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What It Is

A dermaroller is a small, hand-held device used in the process of dermarolling, a form of microneedling. This device is covered with hundreds of tiny needles which is rolled across the face. This will gently penetrate the surface of the skin, stimulating the body’s natural production of collagen and provide many benefits to the skin such as clearing acne scars, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and evening out the skin to improve its tone and texture.

Dermarollers are tools that create tiny pathways in the skin for skin care products to penetrate deeper and thus, work more effectively. Dermarollers come in many sizes, and while a dermaroller with a smaller 0.1 to 0.2mm needle length is great to allow products to absorb better, it would not be as effective for deeper collagen synthesis. Larger needles that are 0.5mm in depth will promote wound healing stimulation. This kickstarts the body’s natural wound healing response and stimulates the production of new skin cells in addition to collagen. This, in turn, will result in smoother, more even, and plumper skin.

Treatment Areas

Dermarolling can be used by almost anyone who would like to repair any part of the skin, including and beyond the facial complexion! While dermarolling is very commonly used on the face, it works best on areas that have acne scarring, large pores, and could benefit from skin tightening.

The results you can achieve with a dermaroller will depend on its needle length. For scarring, a thicker needle that penetrates deeper would be the most useful, while thinner, shorter needles work well for pore refining and tightening.

How to Prepare

If you use active ingredients on your skin, such as retinol, it is best to stop using it 4 to 5 days before a derma rolling session. Patients with eczema or psoriasis should also refrain from dermarolling. Those with active acne or an open wound in the treatment area should wait until it clears up, as the needles will spread the bacteria all over the face.

How It Works

Dermarollers work by creating tiny wounds on the surface of the skin, kick-starting the body’s natural wound healing response and induces the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen is a protein found naturally in the body and plays a fundamental role in forming connective tissue such as skin, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and bones. This protein also helps keep our skin supple and strong. As we age, the production of collagen decreases, which will lead to the formation of lines and wrinkles.

Dermarolling is a minimally invasive procedure with little to no downtime. However, the recovery time is almost completely dependent on the depth of the treatment– determined by the length of the needles used. Longer needles will result in deeper wounds, which translates into longer recovery time.


Many patients are able to achieve a dramatic improvement in acne scarring and wrinkles in as little as 1 to 3 sessions. Its continued use will continue to deliver better results, which include a reduction in acne scarring and discolouration, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, increased facial thickness, and enhanced product absorption, which provides the treated area with complete facial rejuvenation and revitalization.

It is important to keep in mind that results from a dermaroller are not immediate. The formation and building of collagen is a slow process, and time is needed for the skin to regenerate and renew itself. Dermarolling can be completed approximately once a week, although this will depend on the depth of your treatment and the time it takes for the skin to fully heal and recover. Your results will continue to improve for several months after your initial session as the collagen continues to grow and produce in the deep layers of your skin.

Aftercare and Recovery

Immediately after your session, it is best to apply active skincare products, such as those with anti-aging benefits, as well as products that stimulate collagen production and skin boosters that brighten the complexion. The active ingredients will be able to penetrate much deeper into the skin and thus, work more effectively.

After your session with a dermaroller, you may experience mild redness that may last a few hours or days, though this usually resolves on its own. The skin may feel sensitive to the touch and feel like a sunburn, but this should also subside within a few days. The skin may start to peel, and this is completely normal. Do not pick at the skin as the peeling will naturally fall off as time passes.

The application of makeup is not recommended in the first 12 hours after your dermarolling session, and a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be applied to the treatment area on a daily basis. As you heal, your results will gradually improve over time and will become more noticeable.

Potential Complications

Dermaroller sessions are a safe, gentle, and minimally invasive treatment. The risks involved with dermarolling are lower than many skin treatments, which may be more invasive, harsher, and require longer periods of recovery and downtime. However, much like any other cosmetic procedure, dermarollers can cause possible complications such as bleeding, bruising, infection and scarring. The best way to minimize your risk when undergoing dermarolling is to follow the instructions provided to you by the McLean Clinic team before and after your session.

Myths and Facts

For many, the thought of poking the skin with hundreds of tiny needles sounds painful and not very pleasant. However, many patients who have used a dermaroller in the past find that the pain is very tolerable. We take steps here at McLean Clinic to ensure your experience is as comfortable as possible. This includes the initial application of a numbing topical cream that is applied to the treatment area. The derma rolling procedure usually takes about 30 minutes, although it varies depending on the treatment area.

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