Micro-Needling improves the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars
Device That Deliver Tiny Needle Pricks Aim to Stimulate the Skin’s Natural Healing Processes
Ilooda’s Secret micro-needling device uses radio-frequency heat to help grow collagen
The Ache: Treatments to minimize wrinkles and scars from acne or chickenpox can involve multiple doctor visits with long recuperation periods, and often aren’t recommended for people with suntans or darker skin.
The Claim: A therapy called micro-needling—in which a device delivers tiny needle pricks to stimulate the skin’s natural healing processes—can minimize wrinkles and improve the appearance of scars in all skin types and with minimal recovery. Dermatologists and aestheticians typically offer the treatment, but home devices are also available.
The Verdict: Several published studies have found micro-needling, when applied by a doctor, is effective against acne scars. But dermatologists urge caution in doing it at home because of the risk of infection and scarring. And a recent scientific paper detailed three cases of an allergic reaction caused by serums applied after the therapy at a spa.
Micro-needling devices include rollers with wheels of needles and pens with a cluster of needles at the tip. The slight injury they cause stimulates the growth of collagen, the scaffolding under the skin, which then improves the appearance of some scars and wrinkles, scientists say.
The technique works great for sunken areas on the skin caused by acne, but not for deep, narrow “ice pick” scars, says New York dermatologist Doris Day. Dr. Day says she generally sees a 60% to 70% improvement in the broad acne scars with four to six treatments.
Micro-needling also helps smooth small, thin wrinkles, such those around the eyes, and “does a very nice job” on upper-lip wrinkles, adds Tina A. Alster, an associate professor of dermatology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Treatment at a dermatologists’ office with a medical-grade device costs $250 to $1,000. During the procedure, there may be light bleeding. After the therapy, a patient’s face will look pink and puffy. Dr. Alster suggests patients ice for several hours after the therapy. But unlike a much older skin-beautification procedure called laser resurfacing in which healing can take a week or more, micro-needling offers a fast recovery. “If you do it on a Monday, you’ll be presentable with make-up Wednesday,” she adds.
Doctors’ models, such as the Collagen P.I.N. from Charter Management Inc., Brookings, S.D., are often motorized in order to allow precise control of the needle depth. Others, such as one from Israel’s EndyMed Medical Ltd. use both micro-needles and radio-frequency energy, which creates heat that also helps grow collagen. Radio-frequency delivered by needles is significantly more expensive than micro-needle treatment alone, dermatologists say.
At-home models are widely available online for $20 to $125. Dermatologists recommend consulting a physician before micro-needling at home and using needles shorter than a quarter-to-a-half millimeter. Longer needles increase the risk of infection or scarring and hurt more: “Once you get over one millimeter, you need to be pretty brave,” says Michael Gold, a Nashville, Tenn. Dermatologist who is a consultant to EndyMed Medical.
If rolling at home, doctors say, it is important to wash the face first with soap and water and use only quality needle devices. Dull needles, or somewhat skewed needles, can result in damage to the face, adds Dr. Day.
Also, be cautious of applying any skin-care products not specifically tested for use with micro-needle devices. In the January issue of JAMA Dermatology, scientists at the University of Utah describe three cases of allergic reactions following spa treatments that included micro-needling plus a Vitamin C serum and other skin-care products. The women got itchy, disfiguring rashes that lasted as long as a year, says co-author Douglas Powell, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the university.
Another concern is that some of the devices may not have undergone needed Food and Drug Administration review. Some simple medical devices can be exempt from FDA review if they are equivalent to a device that is already exempt.
But in a warning letter last year to Germany’s Dermaroller GmBH, a pioneer in the field, the agency told the company its consumer and professional products aren’t exempt. “They don’t have clearance or approval, nor are they substantially equivalent to a device that is exempt from pre-market notification,” says Christopher C. Kelly, an agency press officer.
Dermaroller Chief Executive Michael Tomerius says the company has taken its products off the U.S. market and is now working with the agency to get in compliance.
Mr. Kelly declined to comment on whether the FDA plans a broader crackdown, citing the agency’s policy not to comment on continuing investigations.
Originalartikel vom The Wall Street Journal – 6. Oktober 2014 – Laura Johannes
|Full Spectrum Tattoo Removal Laser System|
|Full Spectrum Tattoo Removal Laser System|