Medieval tourture device, or the key to perfect skin? Photo: Alibaba.com



When I heard that derma rolling -- also called skin needling or micro needling -- may be a way to fix acne scars (and is a favorite treatment of stars like Angelina Jolie), I just had to play guinea pig.

Most skin needling devices look like mini paint rollers, covered in tiny needles. When you roll them against your skin, you cause controlled trauma to the dermis with hundreds of little pricks. The claim is that your skincare is more deeply absorbed and your skin may also react by creating collagen - which can fill in acne scars and small wrinkles.

At-home rollers, like Leaf & Rusher Tx Roller, $118, are typically .5 mm in length, while medical grade rollers are 2 to 3mm in length.

At home, you get a superficial "mini" treatment without any downtime, while office procedures go deeper and require a few days of healing. Since I'm all about results, I saw a plastic surgeon for my treatment.

The truth? I looked like a car accident victim the first two days!

I was swollen, red and raw, but then I magically transformed into a normal human being who my dog no longer ran from by day 4. And most amazingly, I saw about a 50% immediate improvement in my couple of old acne scars. Wow!

But are the at-home versions effective?

"For scars and wrinkles, I doubt the consumer derma rollers are going to give you any results," says Wayne, NJ plastic surgeon Dr. Parham Ganchi. "The more likely benefit is that they may allow your serums and creams to penetrate more deeply into the skin, making your skincare routine more effective."