Does Microneedling Work? Yes! My Review With Photos and a Video.
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
I became interested in derma rolling (also known as microneedling or derma needling) after having my first baby in 2012. I was religious about applying cocoa butter and moisturizers throughout my pregnancy, stayed in great shape, and only gained the recommended amount of weight, but stretch marks started appearing around week 34 of my pregnancy.
By the end, it looked like my stomach was scratched to shreds by a wild animal. The marks bothered me a lot since I had hoped to be back in a bikini after having my daughter. I was in great shape quickly after having her, but my stomach was destroyed.
I tried all the typical creams and lotions with no luck. When I heard about dermarolling, it sounded like the perfect answer. I excitedly went online and researched the best options and bought the priciest dermaroller I could find (although I now understand that it was probably the same roller as a lot of the others, just labeled differently).
My first routine consisted of rolling my entire stomach with a 1mm roller. All I got out of that was a stomach that was slightly red for about a day. With more research, I learned that I needed to be far more aggressive in treating my marks. One of the most important concepts I learned was single needling. The area around the scar is healthy and does not need to be treated so rolling it is unnecessary. Treating just the scar tissue offers the best chance of rebuilding the collagen and helping raise the scar up to match the surrounding healthy tissue.
I bought several single longer needles, which were 1.5 mm in depth, from an online site and started the tedious process of carefully and precisely sticking this needle in, over and over, into each of my stretch marks. It was like coloring in a page of a coloring book, only the stretch marks were the picture to fill in and the needle was my coloring tool. The entire process took me almost two hours and was quite painful (I never use any numbing agents).
After dermaneedling, I applied a special ointment (Infadolan) designed to protect the skin as it heals. The following day, I applied a copper peptide serum to shorten my recovery time. In between rolling, I applied Retin A micro on some days and a Vitamin C serum on other days. I performed microneedling every 6 weeks (I think doing it more often, when going to the depths that I do, only hinders results. New collagen takes time to build and it's important for the skin to have adequate time to heal).
After almost a year of performing my tedious manual single needle treatments, I came across a machine that does automatic single needling. It goes up to 2.5 mm depth (which I now use) and is extremely efficient and fast (and less painful even though I go deeper). Instead of jabbing a 1.5mm needle in by hand, I can run this machine across my skin. The needle motion is so rapid that the process is also less uncomfortable. My skin gets much redder and I can needle the scars more thoroughly in less time with this device.
I also use single needling on my face at a depth of 2.5mm for acne scars. I had cystic acne for several years that left some deep scars in my cheek area. My cheeks were responding beautifully until I decided to do a ProFractional treatment (I thought it would speed up results and take care of everything at once). Having ProFractional took my face backwards. My left cheek is full of scars again that were almost unnoticeable before. I wish I had left well enough alone.
I am hoping the scars will heal up if I continue to do a 2.5mm treatment every 6 weeks.
I highly recommend using a dermaroller, especially with a high-quality microneedling device. It is important to know that it takes a lot of time, commitment, and patience though - this is not an overnight miracle treatment. Collagen production is a very slow process and it takes time for the collagen fibers that are damaged by the needles to stimulate new collagen. If you're patient, you'll see that microneedling works well! Just make sure you use a needle size that's correct for what you're treating and don't overdo the number of microneedling sessions. Good luck with your microneedling treatments!