Microneedling Kind of Works Based On My Experience of Using it For Years
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
Acne scar treatment
When I was younger, I had very oily skin. It was so oily that I frequently had to shower multiple times a day. I always felt disgusting. I never had terrible acne but my oily skin caused frequent mild breakouts. These chronic breakouts caused some acne scarring on my face. I was able to stop getting acne and eliminated my oily skin with Accutane, which is the best drug ever created in my opinion, but was left with some pockmarks. These marks bothered me a lot and I had read mixed reviews about laser resurfacing devices. All of the reviews I had read said that the laser treatments that worked best left your skin very red for weeks. I had recently started a new job and I couldn't afford to take a week off from work to have a laser resurfacing procedure. My acne scars weren't bad enough to justify it. So I looked for alternative options and came across microneedling. Compared to laser treatments it was much more affordable and I didn't need to visit a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to get it done.
Before I decided which microneedling device to buy, I did a little bit of research on the internet. I had read that the brand of dermaroller didn't matter as much as the depth of the needles. Home microneedling devices are sold with one of several sized rollers: .3mm, .5mm, 1.0mm and 1.5mm. There may be other sizes, but those were the sizes most spoken about online and they seemed to be the most popular on Amazon.
I started by ordering a .5mm needle. Each night I would roll the dermaroller over my scars. Right after I rolled it over my skin it would be a little red, but afterwards I would put moisturizer on my face and by the time I woke up, the redness was completely gone. Over a month or two my scars started fade but if I stopped dermarolling, the scars would slowly come back. I decided to order a longer needle and bought a 1.5mm roller off Amazon.
One thing I should point out to those of you considering trying microneedling, is the rollers do hurt a bit. If you're very sensitive to pain, you may have an issue with this. I did not and so I often pressed down on my roller a bit harder, so that the needles could penetrate into the collagen producing layers of my skin. Microneedling is supposed to work by making small holes in your skin, which cause small amounts of damage and cause your body to produce new collagen. This is called 'collagen induction therapy.' The more you damage your skin, the more collagen that's produced. This new collagen is supposed to fill in scars and prevents the signs of aging. At least in theory that's how it's supposed to work.
My experience with the 1.5mm dermaroller showed that it definitely worked better than the .5mm roller. I guess the larger needles were able to penetrate into my dermis more, causing increased collagen production(or more likely swelling). The one thing I will say about microneedling is that if you stop doing it, your scars come back. I have had a marginal improvement in my skin texture but I'm not sure how much of it is from skin needling causing collagen production and how much of it is from the needles causing small amounts of swelling that make my scars look like they went away.
So I bet you're wondering, would I suggest microneedling? My answer would be I think microneedling works but it's not a miracle treatment. You need to keep doing it and as I spoke about above, I'm not sure how much of what the tiny needles do is producing long lasting results, and how much of it is caused my temporary swelling. I recently started buying a $300 growth factor serum called Neocutis to couple with my microneedling regimen. I hope this produces great results than I've been experiencing. I'll keep you guys posted as I figure out what works best.