Microneedling, originally known as collagen induction therapy or percutaneous collagen induction (PCI), is now a well-documented treatment option in atrophic acne scars and for skin rejuvenation. The therapeutic indications for this treatment option have increased over the last few years to include transdermal drug delivery, treatment of periorbital melanosis, actinic keratosis and varicella scars. Previously used on its own, it is now increasingly combined with other modalities such as photodynamic therapy to obtain ideal results.
Microneedling, as the term indicates, means the use of needles or ‘microneedles’ to achieve a therapeutic effect.The original instrument used for microneedling is popularly known as a ‘dermaroller’. A dermaroller is a simple, hand-held instrument consisting of a handle with a cylinder studded with sterile, fine, stainless steel needles of 0.5–2 mm in length.
To achieve the therapeutic benefit, this needle studded cylinder is rolled on the skin in multiple directions and hence the name ‘dermaroller’.
As the therapeutic use of microneedling has been extended beyond scar management, various modifications have occurred since the dermaroller was originally introduced.
Microneedling is usually performed under the influence of a topical anaesthetic cream. Treatments with the dermaroller are performed at 4–8 week intervals and multiple sittings are needed to achieve the desired effect on the skin.