Stretch marks are an all too frequent reminder of pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, and bulking up too fast for athletic condition. They can be removed with laser treatments, microdermabrasion, skin creams, and even plastic surgery – but what if you could just roll them away in a few minutes each day? That’s what the makers of the Derma Roller for stretch marks promise.
The Derma Roller is a British adaptation of a very popular kind of massage roller commonly used in Japan. The metal roller is studded with tiny raised microneedles, just 1 mm (0.04 inch) tall, that push pores open without breaking the skin. The skin senses the stimulation as skin injury, and responds by producing additional collagen. The extra collagen in turn fills in the gaps between skin cells in scars and stretch marks so that after a few weeks of regular use, these skin blemishes fade away.
There actually is scientific evidence to back up Derma Roller product claims. The International Journal of Cosmetic Science (cited below) reports that short-term use of massage and roller treatments just moves fluid in the skin so that scars and cellulite temporarily are less noticeable. Long-term, regular massage and roller treatments, however, slows down the rate at which fat cells underlying the skin mature.
These fat cells grow at a slower rate while the skin above them grows at a faster rate, loosening the skin, releasing tension, and smoothing out the scar. The pigments that make the stretch mark noticeable are diluted as the skin grows, making it less and less noticeable. This process can take as little as 40 days or as long as a year. Massage creams, by the way, work in part through the action of rubbing the skin every day as they are applied.
Derma Roller reviews tell us that the users who get the best results find the use of the device uncomfortable but not painful. If you hear “pop-pop-pop” and see tiny drops of blood, you are pressing too hard. Many people who don’t get results from skin serums without the roller get good results from skin serums with the roller, but the idea is not to drill tiny holes into your skin to get serums or vitamins inside. In fact, if you have dark skin tones, puncturing your skin will make stretch marks and scars more noticeable, not less!
Are there any Derma Roller side effects? Used as directed, the Derma Roller should not draw blood. The makers of the device suggest that one way to use the product is to apply a skin numbing cream and then to rub the roller vigorously against the skin, but this is not how the device is used in Japan, where it was invented, or in professional skin care salons. Anything more than a mild redness that goes away in an hour or less is an indication treatment is too rough and a lighter touch is needed.
The Derma Roller is an effective and inexpensive tool for lightening and eventually removing stretch marks when it is used gently. For very best results, don’t use the numbing cream. Just make sure you use a light touch that does not cause pain. The massage of your skin, simulating injury without causing actual injury, is how the technique works. When used with a patient, gentle touch, Derma Roller is the least expensive and one of the most effective methods for getting rid of stretch marks for good.
Rawlings AV. Cellulite and its treatment. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Jun;28(3):175-90.