Acne scar, scar & aging skin treatment - Skin Needling

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"Skin Needling or collagen induction therapy (CIT) can safely treat depressed acne scar, hypertrophic surgical scar, borders of skin grafts, chicken pox scars, deep facial lines, wrinkles and skin pigmentation "

The Clearskincare Skin Roller range was developed after 2 years of research and patient trials.

Skin Needling can safely treat depressed acne scar, hypertrophic surgical scar, borders of skin grafts, chicken pox scars, deep facial lines, wrinkles and pigmented skin.

1.          History of Skin Needling

Skin Needling has been performed for many years, using a variety of instruments, to soften depressed scars and deep facial lines.

Dr Philippe Simonin, a Swissfrench dermatologist, published his results in Baran's Cosmetic Dermatology 1994, but his ground breaking technique, which he named Electroridopuncture (ERP), remained largely unknown to the wider medical community.  In his study of 600 patients, he examined results for 2 patient groups - one with Skin Aging and the other with Old Scars.  He performed 10 teatments on all patients.

In the patient group with Skin Aging, 40% showed significant improvement, 22% moderate improvement and 13% some improvement - as measured by comparative skin imprints.  In the patient group with Old Scars, 60% improved with 5-6 treatments.  Best results were obtained for old fibrous and depressed scars.

Another pioneer of Skin Needling was Dr Andre Camirand, a Canadian Plastic Surgeon who made a chance observation of improvement in the texture and depression of the scars of some of his facelift patients, who had undergone tattooing for scar camouflage.  He experimented with tattooing facelift scars without pigment, and noted improvement in texture and colour.  He published an article on his results in JACPS in 1992.

Dr Camirand postulated that hypochromic (depigmented) skin repigmented through the transplantation of melanocytes (pigment producing skin cells) from normal skin into the hypochromic skin during the needling procedure.  He also reported flattening of hypertrophic (overgrown) scars.  He performed his needling procedures using a high speed tattoo gun, under local anaesthesia and treated each scar to pinpoint bleeding.  He repeated the procedure every 2-8 weeks and no side effects or complications were reported.

2.          Making Skin Needling easier

It is possible to obtain good results with ERP for deep depressed scars and deep lines after 10-15 treatment sessions.

However performing ERP is time consuming and requires extreme patience, so during 2003/2004, I worked with an Australian instrument designer to develop an affordable, autoclavable medical skin roller and homecare rollers that could make Skin Needling easier to perform and accessible to every patient who needed it.

Skin Needling can be safely performed on all skin colours and types.  There is no risk of postinflammatory hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation (lightening or darkening of the skin as a result of skin trauma) as the melanocytes (pigment skin cells) remain intact, like the dermis, during Skin Needling.  This is the major distinguishing safety feature when comparing Skin Needling and other invasive procedures that are used to treat deep line and depressed scars, ie. laser resurfacing, deep chemical peels and dermabrasion.

Other distinguishing safety features of Skin Needling include:

  • significantly reduced risk of infection;
  • significantly reduced downtime period for healing; and
  • significantly reduced comparative cost.

3.          How Skin Needling with a skin roller works

Skin Needling with a skin roller produces hundreds of tiny dermal injuries.  Each dermal injury triggers the body's natural wound healing response within the skin, producing and depositing new collagen and elastin in the treatment area.  Each successive treatment triggers the production and deposition of new collagen and elastin that progressively in-fill (collagen induction) the depressed scars and deep lines. Collagen induction can continue for up to 12 months after a treatment has been performed.

As the dermal layer produces more collagen and elastin, with successive treatments skin becomes firmer, smoother and more elastic, and the complexion becomes and looks more balanced and healthier.  Effectively Skin Needling performs a non surgical facelift.

The hundreds of tiny dermal injuries produced by the skin rollers also act as channels that significantly increase the absorption of skincare creams.  For the hair, the skin roller also stimulates blood flow around blood starved hair follicles and gently exfoliates dead skin cells.  Used in combination with Minoxidil for hair restoration, the skin roller significantly increases the uptake of Minoxidil reducing the period from when first results are evident from 3 months down to 4-6 weeks.

4.          Results

In Clearskincare's experience, results vary between patients, with some acheiving 90%+ improvement in scarring and others less than 50%.  However, all patients acheive some improvements.


Before                                                                  After


Before                                                                  After


The most exciting feature of Skin Needling is its safety advantages.  Skin Needling can be safely  performed on Asian and darker skins, as well as skins that have been previously lasered or had dermabrasion treatments. 

When compared to laser resurfacing or clinical microdermabrasion, the benefits of skin needling are:

  • There is a significantly reduced chance of hypo or hyperpigmentation (patchy lightening or darkening of the skin);
  • Significantly reduced chance of infection (as long as the roller is used by only one person and hygeine directions are followed);
  • Significantly reduced downtime and pain (no downtime or pain with homecare rollers);
  • Results are permanent; and
  • A fraction of the cost.

Generally, deep ice pick acne scars and deep facial lines will need to be treated by a medical professional using a medical face roller in combination with the homecare rollers.  However, not as deep wider acne scars and other depressed scars, aging, sun damaged and pigmented skin can be treated using homecare rollers.

Skin Needling can be performed for whole face rejuvenation, and when combined with tretinoin,  hydroquinone and or copper peptides, delivers equivalent results to laser resurfacing with a no risk profile.  It can also be regularly repeated as a patient ages to replenish collagen and elastin, there is no limit to the number of procedures/treatments undertaken.

5.          A better, finest quality reusable skin roller

In 2005, to meet the needs of our patients, Clearskincare developed the only homecare skin rollers available that are designed to be reusable for 12 months.  The Clearskincare Rollers represent 2 years of research, design, development and patient trials to bring an effective and afforadable skin roller to clinicians and the public. 

The Clearskincare Skin & Scalp Roller range is unique, constructed of the finest quality surgical stainless steel needles mounted in the highest quality autoclavable medical grade plastic rollers and handle. Used daily and cared for as directed your Clearskincare homecare roller will last for 12 months.

The Clearskincare Roller range was designed to maximise results for treating acne scars , lines, wrinkles , stretchmarks as well as thinning hair whilst minimising downtime and pain.  Maximising results whilst minimising downtime and pain is acheived by the careful selection of needle length to target the specific areas of the epidermis and dermis to achieve these goals.  To achieve these desired results needle length and gauge are the most critical factors when selecting skin rollers.  Clearskincare rollers use 0.25mm gauge needles, the thickest usable needle gauge to stimulate maximum collagen and elastin whilst not causing scarring.  Thicker needles will cause scarring, unnecessary pain and bleeding, thinner needles will not stimulate enough collagen or elastin to be effective. 

The Clearskincare Skin & Scalp Roller uses 192, 0.75mm surgical stainless steel needles mounted in a high quality durable plastic roller.  The 0.75mm needle length targets the upper dermis to stimulate collagen and elastin and thereby naturally infill scars, lines and wrinkles and significantly improve the absorption of skin products.  The 0.75mm needle length was chosen to target the average depth of the upper dermis in both male and female skins on the face, scalp and body.  A shorter needle will not pierce the upper dermis, longer needles will cause unnecessary pain and bleeding.  The Clearskincare Skin & Scalp Roller can be used for treating acne scars , lines, wrinkles , stretchmarks as well as thinning hair .

The Clearskincare Face Roller uses 192, 0.3mm surgical stainless steel needles mounted in a high quality durable plastic roller and handle to pierce the stratum corneum and radically increase the absorption of skin products.  The startum corneum is located near the surface of the skin and consists of flattened dehydrated dying keratinocytes (skin cells) that provides a semi impermeable layer that protects the underlying skin and organs from the environment.  The majority of creams, lotions and serums applied to the skin are trapped on the surface by the stratum corneum.  Products designed for treating the dermis such as Vitamin A and C and copper peptides to be effective, need to pass through the strtaum corneum.   The Clearskincare Face Roller uses a 0.3mm needle to pierce the stratum corneum (this is the average depth of the stratum corneum in male and female skins on the face, neck and decolletage) and thereby maximise the effectiveness of your skincare products.  Shorter needles will not be long enought to pierce the stratum corneum, longer needles will cause unnecessary pain and bleeding.  If you are using Vitamin A and C , copper peptides or any product designed for the dermis you should be using them in combination with the Clearskincare Face Roller.

Others rollers on the market were designed to be disposable and use inferior needles and plastics.  They were designed by engineers who have no medical background or understanding of scar, anti aging skin treatment, hair loss or any understanding of the human anatomy, hence their generic choices of needle lengths (0.25mm, 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm, 2.5mm etc.).  Some of these rollers also use gold plating that can peel off whilst rolling, becoming trapped in the skin causing infection and further scarring.

For rollers with a needle length of 1.25mm and greater, some form of topical anaesthetic is needed to be applied for effective treatment to be administered by the user.  For the treatment to produce sufficient collagen and elastin and thereby effective results, multiple passes must be undertaken to produce pinpoint bleeding.  The pain and excessive bleeding caused by using needles of 1.25mm and greater in length, inhibits the self administration of this kind of skin needling, therefore the majority of homecare users are unable to perform the treatments on themselves with the sufficient vigour to gain sufficient results.

It should also be noted that when using needles to pierce the skin, the longer the needle the quicker they become blunt.  Needle length of 1.25mm and greater will last for only a couple of weeks (and less the longer the needle) of daily use.  The 0.75mm needle length (Clearskincare Skin & Scalp Roller) was chosen because it is long enough to stimulate collagen & elastin, proof is that it causes spot bleeding meaning that it has pierced the epidermal/dermal junction and is thereby stimulating the upper dermis stimulating collagen and elastin production, yet short enough not to cause pain or major bleeding thereby inhibiting the user from effectively performing the treatment with sufficient vigour and just the right length to be durable and able to last for 12 months with daily use.

It is Clearskincare's aim to provide effective and affordable solutions for acne, acne scarring, all indented scarring, pigmentation, sun damage, aging skin and hair loss to all. 


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