Dermarolling explained

What is a dermaroller?

A dermaroller is a skin needling device with many small surgical needles. Dermarollers come in needle lengths between 0.13 and 3 mm. The needle diameter (thickness) is approximately 0.25 mm at their base.


The dermarolling principle

Dermarolling remolds the skin by creating thousands of microscopic channels through the skin, increasing the formation of new tissue by activating the body's wound healing cascade (hemostasis-inflammation-proliferation-tissue remodeling). The micro-channeling causes the release of growth factors that promote scar-less healing and the deposition of normal woven collagen rather than scar collagen. The fibroblasts are responsible for collagen production. The exact mechanism how this happens is complex and not yet completely understood. New collagen and elastin forms. In one study, twenty blinded biopsies taken from 10 different patients from various parts of their body demonstrated an average increase in new fibers of 206%, in one biopsy a 1000% increase was recorded.

What microneedling can do for you and what needle length do you need?

Enhance the penetration of skin care or hair growth products
: Maximum 0.3 mm needle length on the face and 0.5 mm on skin on the rest of the body. Our skin - a protective organ - is almost unpermeable. Dermarolling temporarily enables the absorption of skin care products into the skin.

Fine wrinkles: 1 to 1.5 mm needle length. This is a relatively minor procedure and can be done safely at home, provided you disinfect properly. Dermarolling is a safe alternative for people with skin too thin to have laser treatment.

Individual deep wrinkles: Glabella wrinkles (between the eyebrows) and deep forehead wrinkles: Use our single needle instrument.

Loose skin: 1.5 mm. You can improve loose skin anywhere on the body including the neck, the décolleté, the back of the hands, arms, abdomen, thighs etc. In the early stages of skin laxity, it can postpone or even replace a facelift. Sensitive areas with thin skin such as the neck need only 0.5 mm.

Sun damaged or aging skin: 1.0 to 1,5 mm.

Uneven pigmentation or acne spots: 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm (not to be used on moles!).

Scars: All scar treatment requires a dermaroller with 1.5 mm needles and benefit greatly from our single needle instrument to locally crush the scar tissue deeper and with a greater prick density. Look at some single needle results.

Stretchmarks: Become less indented, less wide and the original skin color may be partially restored.


Acne scarring: Become less indented.

With deep acne scars, 1.5 mm is often not enough and 2.5 mm is required, but this is impossible to do safely at home with a dermaroller. Therefore, we supply a single needle of the right specifications (0.25 mm diameter, long taper, gamma-sterilized) to be used for home needling.

Surgical or atrophic scars: (Not keloid scars) - will soften and the original skin color may be partially restored.

Hypertrophic burn scars: Hypertrophic or burn scars (not keloids): A 1.5 or 2 mm narrow 3-liner or 1-liner. Combine it with pressure massage: Apply pressure with your fingers onto the scar for approximately 20 seconds, spot for spot. Repeat daily. Perform the pressure massage also immediately after needling or dermarolling the scar.

Dermarolling instructions

0.20 or 0.25 mm long needles:

Put the skin care product on your skin, then roll it in with the dermaroller. Alternatively, you can first roll the skin and then apply the skin care product.

0.5 mm and above:

Take a shower or wash the to-be-rolled area.
Wipe the rolling environment (table etc) with alcohol.
Wipe the skin and your hands with disinfecting alcohol. Alcohol will evapo-rate in a few minutes.
If you like, apply an ice-pack or numbing cream. Remove the numbing cream with alcohol before rolling.
When using ice-packs, clean them with alcohol before applying.
When rolling, stretch the skin by pulling it with your other hand - it will make needle penetration much easier.

Dermarolling technique

Roll in a star pattern: maximum five times horizontally, 5 times vertically, 5 times diagonally. Roll the dermaroller around five times in each direction. Back and forth equals two rolls. Lift the dermaroller slightly or change the angle of rolling and move back to the beginning. This ensures that you will not hit the same prick channel. Use medium pressure - but very light pressure around your eyes, especially with needles longer than 0.5 mm!

Try to spread the pricks evenly. You could first only roll the entire skin area horizontally, when you've covered all skin that you want to treat, you roll vertically, and finally diagonally (across). Use whatever technique you are comfortable with, as long as it spreads the number of pricks per sq. inch / cm2 more or less evenly.

Dermarolling after-care

If you roll with 0.5 mm needles or shorter, no special after care is needed.

If you roll with needles longer than 0.5 mm, the skin will turn red (like sunburn), sensitive and might get slightly swollen for several hours. Keep the area moist. For the first couple of days, the best choice is to cover the area with a very thin layer of an occlusive ointment that contains vit. A. and D. Do not expose the rolled areas to the sun for several days and thereafter, use a sunscreen lotion with a high protective factor. Wait two or three days with applying makeup as well.

The rolled area might start "peeling" after some days. Don't pick at the loose skin.
Collagen production is a very slow process and it can't be rushed. Do not expect miracles too soon. It can take up to 10 months to get substantial results.

Skin product absorption with a dermaroller


How to clean a dermaroller

Wash the dermaroller in warm water and dishwashing liquid, taking care not to damage the needles. Then soak it in disinfecting alcohol for 20 minutes. Discard the alcohol. Air- dry. Put back into container. Keep the container clean with hot water but do not use any cloth or sponge to clean it since those are full of bacteria.

How often to roll the skin?

  • 0.2 or 0.25 mm long needles can be used every second day on the same skin area.
  • 0.5 mm long needles can be used once or twice per week on the same skin area.
  • 1 mm can be used every two weeks on the same skin area.
  • 1.5 mm can only be used once every three to four weeks on the same skin area.
  • 2.0 mm can only be used once every five weeks on the same skin area, and only if you have the knowledge to judge which part of the skin is thick enough to safely use this needle length.

Dermarolling in detail

Read the detailed dermarolling instructions that come with our microneedling products.

If you have questions that are not answered there or here, please search our dermarolling forum.

1.  Blondecherrycutie    Friday, March 9, 2012

When do you usually see results after using a 1.5 roller??

2.  Sarah Vaughter    Friday, March 9, 2012

It depends what you roll for end it also varies individually. For example, some of our customers improved their acne scars in 6 months and some had to roll for two years to get visible results.

Some feedback from our customers:

Acne scars improved in 8 months:

..and continue improving after 14 months:

Facial line improved in 6 months:

You should have realistic expectations:


3.  rosebud    Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hi Sarah,
I just purchased your wonderful AD ointment for after rolling and really like it! My question is; I have the .5, 1.0 and 1.5 mm dermal rollers. Can I use the 1,5 for loose skin once every three weeks but in between those three weeks use the 1.0 once and the .5 once or twice a week? What are your thoughts on how to incorporate the three different sizes of the rollers? I am 57 and can't afford dermal fillers and botox (Im a teacher :) but have wrinkles and sagging.
Thank you for any information you can share. Sheryl

4.  Sarah Vaughter    Wednesday, August 14, 2013


You can definitely roll with shorter size rollers in between your 1.5 mm

Up to three times a week with a 0.5 mm and every 10 -14 days with a 1 mm size.

Read our size guide for specific wrinkles because you may need a dermastamp or the single needles:


5.  Jane    Friday, January 3, 2014

I know some of the instructions have changed (such as it is not advised any longer to roll in a star pattern). My question is, is the waiting length of two weeks still protocol when treating skin with a 1 mm derma roller ? Thank you !

6.  Jesse    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hi Sarah!

I have a nose scar that is about a month old from a dog bite. What would you recommend? It is slightly atrophic where you see it split. I wasn't allowed stitches because they fear bacterial infection. There was a bit missing below that's not too visible in the pic, which filled in quite nicely, but is still very red.

Thank you!


7.  Kim Anh Thi Nguyen    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Can I use nothing at all after dermarolling?

8.  Kate    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Have you looked into rolling vs pen? The advantages of using a pen over the dermaroller is less pain & damage for patient due to coming in on the skin at a 90 degree angle. Really should look into & update your articles.

9.  Sarah Vaughter    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Have you looked at our website? :-)

We sell a fully digital electronic dermaneedling instrument called the Derminator.

We invented it and build it ourselves.

10.  Estephania    Thursday, November 19, 2015

why every time i research how often i should use a derma roller i find different answers. which one should i follow????

11.  Sarah Vaughter    Thursday, November 19, 2015

1. Because the companies that sell dermarollers are only interested in making money, not in carefully evaluating medical papers. We are on the autistic spectrum (see our About page) so we spend most of our time absorbing knowledge. We could make a fortune if we'd advertise, for example. We've never advertised our products anywhere - ever. It's all word of mouth. And still we have approx. 100,000 customers. More than 500 US clinics and practitioners bought our Derminator device, for example. Another 700 "home-needlers" in the US purchased the machine. DermaROLLING is so previous millenium :-)

2. You should follow OUR advice, lol. Did you expect any other answer? :-)

12.  Estephania    Monday, December 7, 2015

thanks for your explanation it was very helpful i just wanted to make sure I'm using it the right way!! :) ill use the websites advice.

13.  Iuliana    Monday, December 21, 2015

Can i use Derma Roller if i have Acneea rozacee ? (Cuperoza ) Thank you !

14.  Iuliana    Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thank you very much for your answer !

15.  Silky    Saturday, January 23, 2016

I purchased this machine and can't tell you how fantastic it is! I have used rollers with good results, but nothing like after one treatment with the Derminator. It's the best, it doesn't hurt at all and is so easy to use. I love it!

16.  Jennifer Harris    Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Just wanted to say that the Derminator is AWESOME. I've had it about a month. Have only used it on the medium speed and .5 mm depth. Once I get my courage up, I'll set it on fast and .75 mm. Thanks for a great, great tool to help keep myself looking youthful.

17.  Damaris18    Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hey Sarah
I have a question I have a really ugly hypertropric scar across my chest. I bought your 2mm one liner dermaroller and have used it once so far because I read you should only use it once every 5 weeks. I also remember reading somewhere on this site you recommend using a shorter needle dermaroller in between the 5 week wait. Is that correct? If so what size roller do you recommend me to use. I am very hopeful dermarolling works, this is my last hope :(

18.  Sarah Vaughter    Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I do not give personalised medical advice anymore. Everything you need to know about dermaneedling can be found in the materials on my site, such as the general needling guidelines PDF available from //, the dermaneedling articles and the forum (use the search function). Any other advice must be obtained via fellow dermaneedling enthusiasts. Please note that dermaneedling instruments are illegal and giving personalised medical advice is illegal as well. Giving medical advice (not being a licensed doctor) about illegal medical equipment is a good way to get into trouble. If you screw up or I make a typo and you sue me for a million dollars, I'd be 100% liable to pay you that million dollars. Sorry but that is how the world works. I recently lost a couple of million dollars due to "violating the rules" and I've learnt my lesson. Not so long ago, someone in my jurisdiction went to jail for 2.5 years for selling teeth whiteners. I'm afraid you have to make do with the materials on my site..

19.  Denise Jaramillo    Saturday, October 29, 2016

I just started using the derminator..So, far I a m really pleased with it. It's easy to use and I look forward to seeing results later on..
How many days do I have to wait after a derminator session (1.25mm) to use my regular skincare (which includes glycolic acid and other types of acids too)? Thank you

Commenting on this article is not possible anymore.
Our store has instructions for our products.