Hello all. I'm a 26 year old African-American male, and I recently ordered a 1.0 mm Dermaroller that is pending arrival. I will be using this roller primarily for hypertrophic and slightly pitted acne scars on my cheeks. I have a couple of questions prior to its arrival, though:
- How often should I use this roller? I see some people saying to only use the 1.0 mm roller once every 2 weeks or so for acne scars and I see others saying that it's okay to use it daily. The latter sounds like it would be waaayyy too aggressive of a treatment but I could be wrong. Plus, I have pretty tough skin to boot so I'm not sure if skin texture is a factor in this or not.
- How hard should I rub the roller on my skin? The general verdict I keep hearing is that softer is better even though even though to some it seems like it wouldn't be. But after seeing some videos with doctors rubbing the roller on their patients' skin very roughly and causing some pretty heavy bleeding (I know some bleeding is normal, but there was quite a bit in the videos I saw), I'm not sure if rolling roughly is the right way to go or not.
- Can I continue to use Retin-A on the areas I have rolled? I've been using Retin-A for a while now and I keep reading mixed responses on using Retin-A in conjunction with a roller. Some say it can penetrate deeper and help scars more when used after needling and others say it's detrimental.
- Can I just clean the roller with hot water, a bit of soap, and soak it in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes afterward?
Any constructive help would be appreciated since I really want to get these questions answered before my roller arrives so I can use it properly and not cause further damage. Thanks.
I did a ton of research before I dermarolled and everything I read says 1.5mm dermaroller is the minimum length because anything smaller will not go deep enough to stimulate collagen production. The smaller length needles like the size you purchased are used so that your topicals could penetrate better. You can roll everyday with smaller lenghts. If you are using a needle length of 1.5mm or longer, then you should roll once every 6 weeks or like someone on here said you can wait longer but never sooner because you need to give the collagen time to form. If you roll too soon, you'll just break up the collagen.
I have been rolling for almost 1 1/2 years and have actually been documenting my progress through a blog with photos (I've had to skip a few sessions due to cystic acne on the area that I roll. Don't roll the areas where you have active acne because it could spread bacteria). If you can, take photos so that you can see the changes. I had a ton...like over 20 small holes from cystic acne. they were on both sides of my lips. They were old scars and have filled in nicely. The only problem is the area is a little bumpy but I had the same problem last year when my skin started to repair itself so I got professional microdermabrasion done (my derm recommended it to smooth out the newly formed skin) and it made my skin look like a baby's bottom. Also, I spent a ton of money on micro and was doing it every 2 weeks for like 3 months or so and then continued after that once a month for a few months. So it takes time. Micro won't help raised scars...the area that was bumpy was more like rough skin so it got smoothed away. I I also had a bigger scar (not huge but bigger than the small little ones) and that filled in about 50% and there hasn't been much change since. I also have a line scar I got from poking at a cyst and it's in my smile line so it makes my smile line look longer
I thought the scar had improved but it was a fluke ( I was looking at it from a different angle with different light so it wasn't as noticable) but it's still there. So, in other words, I don't think the dermaroller works on line scars or really big scars. Just little ones and it will improve mediumish ones...but that's just me. It may be different for you. Oh I also noticed that it's taking longer to work on the new scars. Seems to work better on older scars.
I, too, have read that Retin A (Tretinoin)could cause scarring while you roll but I've also heard people say it heals scars. I am too scared to try it. My son has some prescription Rentin A that he never used but like I said I am too scared to use it. I don't want to cause extra damage to my skin.
I can't really describe the pressure but roll hard enough to cause a little bit of pinprick bleeding. Don't freak if you hear popping noises when you roll. that's just scar tissue breaking up...
I always soak my roller in alcohol for about 30 minutes before and after I use it. I also will soak it half way through my wait time (since I wait 6 weeks to roll, I'll soak it at week 3). Better safe than sorry. I also wipe the areas I'm rolling with alcohol.
I use a Dr. Roller. I spent about $50 on it but it was the best I could find. At least, that's what I read from all my research. The needles are stronger and staggered so more skin gets pricked. I have not had to replace my roller yet ...always check your needles before you roll . Make sure they aren't bent because that could cause damage to your skin. Also, in order to prevent track marks on your face, lift the roller after each roll. So when you roll down, lift the roller before going up...hope that makes sense. Lifting the roller also helps with making sure you are not pricking the same spot over and over again. I roll 15 times in every direction.
I've been using retinal cream on my skin since I started rolling and that helps A LOT. I got my cream from Sally Beauty Supply for $10 and am very happy with it. It's called Skincare Cosmetics RETINOL (and has 400,000 I.U's of Vitamin A....whatever that means?) I use the day cream.
Oh and I don't think it's a good idea to use a dermroller on Hypertropic scars. The dermaroller stimulates collagen production so I am assuming that would make the scar get bigger. I'm not a professional so I don't know for sure but that's my guess. If it were me, I'd only use the roller on the pitted scars.
Sorry for the long post...just wanted to share what I've learned. Hope I helped.