Dermaroller Treatment Guide For Remarkably Better Skin


What Is Dermaroller Microneedling?

Microneedling was discovered through 2 independent studies around the 90’s. Research was done to find out what effect needles had if any (at all) in repairing scar tissue.

Fast forward to 2005, when the 1st official report came out outlining the potential benefits of needling. As its name implies, microneedling uses tiny needles to pierce the skin in an effort to break apart fibers. The goal is re-stimulating collagen, and in the process -- repairing damaged skin.

An alluring prospect that has many excited about dermarollers is its potential of getting rid of acne scars.

Moreover, hair loss sufferers are dermarolling their thin patches of hair with success. Not only has microneedling evolved from being considered as a professionally paid procedure, but now dermarollers are a “do it yourself” regimen which can be done in the comfort of your home.

A dermaroller is a hand held roller you use for “dermarolling” skin, which is simply a way to microneedle.

Needling is for all intents and purposes, collagen induction therapy (CIT), percutaneous collagen induction and micro needle therapy.

What exactly does a dermaroller look like? Well, think of it as a miniature steamroller with a handle and anywhere from 50-500 itty-bitty spikes sticking out. It’s crazy to think a dermaroller rolls along your skin with the sole purpose to create micro punctures.

We don’t blame anyone thinking it’s a whacky idea. Sure, it sounds painful and tortuous, but it is how people are regrowing lost hair and diminishing their acne scars. Sounds fun, huh…

We want to point out, microneedling requires caution, preparation, and healing in order to get the most out of it. Simply purchasing a dermaroller and diving head first into it might not be the greatest plan.

The option to buy dermarollers that come with long or short needles is a plus. Spikes under 0.4mm are simply not long enough to puncture below the skin’s epidermis to cause what’s known as “wound heal stimulation”.

What these “micro holes” do allow are shallow enough spots for serums to penetrate. Longer needles from 0.5mm in length and longer is the ideal sizes for collagen synthesis to happen. The longer needles allow enough room for wounds to heal. This automatic response allows for newly formed skin to become fuller, smoother and more even.   

Dermaroller For Treating Stubborn Acne Scars

Dermarollers are ideal for anyone with acne scars because many believe scarring is irreversible or that it cost an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, dermarolling won’t eliminate deep acne scars as these ones require more invasive treatments such as subcision, lasers, and fillers.

Do you have problems breaking out or have bumps in the form of pustules, nodules or cysts? If so, we believe dermarolling should be put off until your acne is under control. Rolling over pimples causes them to burst spreading bacteria everywhere.  

Dermaroller instructions

How To Use A Dermaroller

To get the most out of dermarollers, it is important to roll with a consistent pattern instead of going all willy-nilly. Getting a proper system down pat will likely lead to better results that you will be happy with.

A good way to start is rolling horizontally on your face making sure to cover the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. Afterwards, you can switch the direction and roll vertically and finish off diagonally. 

Look at sliding the dermaroller from a center point pushing outwards. The shape of the nose is tricky therefore lightly rolling downwards is the preferred choice. For the scalp, don’t bother dermarolling wet hair; it’s far easier to dermaroll short hair.

Men who’re bald have a distinct advantage dermarolling. It’s because they don’t have to worry about their hair getting in the way or worse yet -- stuck in the dermaroller. As long as there’s no hair to get in the way, you’ll have the luxury of rolling longer strokes across the scalp. Also, it is easier to see where the thinning areas are located in order to pinpoint spots that need to be rolled.

Similar to dermarolling the face, you’ll want to roll on the scalp in horizontal, vertical and diagonal motions. If long hair becomes an issue, try moving your hair out of the way as best as possible.  

After a dermaroller session, it’s always important to follow up with active skincare products designed to promote quicker healing. Notable recommendations include retinols, copper peptides, and vitamin C serums. 

Moreover, it’s common to apply anti-aging products alongside skin brighteners to aid in the skin’s healing process. These post-microneedling skin enhancing products stimulate collagen growth, therefore leading to quicker results.

We advise you to use a dermaroller in the evening because the needles do cause small marks and lead to skin irritation. Retinols in particular should not be applied if you’re going to be under the sun due to hypersensitivity.    

How Often Should a Dermroller Be Used?

To be completely honest, there isn’t a set number of times for using a dermaroller. It largely varies from person to person, the more microneedling is carried out the greater likelihood of seeing cumulative results.

Try taking some time to dermaroll every week for the first month, every other week the second month and finally spot maintenance treatments after that. Dermrolling everyday isn’t a great option because skin needs downtime for it to heal properly.  

Dermaroller at Home Treatment

To the squeamish: know that you’ll be handling sharp needles so prepare for the eventuality of a bit of blood.

One of the most important things to consider before dermarolling is cleansing the skin. It’s a mandatory requirement for your skin to be clean. Therefore, you’ll want to prevent oil, dirt, makeup from getting into puncture wounds.

Look for a gentle cleanser that’s not too harsh, but washes well. Another step is applying a toner that will balance the pH level of your skin. Make sure the preparatory area where you’ll be microneedling is clean, tidy and spacious.

Do not forget to disinfect the dermaroller before using it again considering you’ll be poking into your skin and drawing blood. A quick tip which could prove very useful: try applying a serum before rolling. This will ensure the dermaroller glides across the skin in an effortless manner making the process much easier.

There are some individuals who take an added level of precaution by throwing out their dermarollers after they’re done treatment. A metal plated roller will last longer before it needs to be thrown out versus a plastic one. Although, the former will be more expensive to buy.

Dermarolling DIY treatment

Benefits of Dermarollers

  • Stimulate collagen and elastin
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Corrects fine lines
  • Smoothens wrinkles
  • Improves acne scars
  • Encourages hair regrowth
  • Minimizes stretch marks
  • Helps with uneven skin tone
  • Cheaper than lasers and fillers
  • Plumps up lips

Does A Dermaroller Actually Work?

The idea behind using needles to puncture the skin with a dermaroller is creating what’s called a “controlled injury”. The damage incurred to the skin is not overwhelmingly significant hence being considered a non-invasive treatment.

The outer layer of skin is kept intact while the pointy needles do an amazing job at breaking down old scar tissue. The technique of simulating a controlled injury to the skin encourages the body to heal on its own. The process that follows:

  • Substances within the skin are released allowing for stimulated growth
  • New blood vessels form
  • Production of new collagen forms
  • In the next week, collagen begins to fill the area where the treated skin is

Multiple dermarolling sessions in a 1-month span can allow for an increase of 400% collagen.

Some studies have concluded that dermarollers are effective for hair loss sufferers with alopecia areata. We want to point out that dermarolling is not FDA approved so it remains a pseudo treatment for hair regrowth. It does not have any seal of approval in terms of safety measures nor a guarantee to its absolute effectiveness. Although Dermarollers are quite versatile for treating various skin problems, it is not the right solution for treating cellulite.

Potential Side Effects of Using Dermarollers

Before dermarolling, the best way to avoid a skin reaction is to patch test on a small area of the skin. Microneedle on a small part of the skin and wait 24 hours until proceeding, that is, if you don’t react negatively.

As expected, the longer the needle penetrating the skin, the more discomfort you will be in. That’s not to say short needles are going to be pain-free. To mitigate the pain felt while dermarolling, make sure you don’t press too hard. In other words, be gentle and have light hands when handling a dermaroller.

It should be obvious that the needle is penetrating the skin, but not to a point that it’s unbearably painful. The pain tolerance threshold should be one where it feels slightly uncomfortable and never reaching past that point. If your pain tolerance isn’t at a high level, the best course of action is to seek a professional.

What you’re trying to do is purposely cause a reaction that leads to inflammation so that healing can take place. As tempting as it is to dull the pain with aspirins, it’s unadvisable. Ditto to blood thinners as well! 

Associated skin disorders that are prone to spreading are eczema, warts, psoriasis. None of these should be needled over. The main issue is the potentiality of these conditions spreading because of the way rolling works.

Applying minoxidil (Rogaine) right after dermarolling with needles in the range of 0.5mm-1.5mm is unadvised. The chemicals from the product could very well seep into the bloodstream as a result of the longer needles penetrating deeper into the skin.

The sensation this would cause would be one of intense burning. Nonetheless, it would be a very unpleasant feeling.

Dermarolling aftercare

Dermarolling Aftercare

There’s no rules set in stone after dermarolling, however we’ve compiled what we think are the most important steps.

Having an alcohol spray is handy to have for disinfection purposes. The damage left by the DIY at home dermarolling procedure leaves skin quite vulnerable to the external elements.

There’s also a real possibility of scarring to develop due to improper care. It’s imperative to take the necessary precautions to avoid damaging your skin further. A high SPF sunscreen is without a doubt the one thing you want to use before going outside. Without a layer of protection that sunscreen provides, there’s a greater chance for hyperpigmentation to develop.

Regaining collagen takes time. Serums that will make the healing process better are vitamin c, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and epidermal growth factors.

Dermaroller for Hair loss and Hair Regrowth

Hair loss can be a potentially soul-crushing experience once thinning begins to take place. Thankfully, dermaroller scalp treatments provide a way to regrow those lost patches.

Dermrolling excels for people with androgenic alopecia. Generally, you want to choose longer needles for scalps and shorter ones for the face. Hair regrowth banks on a couple factors. The 2 critical factors are: allowing sufficient blood circulation and providing the necessary nutrients to reach the hair follicles.

The theory is one where if enough nutrients, oxygen and blood flow to the follicles, it should allow for better hair growth. Better yet, applying a topical like Retin A (vitamin A) helps the skin in healing and works in sync with microneedling to speed up the whole process. Others found Rogaine to work hand in hand with dermarollers as a post topical to apply on the scalp.

Much of this sentiment is merely conjecture and no clinical evidence for this is 100% certain. Therefore, take this as a grain of salt before considering this treatment. In the absence of applying a topical after microneedling the scalp, simply using a dermaroller should be sufficient in stimulating hair follicles.

Men wanting thicker beards should consider Dermarollers to stimulate collagen for their face.

Dermarolling needle sizes

Dermaroller Needles

Dermaroller needles come in stainless steel or titanium. Needles made of titanium are stronger, last longer and are more durable. Stainless steel is a cheaper alternative; while the needles are sharper, unfortunately they tend to go blunt quicker.

The dermaroller needle size should measure 0.25mm in length for pricking the scalp. The wide-gauge, shorter needle isn’t invasive enough to cause significant trauma. Hence, the measurements aforementioned should provide for gentler stimulation allowing for better blood circulation and nutrient delivery. 

Larger needles (1.5mm) are synonymous with pain and bleeding. As such, these longer needles should be used sparsely. As a general rule of thumb, 0.15mm-0.3mm needles can dermaroll skin every 1-3 days while 0.5mm-1.5mm needles every 1-3weeks. Dermarolling thicker skin where stretch marks are visible requires longer needles (1.00mm). 

It’s not necessary to apply numbing cream (lidocaine) in most cases, however some people like to use it just in case.

Expecting Dramatic Results from Dermarollers

Nothing is a guarantee in life and this same principle should be applied to dermarollers. Those who have seen positive results from treating their skin with dermarollers said improvements were slow and subtle.

Expanding further, the ones who have seen drastic changes are those who have kept up with microneedling on a regular basis. The truth of the matter is healing takes time and doubly so for reforming of collagen. It’s hard when you want to see results right away, but you’ll need to be patient.

Expect anywhere from 1-3 months for collagen production with all kinds of variables being at play i.e. age, aftercare, healing and so forth. Even after a month, many have reported they start seeing a noticeable difference. Large pores pose an embarrassing problem for many and so refining the pores with thin and short needles is an option.

The Dermaroller vs Dermapen Debate

Dermatologists much prefer handling dermapens rather than dermarollers. The main reason why is due to dermapens being less likely to cause damage to the skin. Furthermore, the way in which the skin is punctured and the frequency of penetrations differs from one another.

The dermapen increases the number of penetrations with smaller needles, as well as being administered vertically. The needles tend to reach down deeper into the skin. The downsides are longer downtime and costlier. The dermaroller penetrates at various angles, and are comparatively more invasive creating bigger holes.

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