28 Aug 2018 NEWS

In the arena of cosmetic dermatology, Dermaroller or skin roller is rapidly gaining popularity for treatment of acne scars, wrinkles, and skin rejuvenation. The treatment is also known as collagen induction treatment, microneedling, or skin roller. It is a convenient system easily accessible to dermatologist with minimal training.

Principle and mechanism of action

The normal human skin has a thickness of 1.5 mm and comprises of three layers, i.e., epidermis, dermis, and subcutis. Epidermis, the outer layer of skin, is a mechanical barrier and prevents water loss and permeation of external agents from environment. The infltration of the epidermal layer by topical medications is essential to enable action of these drugs. In recent times, Dermaroller has emerged as novel device facilitating transepidermal delivery of such topical drugs.

The fine needles in Dermaroller aid by promoting new collagen through release of growth factors and enhance absorption and penetration of active ingredients through microchannels created by Dermaroller. Today we know very well that wound healing and epithelial disrupters are controlled by electrical signals when a needle penetrates skin layers. The fne, but sharp needles perforate the vertical and horizontal scar edges and induce new collagen formation. This new formation flls the scar (crater) with new tissue from bottom to top. At the same time, the needles break down the old and hardened collagen scar strands and allow new capillaries to supply the former scar tissue with more blood. This revascularization and better blood supply will change the pigmentation of the tissue around the (former) scar. All these are natural physiological processes. Therefore, a subcision is not necessary as the needles will also break down the collagen fbers that connect the scar to the fascia. In any case it is recommended to perform collagen induction therapy (CIT) frst before a subcision is considered.

Mechanism of action of Dermaroller (courtesy Dermaroller S.A.R.L.). After scar perforation, venous and
arterial capillaries, as well as new fbroblasts, migrate through the former scar tissue

Types of microneedling devices

There are so many different kinds of microneedling devices with different product names available, it’s impossible to list all of them. We compiled a summary of the more popular microneedling devices you need to know about:

Dermarollers resemble small manual paint rollers with a round, rotating cylinder that has up to 200 tiny needles protruding from it and a handle for moving around it your face. These are sold for at-home use. They puncture hundreds of tiny holes in your skin.

Dermapens look like a pen, with a circular head studded with tiny needles. The motor-driven needles move in and out of the skin, piercing it with thousands of tiny punctures. The concentration of the needles in a tiny point is helpful for small dented acne scars. These are mostly used in a medical setting.

Dermastamps resemble Dermapens but have a larger head with more needles protruding from it for use on larger areas. Dermastamps may be motorized or manual, and work exactly as the name implies: Rather than rolling needles over the skin the needles are systematically stamped into skin.


–  Acne scars

– Aging skin and wrinkles

– Large pores

– Stretch marks

– Pigmentation

– Hair loss


– Pregnancy and lactation

– Active acne

– Photosensitive disorders

– Recent treatment with photosensitive drugs

– Active bacterial or viral infections


The patient may experience redness and swelling for 1–2 days posttherapy. Local antibiotics can be prescribed and strict photo protection should be advised. There are no other significant adverse effects seen. Dermaroller can be combined with other treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, subcision, or fractional lasers but with a suitable time interval of 3–4 weeks between them.


Dermaroller is a cost effective, easily accessible, and user friendly instrument delivering satisfactory results with negligible downtime. The plethora of indications are on a rise with use of rollers in burn scars, keloids, hair loss, skin rejuvenation, and many more.

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