A skin rejuvenation method that began over 50 years ago has evolved into a technique called skin needling or collagen induction therapy (CIT). Skin needling involves rolling a small hand held derma-roller that is covered in tiny .2 to 2 mm length needles over areas of skin to be treated. The therapy is based on the concept that small controlled “damage” to the skin will be followed by healing and renewal of the skin structure.
How it works:
The needles of the derma-roller penetrate the outer layer of the skin stimulating the body to produce new collagen and elastin. The needling loosens old skin cells to be sloughed away so the skin is repaired at a faster rate. This stimulation also thickens the skin so it appears more youthful. Skin needling has been shown to work well in the treatment of deep acne scars such as “icepick” scars or other pock mark scars as the new collagen fills in the depressions and irregularities. Wrinkling and stretch marks can also be diminished as top layers of skin renew.
A small Italian study reported in Clinical Experimental Dermatology Journal Acne monitored 32 patients for 18 months after being treated for two sessions with a skin needling tool. Digital photos were taken of the patients to evaluate before and after results. The study showed that after only two sessions, “scars in all patients was greatly reduced and there was an overall aesthetic improvement.”
Like many methods of skin rejuvenation, skin needling is not without risks. The good news is that skin needling is a less invasive method of skin renewal that may be able to be done at home. The bad news is that while the procedure seems so straightforward, performing skin needling on yourself may not be as safe or as effective as having it done by a professionally trained clinician. Here in the U.S., there are very few places that provide this technique so it may be difficult to find an experienced professional.
In England, Australia and South Africa, trained clinicians use rollers with longer needles that stimulate the skin to bleed initiating the healing cascade. Topical numbing creams are used to reduce any discomfort.