So I did promise that I would get back to you with some information on Dermarolling and Dermastamping, also known as 'Skin Needling' or 'microneedling'
This process involves either a single needle, roller, or stamp-like apparatus that has dozens of very tiny needles. Any generic needle will not work, as the needles designed for this procedure are tapered to a certain size specification. As I have mentioned before, the needles are generally as small as .25mm in width, and anywhere from .1-2.5mm in length. Before I go any further at all, I would like to remind everyone that I am a licensed Skincare professional, and I am not recommending that you all go out and buy a Dermaroller to have nice skin - these things have their place and purpose, and misuse of them will make for a very nasty situation.
The concept of Rolling/Needling is that these tiny needles create small pathways in the skin, to help penetrate skin care ingredients into the skin, and if the needles are deep enough, to encourage collagen production, soften lines and wrinkles, and help to break up Acne Scars. The appropriate length of needle for any of these to happen properly is at least 1.0, but usually starts at 1.5mm. I would also tread carefully and make sure you are committed to this treatment before doing any longer of a needle than that.
Some people will use a shallow roller, of .25-.5mm, weekly to help encourage anti-aging benefits and stimulate collagen, when in reality those needles are not deep enough to actually reach the dermis and do so. Boski (my friend from EDS) pointed out that continually poking the skin with needles would create a constant wound/healing response that would definitely be counter productive, as the constant inflammation caused from this will age the skin (Inflammation is generally the enemy of anyone seeking an anti-aging lifestyle or skincare regime). Ultrasound is a much better alternative (in my opinion) when looking for something to consistently use in your regimen as an anti-aging or preventative measure. However we're talking about a more isolated needling treatment here, and specifically for scars in my scenario.
The reason I was drawn to the idea, is for the manual breaking up of scar tissue. The needles are so fine that they help to break through the hardened scar tissues, such as the raised scars I described in the earlier post (this would work well on any acne scars, besides keloids, as far as I currently know). This will allow my topicals to penetrate the scar tissue more effectively and to help my skin heal and produce fresh collagen and elastin, resulting in reduction of the scar tissue.
The following images where borrowed from http://www.owndoc.com which is a great resource for Dermarolling, and they do sell to professionals and consumers alike. Many of the rollers sold elsewhere are only available to Doctors and professionals (see http://www.dermarollerus.com/), and you really cant trust the ones floating around eBay. If you are going to stick your skin with needles, don't risk a cheap 10 dollar roller you found on eBay. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
This is what a Dermaroller looks like, this one is 1.0mm
This is the Dermastamp I purchased, which is 1.5mm in length and contains 35 needles. The head of the stamp is roughly the diameter of a dime. The lighting in this picture makes the needles look terrible aggressive, and it person they look soooo tiny. When I open mine from it's sterilized package I will be sure to take a better up close shot of the needles.
I intend to use the Dermastamp, as it is easier for isolated scars and wrinkles. Like I said before, I have about 4 scars that are slightly raised that I intend to stamp after my 302 vacation is complete. A stamping treatment usually is about 15-20 stamps on the area. While I'm at it, I am going to spot-stamp that little line before my brows to test the Anti-wrinkle capabilities of needling, as the stamp needle length is appropriate for this as well. At this point, I may decide whether or not to do the baby lines on my forehead, however since I am opting out of a numbing cream to avoid unnecessary chemicals, if I have reached my irritation limit after the scars I will stop there and leave the Ultrasound to do the rest.
I am not going to keep elaborating on planning my treatment, especially considering as I have promised to do before and after photos and to document the whole experience for you all. I would however like to jump around a little and share a cool chart I found comparing different types of retinoids:
This a chart, also provided by www.owndoc.com, comparing the efficacy and personal toleration of different retinoid formulas. You will notice that Retinyl Acetate was circled as the most desired form of Vitamin A, which is the active ingredient in 302 Skincare's Clarity. Clarity contains a pretty potent 10% Retinyl Acetate in a base of ECGC from green tea. I know this stuff works, but I got excited to see the chart comparing them all and wanted to share.
Have a great night everyone!
Wishing you great Skin,