The Ultimate Guide to Dermarollers

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There is tons of information on the internet about dermarollers, but not all of it is true. And for the most part, people often try to sell you a product without giving you the pros and cons. 

As a beauty expert, I’ve done the hard work for you. This is the ultimate guide on dermarollers. I’ll answer all your questions and give you a truly independent, in-depth overview of derma rollers. 

Let’s get rolling!

Dermarollers

Is a dermaroller right for me?

Dermarollers are an effective way to boost the skin and scalp and can improve several health concerns, including hair rejuvenation and several skin conditions. Dermarollers can be used for:

  • Hair rejuvenation
  • Acne scars
  • Enlarged pores
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven skin tone or texture
  • Wrinkles and ageing
  • Cellulite and stretch marks
  • Severe scars from burns or surgery or deep stretch marks

 

Of course, the type of condition you are aiming to treat requires an individual approach. I’ve put together a few guidelines for the microneedle length and excellent products to use depending on the condition you wish to treat; that’s super easy to use. 

Select the condition you are treating, and there’s information about the needle size, how often you should use your dermaroller, and what products you can use with your dermaroller.

Condition Microneedle sizeFrequency of treatmentProducts to use before
Acne scarsShallow scars - 1mm needles
or 1.5 mm for deeper scarring
0.75-1.00mm: Can be used every 4-6 weeks
1.5mm: Can be used once every 6-8 weeks
on the same skin area.
Collagen-boosting serum containing
ingredients  like hyaluronic acid,
stem cells, or peptides
Enlarged pores0.25–0.5 mmCan be used weekly on the same skin areaNiacinamide, hyaluronic acid,
EGF, tranexamic acid, and copper peptides
Hyperpigmentation0.5-1 mm Can be used weekly on the same skin areaRetinol and vitamin C serums
Uneven skin tone or texture0.5mm Can be used weekly on the same skin areaRetinol and vitamin C serums
Ageing and wrinkles0.5 mm or 1.0 mmEvery week or biweeklyAnti-ageing serum with hyaluronic acid
or niacinamide
Hair rejuvenation 0.5mm to 1.5mm, use 0.5 mm for home use,
while longer needles should be used
by a professional
use 0.5mm Once per WEEK or once per month.
On the other hand, 0.75 to 1.0mm can be used
once per MONTH.
IdealofMeD serum, Minoxidil
Cellulite and stretch marks1.5-2.0mmCan be used once every 6-8 weeks on
the same skin area.
Collagen-boosting serum containing
ingredients like hyaluronic acid
Severe stretch marks, burns
and surgical scars
2.5-3.0mmCan only be used once every 8 weeks
on the same skin area.
Peptide, hyaluronic and vitamin C serums

Should I go to a professional or use a dermaroller myself?

This is a common question people ask. Obviously, at-home treatment will be far more affordable and convenient than booking an appointment with a professional. But there are definitely benefits to choosing a professional. If you have a dermaroller treatment with a professional, they often use longer needles and use a pen; this can be more effective and may require fewer sessions to achieve the results you want. 

If you want to treat more serious conditions such as severe scarring or burns, you will need to use longer needles, and a professional treatment will be better for you. A professional can also administer a local anaesthetic, and you may see results after just one session.

 A professional treatment can also be helpful for you to learn how to use a derma roller safely and effectively and how it should feel with the correct amount of pressure applied. You can then go on to use a derma roller at home, knowing what you are doing and avoiding common mistakes. 

What does it feel like? Does it hurt? Will I bleed?

Dermaroller needles vary in size, starting from 0.2mm to over 3mm. If you are using the smallest needles, most people find this entirely painless, and you won’t bleed. If you are treating skin and scalp conditions that require a longer needle, you may experience mild bleeding. If you use a needle larger than 1.5mm, you will likely experience some pain and bleeding. 

If you are using larger needles, then it’s advisable to use a numbing cream before the treatment. Depending on where you are using the needles, you should apply a suitable numbing cream and allow it to work before you begin the procedure. For the face, apply 15-20 minutes before; for the body, apply the cream 20-30 minutes before use and wait 30-40 minutes for use on the scalp. 

If you are rolling the dermaroller in areas where there is a higher fat deposit, such as cellulite and stretch marks, you are unlikely to bleed but will experience redness. 

If you use a dermaroller on your scalp, you can expect to feel tingling and a pricking sensation. As advised, if you find it painful, apply a numbing cream before use. It’s normal for the scalp to feel tender after use, and it may be a little red, but your hair will often cover this. 

What serum should I use with a dermaroller?

Using a dermaroller creates microchannels in your skin. It allows products to be absorbed around 15-20 times more effective than applying with fingers or a sponge. The table above provides information about suitable products you can use with the derma roller. 

If you use a dermaroller to treat acne, you might use products such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Don’t use these products directly after a derma roller treatment, as it will cause irritation and over-exfoliate the skin. If you are using benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it’s best to wait for a minimum of 8 hours before applying these products. Because glycolic acid is stronger, you’ll need to wait two days. 

What can I use in conjunction with a dermaroller to treat hair loss?

A common treatment for hair loss is minoxidil. It can increase the hair’s strength and thickness and stimulate hair growth. It can be used in conjunction with a dermaroller to increase the absorption of the minoxidil. The important thing to remember is that while you should usually apply minoxidil to the scalp twice a day, you should only be using your dermaroller once a week. 

If you are treating hair loss, either before or after a hair transplant, you can use several other methods aside from your trusty dermaroller and minoxidil. Check out the Idealofmed products that can help to boost your hair growth. Ensuring your body has all the vitamins it needs is your first port of call. 

You can also add Idealofmed rejuvenating hair shampoo and rejuvenating conditioner to your daily routine to maximise the benefits of a hair transplant before and after your surgery. The shampoo is packed with ingredients such as Propacil, Biotin and Saw Palmetto to stimulate hair growth, as well as Aloe Vera and Panthenol, which help to strengthen hair and make your scalp healthy. Finish with Idealofmed conditioner packed with keratin and collagen to strengthen and condition weak hair. 

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Dermarolling: What results to expect?

Results will vary according to the condition you are treating. Depending on the size of the needles used, expect to experience some redness, swelling, and possibly some bleeding. Your skin may peel slightly three to five days after the treatment.

The best advice is to moisturise and not pick the skin. It’s usual to see skin tone and texture improvement after just one week. Gradual improvements should be noticed over the following weeks and with repeated treatments.

If you are using a dermaroller to boost hair growth, you can expect to see results in around eight to ten weeks after you begin weekly treatments. However, you should know that after a hair transplant, you should expect hair to fall out around two to eight weeks after surgery. Begin dermarolling after around three months post-surgery. Please visit our dedicated guide to find outwhat you can expect from a hair transplant after three months. Most people begin to see real benefits of a hair transplant approximately six to nine months after surgery.

Is a dermaroller an effective post-hair transplant treatment?

A dermaroller is a great way to get the most effective results from a hair transplant. Studies have shown that using a dermaroller can be an effective treatment even when previous methods, such as minoxidil, have not produced hair growth. Several studies prove that adding dermarolling to your hair growth routine produces significantly better results than using minoxidil alone. In a recent study, of the microneedled participants, 82% reported a 50% or more improvement. This was compared with just 4.5% in the group that had used minoxidil alone.

So, there is scientific proof that using a dermaroller, in conjunction with minoxidil, can help stimulate the follicles and boost hair growth. However, it’s essential that you speak to your surgeon and health professional before you use a dermaroller. It’s usual to wait three months after your surgery before using a dermaroller, as both treatments are traumatic to the skin.

After three months, it’s best to go to a professional for your first treatment so you can learn how to dermaroll safely without damaging your scalp. After this, you can continue with professional treatment or use a dermaroller yourself. Make sure to use the correct size needles, and don’t overdo it. Check out the guidelines in the table above.

I’m scared of needles, is a dermaroller for me?

Very few people like needles; around 25% of adults have a fear of needles. Estimates suggest that approximately 10% of the UK adult population could be classed as having a phobia of needles. So, if you strongly fear having a vaccination or a blood test, you may think the idea of rolling a derma roller over your skin as about enticing as acupuncture.

Typical dermarollers have 192 needles positioned in 8 rows which puncture the skin. Still, it’s very different from having a vaccination or a blood test, where a much larger single needle either draws blood or inserts medicine into or out of the body. And it’s certainly not like acupuncture, where larger single needles pierce the skin.

The needles are tiny and roll across the skin, making the most minuscule of punctures to the skin, so it’s nowhere near as scary as larger, longer needles. The scalp can be sensitive, though, so if you find the action of the dermaroller painful, you can book a professional treatment where the health professional can use a local anaesthetic, which means you won’t feel any pain at all.

Who should avoid dermarollers?

While dermarollers are safe, they are not for everyone. Avoid using a derma roller on the affected skin or scalp if you have sunburn or inflammation. If you have eczema or psoriasis, you are not a good candidate for this treatment and should try alternative methods. Dermarollers should be avoided if you have a history of blood clots.

If you have acne or warts, you should speak to a health professional before using a dermaroller. You can use a derma stamp if you have active pimples or acne. This is smaller than a roller and allows you to treat your skin where it is safe to, and it’s easier to avoid areas of skin with pimples. Using a roller will spread infection from infected areas to healthy skin.

If you are using retinol (vitamin A) as an anti-ageing supplement, it is advised that you discontinue taking retinol five days before using a dermaroller.

How should I treat my dermaroller after each use?

It’s essential to keep the dermaroller sterile. After each use, you should soak the derma roller in a soapy water mix. Fill a bowl with soapy water and swish the dermaroller around, ensuring you do not damage the needles, so avoid the sides of the bowl.

The detergent in the soap will break down the proteins in any skin or blood that has collected on the dermaroller. After this, you must disinfect the roller in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 10 minutes. After this, you can store the dermaroller in its case until your next use. It’s important to repeat the alcohol disinfection before you use the dermaroller again.

Common dermaroller mistakes

1. Using the dermaroller too often

After using a dermaroller, you need to allow the skin to heal. If you use the dermaroller too often and do not allow the skin to recover fully, you can cause irritation or inflammation and damage your skin. You must wait and allow your skin to heal before using a derma roller again.

Check the table above for specific lengths of time depending on the condition you are treating. It depends on you as an individual, as some people heal faster than others. However, as a rule of thumb, the longer the needles, the more time you need to heal. Check your derma roller for needle size and advice on the frequency of use.

2. Using the dermaroller too aggressively

Make sure you don’t use the dermaroll too hard. Use moderate pressure only; you should not be pressing too hard. If you bleed a little, that’s okay, but that’s not the intention. You should not be harming your skin to the point that you are bleeding a lot, as this is causing damage.

3. Low-quality dermarollers

Don’t fall for what seems to be a bargain on the internet. A quality dermaroller is essential, and remember that when it comes to your skin, especially the skin on your face and scalp, you need to make sure you use an excellent product. If you grab a bargain, the needles might be uneven, have different sizes, and can bend even on the first use.

All of these things can cause your skin to become inflamed and irritated. So, how do you know the derma roller is of good quality? The first step is to check the materials it is made from. Dermarollers are often made of stainless steel or titanium or possibly a mix of titanium and gold. Expert dermatologists recommend that titanium is better than stainless steel as they are more robust. Also, check for reviews of the product and avoid new, untested dermarollers.

4. Apply sunscreen the day after

Applying sunscreen the day after using a dermaroller on your face is vital. This will protect your skin. Ensure you use a lotion or cream with a minimum sun protection factor of 30.

5. Not replacing your dermaroller

It doesn’t matter how good quality your dermaroller is; you will still need to replace the microneedles after a certain amount of usage. Even though you should treat your dermaroller with alcohol to disinfect the needles after each use, bacteria may build up over time and persistent use.

With continued use, the titanium needles will lose their sharpness. And you should also never use a dermaroller once the needles are bent. Make sure to carefully inspect the dermaroller after each use, and if you see any needles that have become bent, it’s time to replace it. This might be around after 10 -15 usages.

6. Using the wrong size needle

You need to fully understand what problem you are trying to fix before deciding on the needle size to use. If you are using needles that are too small, for example, to deal with acne scarring, you may find that you are not getting any real benefits and can see minimal improvement. Conversely, using a needle too long for a smaller issue could cause damage, especially if you have sensitive skin.

7. Applying Makeup too soon

If you are a makeup wearer, it’s best to dermaroll your face in the evening, so you can get a good night’s sleep before applying makeup. If you apply makeup within eight hours of a dermarolling treatment, the makeup will sink into the microchannels and clog your pores.

Conclusion

Dermarollers are a great way to improve several skin conditions and can also help stimulate hair growth, either with or without a hair transplant. Make sure you follow the advice in our guide so that you use your dermaroller safely and effectively.

Is there a question you still have that this guide hasn’t covered? If so, please book a free consultation; we’ll be happy to help.

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About the author: <a href="https://idealofmed.com/about/alona-arel/" rel="nofollow">Alona Arel</a>

About the author: Alona Arel

Alona is a specialist in beauty and longevity at idealofmed.com.

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