Having a 3rd degree burn scar can be a very frustrating cosmetic problem. Carrying this deep scar for too long not only affects the integrity of the skin but also the self-esteem of the person. On a brighter side, there are many newer and advanced surgical procedures that can be used to treat burn scars.
One of the newer procedure used in getting rid of burn scars that promises a better cosmetic appearance is derma rolling treatment. The best thing about this procedure is that it can be performed at the convenience of your own home. You only need a hand held derma rolling device and minimal training to do the procedure on your own. So, how does it work and can it really remove deeper scars like third degree burns? Are there any legitimate medical studies on this? And is it really effective?
Why Derma Rolling Treatment is the Next Big Thing in Treating Burn Scars?
There are numerous advanced and invasive surgical procedures used for the treatment of burn scars. But most people are either hesitant to undergo a surgical procedure considering the medical expenses and the longer recovery period. The trend now is that most people prefer minimally invasive and less expensive procedures which also offer a similar effect. One of the newer procedures is derma rolling treatment.
In a Nutshell – How Derma Rolling can Help Remove Burn Scars?
Derma rolling treatment or skin needling open doors for lesser invasive procedures that offers maximal results. This procedure works by stimulating the skin’s growth factors to produce newer skin cells. The problem with a burn scar is that it has a deeper damage to the skin which requires deeper and longer skin needling procedures. It may also cause more redness and swelling of the affected area. But the good thing about derma rolling is that the after-effects are only temporary and will resolve over time.
In derma rolling treatment, micro needles are used to puncture the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin. This will induce bleeding on the epidermal layer which in turn will cause a series of events that leads to the production of newer, stronger and firmer skin cells. When the micro needles penetrate the epidermis, it will create a small puncture which will close spontaneously.
The epidermal layer will still remain intact despite having numerous puncture channels. The post operative care is very simple because there is no open wound created. You don’t have to use any sorts of dressings.
How Micro Needles Induce Skin Proliferation for Third Degree Burn Skin?
Third degree burns disrupt the integrity of the skin tissues. Usually, wounds that are caused by trauma or burns which are caused by fire accidents may closed by secondary intention. This means it relies on the biological healing process of the skin. Depending on the type of injury, the skin will automatically begin the inflammation phase immediately after having an injury.
At the average, it may usually last for 7 to 14 days. Following the inflammation phase, cell proliferation will occur then the activation of the remodeling or maturation phase. This last phase may usually last for one year or more depending on the extent of damage. The healed phase of the skin, usually results to the formation of scar tissues.
Derma rolling or micro needling treatment is one of the potential procedures that can be used in getting rid of burn scars. In a study of Dunkin and colleagues, they found out that scars with a depth of 0.5 to 0.6 mm can leave without any scar tissue with the use of electrical cell stimulation. This study was further strengthened by Zhao, and colleagues, which also reported similar results when electrical currents are activated for skin healing. One of the challenges is that how deeper scars like burn tissues can be removed without leaving any trace?
Liebl and colleagues proposed that micro needling treatment can be used in treating chronic wounds like burn scars. The main idea of this treatment is to activate an electric field simulation that would stimulate the trans epithelial potentials of the skin.
Derma rolling is an effective tool that can be used to activate the skin’s battery. This procedure uses a medical grade and non traumatic microneedle which is preferably made from stainless steel. It will then enter the subcutaneous tissues which stimulates the electrical fields of the skin. Take note that the micro needle penetration usually last for a fraction of second.
Having severe burn scars could mean that the affected area of the skin will most likely bleed when a micro needle is applied. This is expected considering that the damage skin tissues may have punctured or cut the vessels. The good thing about micro needling treatment is that, it will not cause severe bleeding because only the capillaries are punctured.
Nonetheless, the mild skin trauma results in a milder inflammatory response. For you to be able to elicit a desired response from the skin at least two hundred micro needles pricks are needed. The cells around the skin will consider the repeated micro penetrations as induced wound stimuli which will cause a permanent state that will activate the electrical fields of the skin.
Is Derma Rollers at Home Effective?
Derma rollers are simple hand held device that can be used effectively even at the comforts of your own home. Just like any new gadgets that you brought in a department store, you need first to read the instruction manual so you can use the device properly. Derma rolling is not an exception.
The procedure of rolling is very easy, but you also need to learn the technique so you won’t induce any damage to the skin. There are many online tutorials on how to use the micro needles properly so you can get the desired response in no time. The good thing is, it requires minimal training, so you can actually learn how to use the micro needle in no time.
The best thing about derma rolling treatment is that it can be used to treat even severe third degree burn scars. But don’t expect that the skin healing will happen overnight. It may take a while before you can actually see the results. Of course, if you have deeper scars, you may need to have several derma rolling sessions before you can see the result. Nevertheless, the results are permanent and long lasting!
Dunkin C.S., Pleat J.M., Gillespie P.H., Tyler M.P., Roberts A.H., McGrouther D.A. . (2007). Scarring occurs at a critical depth of skin injury: precise measurement in a graduated dermal scratch in human volunteers. . Plast Reconstr Surg. , 1722–1732.
Horst Liebla and Luther C. Kloth,. (2012). Skin Cell Proliferation Stimulated by Microneedles. J Am Coll Clin Wound Spec. , 2–6.
Zhao M., Song B., Rajnicek A.M. (2006). Electrical signals control wound healing through phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase-g and PTEN. . Nature , 457–460.