the above, I am also using Vit C serum/moisturiser twice a day, SPF 60 sunscreen every day, a lot of cardiovascular exercise, well balanced diet, 2000-3000mg vit C supplement daily, etc. Once I start the rolling/needling I plan on adding LED light therapy (per the famous lamarr thread) and probably Terproline as a topical. All of these things are things that I neglected last year (as I said, I was totally unprepared and my derm at the time didn't mention any of this!).

#11 michi31

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:12 PM

Crystalized - thanks, it's really good to hear your experiences since I am considering subcision with or without fillers myself. The PA told me that with subcision, the hope is that the blood collecting under the scar forms new collagen and keeps the scar raised. I guess this did not happen for you? Did you have any negative side effects - lumps, nodules etc? How long was your down time with each? So overall do you feel it was worth it to untether the scar?

I don't know why we always hear about fillers dissolving right away - it doesn't make any sense. Did this happen in all parts of your face simultaneously?

Also, I'm just curious how you found so many derms to consult with? I have not found one dermatologist in my area that does these type of treatments - only PAs and most of them just laser. Not that I prefer a derm to a PA, but I'm just having trouble finding good doctors in general.

#12 crystalized

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:00 PM

Crystalized - thanks, it's really good to hear your experiences since I am considering subcision with or without fillers myself. The PA told me that with subcision, the hope is that the blood collecting under the scar forms new collagen and keeps the scar raised. I guess this did not happen for you? Did you have any negative side effects - lumps, nodules etc? How long was your down time with each? So overall do you feel it was worth it to untether the scar?

I don't know why we always hear about fillers dissolving right away - it doesn't make any sense. Did this happen in all parts of your face simultaneously?

Also, I'm just curious how you found so many derms to consult with? I have not found one dermatologist in my area that does these type of treatments - only PAs and most of them just laser. Not that I prefer a derm to a PA, but I'm just having trouble finding good doctors in general.


Hey michi.

Correct, I didn't get any long term volumisation from my subcisions, but my scarring was pretty severe (you can see the pics above how bad they still look post-subscisions/Restylane). I am pleased though that the scars became untethered - as you put it - because at the time that was a big concern for me. It felt like they were pinned down in place. Down time for subcision was 5-7 days. For the first three days I was properly swollen like a hamster (or Peter Griffen from Family Guy). Completely blown up like a balloon. It was good to look at my skin in the mirror and see essentially zero scarring (because of the swelling), but there is NO WAY I would have considered going out in public for at least 5 days. Think mumps, only worse. There were no negative side effects for me, which is good.

With regards to the fillers, yeah they seemed to disappear consistently across the whole area. I could tell they were slowly disappearing (each week wouldn't look as good as the previous), when finally I could a) no longer feel them in my cheeks and b) I looked the same as I did before my final subcision.

Maybe if I had 2-3 more subcision/filler treatments I'd be telling a different story right now, but I couldn't afford the money/down time, and I was also in a pretty bad place at the time due to my lack of preparation and excessive expectations.

Regarding the derms question -- I live in central London and the place is full of 'cosmetic surgeons'. Harley Street here in Mayfair is renowned as the face lift capital of the UK, so it's very easy to find someone to take your money from you, but slightly more difficult to find someone who knows what they're doing (for severe acne scarring) and isn't simply looking to rip you off. You have to remember that for these guys their bread and butter client is a 55 year old lady with plenty of money to burn. Where are you based/willing to travel to?

#13 michi31

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:40 AM

Thanks for all the info - I appreciate it! I live in upstate NY, and although there are many plastic surgeons and derms, it doesn't seem anyone knows anything about acne scarring except to throw a laser at it. As you said, they are geared towards middle age women. NYC does definitely have specialists and is a 2.5 hr train ride from me. But it is difficult for me to make trips there as I have a new baby. I had one virtual consultation that went really well, but even travelling for treatment will be a major hassle. That seems like it's my only choice. You are lucky you live right in London! Seems to be a lot of UK people on here.

#14 justmeuk

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:18 AM

Hi Crystalized, you have pretty similar scars to me. I've had one subcision which hasn't given me any visible results but has had the same advantage as you have had, of untethering the scars. Can i ask who you're seeing in London for fillers? I'm in the UK and i'm travelling into London every few months for dermapen and tca cross treatments and i'd love to find someone who could do fillers for me.

#15 crystalized

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

Hi Crystalized, you have pretty similar scars to me. I've had one subcision which hasn't given me any visible results but has had the same advantage as you have had, of untethering the scars. Can i ask who you're seeing in London for fillers? I'm in the UK and i'm travelling into London every few months for dermapen and tca cross treatments and i'd love to find someone who could do fillers for me.

Hey. Sure -- I am with Dr Tukmachi at Dermadoc clinic.

#16 justmeuk

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:35 PM


Hi Crystalized, you have pretty similar scars to me. I've had one subcision which hasn't given me any visible results but has had the same advantage as you have had, of untethering the scars. Can i ask who you're seeing in London for fillers? I'm in the UK and i'm travelling into London every few months for dermapen and tca cross treatments and i'd love to find someone who could do fillers for me.

Hey. Sure -- I am with Dr Tukmachi at Dermadoc clinic.


Thanks! How many syringes did he use? I only ask as whenever i've enquired about fillers i've been told it wouldn't be worth it as i would need so much filler for all my scars it would end up costing a fortune.

Edited by justmeuk, 26 September 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#17 crystalized

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:48 PM



Hi Crystalized, you have pretty similar scars to me. I've had one subcision which hasn't given me any visible results but has had the same advantage as you have had, of untethering the scars. Can i ask who you're seeing in London for fillers? I'm in the UK and i'm travelling into London every few months for dermapen and tca cross treatments and i'd love to find someone who could do fillers for me.

Hey. Sure -- I am with Dr Tukmachi at Dermadoc clinic.


Thanks! How many syringes did he use? I only ask as whenever i've enquired about fillers i've been told it wouldn't be worth it as i would need so much filler for all my scars it would end up costing a fortune.

A good, valid point IMO.

I have had two treatments - the first was 2 x 0.8ml Juvederm Ultra, one syringe per cheek. He kind of just injected this all over because there was so much work needed. I then went back two weeks later - once the micro-swelling had settled down - and had 1 x 0.8ml Juvederm Ultra to target the scars that I am most conscious of. This was approx 0.4ml per cheek, I guess.

I will be honest: really, I needed more syringes to get the full lift I am looking for, but as you say, it's expensive if you load up in one go. Our approach is going to be gradual -- there are areas on both cheeks that have had no filler (yet) whatsoever and consequently look as bad as they ever have done. I'm aiming to go back every 6 weeks or so to top up with 1 or 2 syringes each time, depending on what I think is needed. My gut feeling is that next time I will go for 2 x 0.8ml because there is still a lot of untreated scarring. Over time I am hoping the volume will persist (through collagen production) and that my top ups will become less frequent/less filler, before embarking on the Dermaroller/needling phase.

Hope though really is the key word here. All we can do is put faith into the reputable sources that we read (books, journals, user experience on here, etc.) and aim to do as much as we can to allow it to work. There's no guarantees, though, and the journey will be a bumpy one. Even if I do ever reach a stage I am happy with, I fully expect to have prolonged periods along the way where I see no improvement and get disillusioned. Just need to try to remain focused and think of the longer term picture. If this takes three years (random number plucked out of the air), then yes, that is a long, frustrating and probably painful period, but the other way I am looking at it is that I will enter my 30s with skin I am comfortable with. That's the dream!

Here's a question for you, justmeuk -- where are you getting Dermapen treatments? How much are you paying? What are your thoughts -- can you compare it to Dermaroller/stamp?

I am open to suggestions for the rolling/needling stage, as long as I can combine it with LED therapy as part of the healing process.

#18 justmeuk

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for sharing crystalized, it's interesting to know how much filler you needed as i honestly didn't have a clue how much one syringe would fill.

As for my dermapen treatments, i am having them at hammersmith hospital from Dr Chu. So far i have had one dermaroller treatment elsewhere and i have just had my second dermapen treatment with Dr Chu. Results have been minimal, although i have seen some improvement but not as much as i'd like. To be honest i don't know whether the improvement is down to the tca cross or dermapen or a combination of both. I have a mixture of rolling and boxcar scars and the boxcars have seen some small improvement, whereas i haven't really seen any improvement to my rolling scars so i'm inclined to think that it's more down to the tca cross but who knows.

I'll pm you re the prices as i'm not sure if it's appropriate to discuss on here. Dr Chu has actually conducted a study on the use of dermaroller vs dermastamp (if you google "dr chu dermapen study" you should be able to find this. He obviously prefers it and believes it to give better results and i trust his judgement as i believe it is Dr Chu that originally bought dermarollers into the UK and carried out the initial studies so i am sure he knows what he's talking about.