Micro-needling is the use of very fine needles to pierce the skin to administer medications, reduce scars, and trigger the skin's natural healing mechanisms that in turn create smooth and healthy skin.
Penetrating or puncturing the skin to heal it is not something new. Physicians have been using puncturing techniques to treat abscesses and release pressure on wounds for centuries. Over the past several decades different methods of puncturing the skin for medical benefit have been developed.
During the 1980’s medical researchers realized that certain medications and drugs were better absorbed by the body when administered into the upper layers of the skin rather than by deeper injections or by swallowing pills. Administering medication through micro-needles was less painful as the needles are very short and do not reach the nerves that are deeper below the skin. This method of delivering medications has been very effective and is still in use today.
In the 1990’s Canadian surgeon Dr. Andre Camirand began using tattoo guns without ink to treat scars that remained after surgery. His experiments with the fine needles used on tattoo guns began with creating small openings in the scar tissue to remove the tension and tightness in the skin caused by the scarring. However he found that after each treatment the skin became softer and some pigmentation began to return to the treated skin. However his research and treatment method did not become more widely used as it was both time and labor consuming to perform with just one needle.
During this time a German medical inventor was also researching micro-needle therapies for use with tissue implants. Horst Liebl, inventor of the Original German Dermaroller, designed the very first micro-needling medical device. His invention revolutionized the time and labor consuming technique of using a static single needle treatment method created by Dr. Camirand to a dynamic micro-needling process using many fine needles on a drum-shaped roller device. Patented and trademarked in 2000, the Original German Dermaroller was the first medical micro-needling device to treat larger areas of the skin easily and quickly.
Over the past 7 to 8 years, micro-needling has gained popularity as an effective way to treat acne scars, stretch marks and hyperpigmentation. Since micro-needling devices penetrate the skin, all needling instruments must be registered and approved as medical devices before they can be purchased and used. FDA registration and CE marking on a micro-needling device means the device has met the stringent testing requirements set forth by both agencies for patient safety. Make sure you ask your healthcare provider if the micro-needling device they will be using is both registered with the FDA and has earned a CE mark.