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  • Writer's pictureChin Ling

Dermal Rolling - Possible Reactions

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Dermal rolling, micro needling or Roll-CIT, for was originally created by Dr Des Fernandes, the creator of Environ. The idea behind this was that in surgery, the needles made tiny holes in the skin, puncturing down through the layers. This ‘injury’ prompted the fibrolasts to start producing collagen which is the protein responsible for giving our skin the plumpness, softness and elasticity that we wish to maintain. The second benefit of the needling was to allow any ingredients that were applied to the skin to be absorbed in through the holes, so increasing their effectiveness.

Dr Des later adjusted the model of the dermal needle for home use. This and the surgical model has since been copied many times and it is easy to buy a needling device on the internet as well as in a salon or clinic.

Some may question the safety of micro needling. The problem lies not so much in the needling, but what you put on afterwards. Immediately following dermal rolling, only apply products to your skin that are prescribed as safe for use after this procedure.

If you apply a cream that has colouring, fragrance or preservatives, or harsh ingredients, therein lies your problem. In most topical products, the ingredients don’t get past the first layer of your skin, but the micro holes made with rollering allow these ingredients to go deeper than they were intended for.

If you have bought your home roller device from a clinic or salon, use the product that is recommended to be used with it.

Secondly, who supplies your home roller device? If you buy from a reputable brand and you use it according to the instructions, there is no problem. However, when Dr Des first came out with the Roll-CIT, it proved so successful, it was copied many times over. I was told the first Roll-CITs were made by one person. I used to imagine one lonesome man sitting in a workshop in South Africa painstakingly inserting individual needles into the device. Apparently, he would make 3 a day. I don’t know how true that story is, but when demand for the Roll-CITs rose, he didn’t remain lonesome much longer as more people joined him.

The genuine devices are made very precisely, from how the needles are inserted to how many there are to get the most effective puncturing. A low quality roller can drag and damage the skin. A low quality needle may have more needles than are necessary and cause the needles to insert too often in one spot.

Finally, a word on hygiene.

Always make sure your home dermal roller is used for you and only for you.

If you drop it, throw it away. Even if you can’t see it, it is so easy to damage or bend the needles. You don’t want a damaged needle to go into your skin at an awkward angle as it may tear.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your home roller. They will all sell disinfecting sprays or soaking solutions. Alternatively ask for advice at a clinic or salon which does these treatments. Even if you can’t see it, your roller will pick up dead cells and bacteria. You clean your toothbrush, so why not your dermal roller?

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