The Evolution of Microneedling

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Microneedling is a minimally invasive skin resurfacing treatment that has made huge advancements through the years. Due to its non-invasive approach combined with clinically proven safety and effectiveness, it has become recognised as a go-to treatment option for scarring, skin laxity, acne, stretch marks, minimising the appearance of large pores, as well as improving overall skin texture. Microneedling also benefits from being a colour blind technology, meaning it can be used on any Fitzpatrick skin type with minimal risk of hyper- or hypopigmentation, unlike other traditional skin resurfacing procedures such as laser therapy [1].

The first recorded use of microneedling was in 1905, when a German dermatologist used the resurfacing technique as an acne scar, birthmark and hyperpigmentation treatment. In 1996, a Canadian plastic surgeon observed exceptional improvements when using a tattoo needle on facial scarring [2]. Following this discovery, the first microneedling device was developed. The device was a small needle stamp, commonly referred to as a dermal roller. Since its inception, microneedling devices and techniques have come a long way. But what exactly is microneedling and how have we got to where we are today with industry proven devices such as INTRAcel Pro


Microneedling is a procedure that involves tiny needles piercing through the skin’s epidermis down to the dermis as part of a controlled wounding process. These small wounds cause the body to boost collagen and elastin production (neocollagenesis), which naturally heals the skin and remodels and tightens the damaged area for skin rejuvenation. It is also sometimes referred to as collagen induction therapy. There is little to no downtime, with users finding their skin may be slightly pink for a few hours after treatment. 

The evolution of RF microneedling

Dermal Roller

The first recognised microneedling device was the dermal roller. These work by injuring the top layer of the skin to induce collagen production [3]. Although this was a good option for at-home microneedling, the microneedles penetrate the skin at an angle, and do not go deep enough in the skin to produce superior results. In addition to this, the needle depth cannot be customised to suit the skin concerns of the user. Because different areas of the face require different penetration levels, one size dermal roller is not the most effective microneedling option.

Pen Device

Microneedling technology evolved with the mechanised pen device, featuring multiple needle depths for customisation. With the pen, it is also possible to treat smaller, more delicate treatment areas such as around the eyes and nose. It is also able to reach deeper layers in the skin, down to the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and the dermis (the inner layer of skin). A benefit of the pen device over the dermal roller is that the needles are injected vertically for optimised penetration of scar tissue.

RF Microneedling

RF microneedling combines microneedling with fractional radiofrequency (RF) in one device that works to enhance results in the treatment of scarring and skin rejuvenation. The ability of RF microneedling to deliver energy through heat down to the deep dermis layer of the skin, is what makes this device superior over dermal rollers or pen devices. Dramatic skin improvements can be achieved with minimal discomfort from a topical numbing cream.

One drawback from early technology was that the RF microneedles, whilst effective in the dermis, often left significant epidermal trauma. That meant the patient experienced longer down-time as the wounding on the skin’s surface took time to heal.

INTRAcel Pro is an industry-favourite RF microneedling device, treating down to the dermis layer of the skin using 49 densely packed microneedles. INTRAcel pioneered the use of insulated needles, which delivered the energy precisely where it was needed yet sparing the skin’s surface from RF waves for optimised and targeted energy transmission. Learn more about INTRAcel Pro here and see real patient results in our before and after flipbook.


Brandon E.Cohen et al., 2016. Microneedling in skin of color: A review of uses and efficacy

Vorodukhina, O, 2017. An Introduction to Medical Microneedling

Healthline, 2017. Dermarolling Is the Prickly Time Machine That’ll Erase Your Scars and Stretch Marks

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