Skin Thickness and Needling: Is Derma rolling Effective to Reduce Thick Skin on the Elbows and Feet?

Having a thick skin on any part of your body is something that you don’t want, right? This is very true particularly if it grows on areas where it shouldn’t be there? You can easily observe this on your elbow and feet and to other parts of your body which is closest to a bone.

These areas are thickened because it is constantly exposed to trauma because of your day to day activities. More often than not, you do not feel good having this thickened spot in your body particularly if your boyfriend or husband will get to touch it.  Sometimes it is even harder for you to expose these areas because it is not good to look at.

Can Derma rolling therapy help to soften and reduced the thickened areas? If it can, what is the best micro needle length and how long will it take to reduce the thickened area? Is the outcome permanent and long-lasting?

Understanding the Skin’s Anatomy

But first, have a look at your skin’s anatomy so you would picture out where the thickened skin come from. Your skin is composed of epidermis or the superficial layer and the dermis which is the thickened layer underneath the epidermis. The thicker part is usually above the epidermis where the callus or hardened skin usually arises.

The thickness of the skin varies on different locations in the body.  It also depends on the age and occupation of an individual. Children have smoother and thin skin while adults and older individual have more thickened skin.

People who do heavy work have more thickened skin as they are more prone to callus formation.  Callus is a hardened or thickened part of the skin which is constantly subjected to friction like the soles of the feet and the elbow.

F1 Skin anatomy thick skin

What are the Causes of having a Thick Skin?

There are many causes why you have a thickened skin in the elbow, soles and other areas of the body. Worst, some individuals have a darker discoloration in these areas that makes it too bad to look at. Well, the causes of thickened skin are probably due to:

  • Insufficient care of these areas. More often than not, one can developed thickened skin if they do not take good care of their skin. These areas have lesser oil glands so it is prone to dryness and roughness. To prevent having rough skin, you should moisturize the area regularly to keep it soft and smooth.
  • Continuous build up of thick skin. The epidermal layer gradually changes and form new cells. Dead skin cells are usually found in the superficial layer. Thus, you need to regularly use sponge or soft brush to remove dead skin. If you do not brush these areas, the dead skin cells will build up over time causing thick skin.
  • Friction. The elbows are constantly in contact with hard surfaces, like when you use it to support your hand while typing in a computer table. Or you use it when you’re doing a planking position while having yoga. Prolong contact with hard surface and continuous friction can hardened the elbow area. This is same with your soles, if you do jogging daily or use tight fitting shoes and many others, these can cause the soles of your foot to harden.
  • Signs of Aging. As you get older, the capacity of your skin to renew new skin cells becomes slower. You also have lesser oil glands making you more prone to dry and rough skin. Hence, you need to use moisturizing creams to help the skin holds moisture longer.
  • Diabetes. Persons with diabetes have a tendency to have a skin complication called Acanthosis nigricans, it is a condition wherein the areas of the neck, groin, and elbow, armpits and knee become tan, gray or have a raised skin area.
  • Thyroid Problems. People who have thyroid abnormalities have tendency to have dry and rough skin.

How does derma rolling therapy works?

Derma rolling therapy or also known as skin needling, percutaneous collagen induction therapy or simply collagen induction therapy, is a popular skin care treatment modality. It is a very simple office-based procedure which uses a hand held device called derma roller to stimulate the formation of new collagen and elastin.

There are also do-it-yourself derma rollers which you can readily bought on a local store for mild skin treatment such as topical delivery of vitamin C serum, moisturizing creams, anti-aging creams and other skin care products.

Derma rolling works on the principle that creating micro injury will lead to the activation of the skin’s repair process. This will eventually lead to formation of new skin cells that will have a more enhanced effect on the skin. The results are long lasting and permanent.

It is an ideal treatment for hardened, rough, and thickened skin because it stimulates formation of new collagen. It also helps in the effective delivery of moisturizing creams to keep the skin in the elbow and soles to look smoother and softer.

F2 thick skin elbow

What is the Best Needle Length to Reduce Thickened Skin?

These hardened areas have thicker skin, so it needs a longer micro needle to be able to stimulate collagen production. Depending on the thickness of the skin area, you may need to use 1 mm needle or longer.

Why Use Derma Rolling?

Derma rolling therapy is an effective treatment to reduce thickened skin and improve the appearance of the skin. It helps create new skin cells so the skin will look firmer with lesser pigmentations or darker discoloration. When you use it in your elbow, knees and other thickened part of the body, you may notice that it will slowly reduce the skin’s thickness.

This changes many not happen overnight. You may actually need a few sessions before any changes will take an effect. But surely, you will see the difference after several sessions.


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