What is Derma Rolling?
Derma Rolling (Some may be more familiar with the term microneedling) is where you use a device called a Derma Roller or “Microneedle” to roll across the skin. This device uses little needles that, when rolled across the skin, actually puncture pinpoint holes in it. We know this sounds painful but it is really not as bad as it sounds because these punctures are truly so small. The tiny punctures result in little injuries to the skin surface. This treatment has been proven to increase blood flow to the punctured area, resulting in an increase in the numbers of growth factors and inflammatory mediators. The Growth Factors and Inflammatory Mediators then flood to that area and stimulate the skin to heal itself or if used for Hair Restoration, grow hair in that area. Derma Rolling is not a new treatment. It has been around for years and has been used in many different procedures such as laser therapy for skin resurfacing.
What are growth factors?
I’m sure you’ve heard this time and time again but the outward appearance of our skin is really just a direct reflection of what’s happening down below the surface. Your body is bound to age over time. (That is a given!) With some of the most common signs of “getting up there” being fine lines/wrinkles, loss of elasticity, hair thinning, and uneven skin tone. The average patient is immediately drawn to Botox and Fillers to minimize their lines and wrinkles but what they may NOT know is there is a far less invasive option. Que Derma Rolling and Growth Factors!
So let’s get technical here for a minute. Growth factors are large proteins that float between cells communicating crucial messages relevant to growth, healing, and survival. (They are also found in ABUNDANCE throughout the body.) Growth factors are manufactured by all types of cells. In the skin, this includes those comprising both the outermost epidermal layer and in the deeper dermis. I’m talking about the keratinocytes, (what you can plainly see in the mirror), and the fibroblasts (collagen) and melanocytes (pigment-making cells) nestled beneath. Then when these proteins bind to receptors on the cell surfaces, they send off commands to repair and rejuvenate the skin.
Gail Naughton, a regenerative medicine researcher and growth-factor formulator, compares growth factors to “keys”, and receptors to “locks”. “When the key clicks into the lock, it activates the cell to do things, like grow and divide, make more collagen and elastin, or increase blood flow.” But by our late 20s, that lock-and-key mechanism begins to get rusty. The skin starts producing smaller quantities of growth factors — resulting in less cell growth, and thinner, less supple skin.
Derma rolling with growth factors will not only remove the outer layer of skin but it has an additional kick to encourage healing and skin growth. A win win, especially for an increase in hair growth after dealing with hair-thinning and hair-loss!
What are inflammatory mediators?
Inflammation is an immediate response triggered by damage to living tissues. The inflammatory mediator response is a defense mechanism that is present in higher organisms to protect us from harmful infections and injury to our bodies. The purpose of an Inflammatory Mediator is to localize and eliminate the destructive agent and to remove the damaged tissue components so that the body can begin to heal itself. The Inflammatory Mediator response consists of changes in blood flow, an increase in the permeability of blood vessels, and the migration of proteins and white blood cells from the circulation to the site of tissue damage.
What size of Derma Roller is right for me?
The important thing to understand about Derma Rollers is that they come in different depths. Some areas of the body have a different dermal thickness which means the size of the Roller will vary depending on the section. Another reason the Derma Roller size changes is because people in general have different dermal thicknesses. Keep in mind, if the Dermal Roller depth is too short, you won’t see the results you are looking for. If the Dermal Roller depth is too deep, it may cause more pain & injury than necessary.
The area you are shooting for to derma roller is an area where the stem cells reside. This is called the “bulge area”. This is where growth in the hair follicles is initiated and is usually around one to one and a half millimeters thick. Ultimately, the best way to find a depth that works best for your scalp and to avoid limited results or injury would be to consult with your doctor.
What are the risks associated with derma rolling and microneedling?
There are a few risks or side effects associated with derma rolling.
- You could damage the hair at the root if you go too deep. This could actually have the opposite effect that you intended in the first place.
- You could essentially cut the hair off when the Derma Roller goes in. This would cause a thinning effect on the hair for a time as the hair grows back in.
- You may see some shedding even if you do derma rolling correctly due to the inflammatory response started at the hair bulb.
- You do run the risk of infection any time you create injury to the skin. This is best avoided by using a sterile Derma Roller.
How often should I derma roll?
Due to these risk factors, daily treatments are not recommended when it comes to derma rolling. It is best to start slow. Try once a week and see how your body reacts. Then move to twice a week. You should never derma roll more than twice a week. It is best to only go over your problem areas one time in a single treatment. You don’t want to repeatedly go over the scalp as this could cause more injury and possibly infection.
The best way to derma roll safely and with as little risk as possible is to visit your doctor for your derma rolling procedures. Even though you can buy a derma roller online, they are often not at the depth you need for derma rolling the scalp and you may see more side effects than you would by going to your doctor for this hair restoration service.
Is derma rolling right for me?
Out of the many hair restoration services we offer here at Mountain West Medical, derma rolling is on the low end (price-wise) for treating hair-thinning and hair-loss. Derma Rolling, as mentioned previously, is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, and hair-loss or thinning. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the problem. The best way to know if Derma Rolling is right for you and how many treatments are recommended for optimal results, schedule a consultation at Mountain West Medical. We will give you a detailed overview of what to expect during your procedure, recovery time, and pricing/payment options.
We look forward to working with you!