Back in May, a friend and I hosted a dance attended by a couple of hundred single people here in London. And I wanted to make sure I looked GOOD.

So I went back to my charming Dr. Andy to get my Botox re-done.

During my visit, I asked him about the alternative to Botox, Dysport, another botulinum toxin that has been used in Europe, Australia and New Zealand for years. It has the same effects as Botox, but supposedly kicks in faster and lasts longer. Dysport is also significantly cheaper than Botox. The FDA has an application pending approval for Dysport and it is anticipated that Health Canada will not be too far behind in approving it for use here.

Micro Needling

Scientia Derma Roller is an FDA approved application which is simple enough that you can perform it yourself at home.

This technique is also called skin needling or micro-needling and it is not the same as using acupuncture to treat wrinkles (which is only temporary, like moisturizers). The therapy is intended to stimulate natural collagen production in order to fill in wrinkles or indented scars — which is what it was originally designed to treat.

Skin needling was first reported in dermatology literature in the early 1990s. Canadian dermatologist/plastic surgeon André Camirand had tattooed deep scars to camouflage them, then he noticed that the patients’ skin texture was improving. He then tried “tattooing” without pigment and noticed that the scars showed visible improvement. The results were published as part of a presentation an international plastic surgery congress in 1992.

Dr. Camirand repeated the treatment on his patients every two to eight weeks and they continued to show improvement without side effects or complications.

In the intervening years, a device has been invented to allow skin needling to be done at home or in the esthetician’s office, rather than just at the doctor’s office. It is a gold-plated roller covered in microscopic needles ranging in length from 0.25 millimetres to 2.2 millimetres. When rolled across your skin, the roller creates microscopic punctures that break blood vessels just below the surface. According to one informational site on the process, “as the blood clots, it creates the right environment for collagen and elastin formation”.

Using the shortest needles, you will only appear to have a mild sunburn; it’s unlikely that there will be any bleeding, swelling or bruising. An added benefit of skin needling is that any topical treatments you apply immediately afterward will truly penetrate deeper into the skin. And you can repeat the process weekly.

Skin needling is also safe for any skin colour; unlike other deeper chemical or mechanical peels, no risk of hyperpigmentation has been found in years of treatment.

I have to admit that reading some of the literature on the process left me a little queasy and that the thought of intentionally puncturing my skin leaves me even more queasy. But for the cost of one Botox treatment, I would be able to buy a skin roller that will last years.

It’s worth a look — and I’ll report back on my findings!

Click here for more information.

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