1. The Dermaroller is punching little holes
in my skin . Isnｴt there the danger that too much applied substance will penetrate
the skin and go into my bloodstream ?
No - this is a misconception how the Dermaroller works. First you
have to understand that there are several different versions of the Dermaroller
available. Each version has a different length of the penetrating needles and
different angles. For our purpose we are using version C-8 which has 192 needles
in an angle of 15ｰ and a needle length of 0.18 mm. This version is designed to
punch holes in the stratum corneum but not through this skin layer.
The intention of version C-8 is " to improve the deposition of drugs into the
stratum corneum". Other versions with longer needles and steeper angles will enhance
transdermal penetration which is desired for some drugs. The study by the University
of Marburg, Germany shows that after the use of version C-8 there were no higher
depositions of substances in the deeper skin layers.
2. What exactly happens on my skin after
using the Dermaroller ?
have applied a liposomal substance and rolled a couple of times three things happen.
Some liposomes are trying to penetrate your skin using the
hair follicle shaft as a pathway. Other liposomes are directly pushed by the
force of the Dermaroller into the stratum corneum. From there they diffuse further.
We will talk about that later. The remaining liposomes on your skin are using
the holes made by the Dermaroller to penetrate into the stratum corneum. The study
shows that these liposomes are delivering the best results.
The stratum corneum is the outer layer of the epidermis. ( Three
top layers on the picture above ) The Dermaroller C-8 is designed to puncture
this layer - not deeper. So there is no danger of a significantly enhanced penetration
into the lower dermis and the bloodstream.
3. Why liposomes ? Will the Dermaroller work
with non-liposomal substances too ?
Liposomes are already designed to penetrate
the skin. They work by their special small
size less than 600 nm and their lipophilicity. And liposomes are specifically
targeting the sebaceous glands which is important for the delivery
of anti-hairloss drugs. Liposomes that penetrate the stratum corneum have the
potential to interact with living tissue. Topically applied liposomes can either
mix with the stratum corneum lipid matrix or penetrate the stratum corneum by
exploiting the lipid-water interface of the intercellular matrix. There are at
least four major routes of entry into the skin: pores, hair follicles, columnular
spaces and the lipid:water matrix between squames.A major force driving liposome
penetration is the water gradient and flexible liposomes are best able to exploit
these delivery opportunities. This rather quick penetration process seemed to
follow distinct pathways along the epidermis and the upper dermis, notably the hair follicle route
Recent studies show that sometimes only liposomal encapsulated substances are able to reach the hair follicle,
f.e. melanin. Liposomes were loaded with melanin and applied to the skin.
They were able to reach the hair follicle and re-color graying hair.
But back to the question. Liposomes have the
ability to target the pilosebaceous unit. The hair follicle, hair shaft and sebaceous
gland are collectively known as the pilosebaceous unit. The pilosebaceous unit
is a complex, dynamic, 3-D structure, which is the site of unique biochemical,
metabolical and immunological events. So by the use of liposomes and the Dermaroller
nearly 100 % of the applied liposomes will try to target the pilosebaceous unit. Some liposomes by
using the hair shaft, others by being pushed into the stratum corneum and then
targeting the sebaceous gland and the remaining ones by using the holes being
punched by the Dermaroller. This explains why the use of the Dermaroller improves
the penetration ability of the liposomes so significantly.
The molecular size of regular non-liposomal
substances is often too big to penetrate the skin. They rely on alcohol ethoxylates
to improve skin penetration of active ingredients. The interesting question is
how alcohol improves skin penetration ? There are two theories. First - the alcohol
evaporates fast and concentrates the drug in the residual formulation that remains
on the skin. Some thermodynamic activity will drive the drug into the stratum
corneum. Second - the alcohol alters the physical integrity of the stratum corneum
barrier resulting in an increase in the abilty of the drug to penetrate the skin.
Both ways to penetrate are rather mechanical ways. So it is a good guess to say
that the "ultimate" mechanical way to penetrate skin - to punch holes in it -
will benefit most non-liposomal substances too. The unknown part is the high amount
of alcohol and glycol in commercial preparations. Pushing them into the stratum
corneum might result in extremely dry skin. We have tried the Dermaroller with
pure isopropy alcohol for several weeks without any adverse side effects.
Our guess is that most substances will significantly
improve their skin penetration ability with the Dermaroller but not as good as
with liposomal preparations because of their pilosebaceous targeting effects.
4. How do I maintain
the Dermaroller ? How long can I use the Dermaroller ?
The needles will become blunt after several
months of use. We recommend to use a new roller after 3-4 months. To keep the
roller germ free we recommend to keep the head in isopropyl alcohol all the time.
The roller comes with a special box which can be used for that. Just fill in enough
alcohol to cover the head. Shortly before use just rinse the head with water.
The roller can and should be washed in a regular dishwasher every 7 days. The
high water temperature and the detergents are ideal to clean the roller head.
Maintaining a clean head is especially important if you use the roller for creamy
substances like MGF, Spirolotion or simular...
5. How much pressure
should be applied ?
The Dermaroller sounds much more scary than
the device actual is. The needles are so small that you wonｴt feel anything more
than a little tickle. Use medium pressure and donｴt be too shy. A little bit of
force is necessary that the needles can do their work.
6. Is there a
risk of skin damage after using the Dermaroller for a long time ?
The stratum corneum is extremely tough and flexible.
The tiny holes made by the roller disappear in minutes. You can use the roller
daily without any damage to your skin. Do not use the roller if the skin is already
damaged by injury or sunburn.
7. Are there other
things I can use the roller for ?
Yes - keep in mind this device was created for
all kind of liposomal cosmetic substances ( creams,lotions a.s.o ) You will significantly
improve the effect of an for example anti-wrinkle lotion. We have customers who
use the roller in combination with a liposomal zinc preparation ( Lipozyt ) to
fight acne. Skin patches as nicotine, testosterone or androstenedione are much
more effective .The list of possible use is endless. We would like to hear what
substance you are using the roller with and how it works ?