Would You "Needle" Your Face for Beauty? Hong Kong Warns Against Derma Roller

Princess 19 on 19 Aug 2011 at 3:57pm

Would you voluntarily poke your face with needles just to get younger-looking skin?  Apparently, many women are willing to - so much so that in Hong Kong the government is issuing strict warnings against it.

Microneedle therapy - also known as the brand name Derma Roller - has been gaining a following amongst the celeb set.  Angelina Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt are rumored to be fans.  The process consists of rolling a needle-laden device over the skin with or without a skin cream or anesthetic.  Sounds painful.

"The tiny wounds created in this way stimulate new collagen synthesis leading to the desired improvements," says RealSelf contributor, New York-based dermatologist, Dr. Nelson Novick.

Apparently, the treatment has a laundry list of conditions it can cure, such as hair loss, wrinkles, cellulite, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation.  Chinese women have taken to using it for the face to fix anti-aging issues.  As reported by the Daily Mail, the Hong Kong city council has issued stern warnings after many complaints - such as skin that is worse off than before the treatment.

"It is unwise to risk your life for a prettier appearance," says Hong Kong's community relations officer Philip Leung Kwong-hon.

derma roller before and after

The council's warnings also stem from the fear of unsterile equipment being used - as salons are rarely measured for sterility procedures.  This inadequacy could lead to a bevy of problems - including the contraction of diseases like hepatitis.

Some RealSelf readers have tried this "less than comfortable" treatment.  With a Worth It Rating of just 50%, the thoughts are mixed.

"Immediately post procedure, it plumped up my skin and so yes, my acne scarring looked 'diminished,'" says reader MissSydney.

"I have used the derma roller 5 times a week for the past 7 weeks and have seen no improvement what so ever..All the reviews i have read say its worked within days ..well it hasnt for me at all what a waste," says reader kenz.

With no scientific research to back-up the usefullness of this device, RealSelf doctors agree, try things that are proven effective.

"Dermaroller is intended for finer lines, scarring and perhaps as an anti-aging mechanism," says Virginia-based dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Oppenheim.  "Why use something with questionable benefit to address your concern when there is the perfect solution in Botox or Dysport?"

Whatever you may think, the Derma Roller (and copycat products) is getting a lot of attention due to the unconventional method of treatment.  It has been featured on shows such as Rachel Ray and The Doctors.  One thing, however, can be assessed from all the hype.  It is painful.  Maybe one prick from a Botox needle really is the way to go.

See The Doctors' entertaining discussion about this trend below.

Would you ever try a product like Derma Roller? 

Photo credit:  derma-roller.com