Derma Roller Side Effects

Derma rolling has its benefits but there are also some derma roller side effects of which you should be aware if you are considering derma rolling. We’ll tell you about the risks and benefits and provide some tips on how to choose a derma roller if you decide to try it.

First, though, let’s start by explaining just what derma rolling is.

What Is Derma Rolling?

Derma rolling, sometimes referred to as skin needling, is a procedure in which a handheld device is rolled over the skin, pricking it with more than a hundred tiny needles. In fact, a typical derma roller has about 540 microneedles.  That may sound rather scary but the needles are very skinny and also not very long. It is usually not painful.

Benefits of Derma Rolling

So why would you want to prick your skin with several hundred tiny needles? Well, they are tiny enough that they don’t really hurt you, but they do create micro-injuries to your skin, which in turn trigger collagen and elastin production in the skin, filling in fine lines, reducing wrinkles and stretch marks, and leaving skin looking smoother and firmer than before. It will also boost the absorption of ingredients in any serums or solutions you apply to your skin right before or after derma rolling.

Some people also use a derma roller on the scalp to combat hair loss and encourage regrowth. The procedure increases blood flow to the hair follicles, which may encourage hair growth. It can also increase the absorption of topical medications for hair loss, although you should check with your doctor before using any hair loss medications in conjunction with derma rolling to make sure it is safe to do so.

Derma Roller Side Effects

The side effects of skin needling may vary depending on the size of the needle used. Professionals usually recommend not using a needle longer than .3 mm at home. Some will suggest not using a needle larger than 1.5 mm at home. Even a needle that size may cause some unwanted side effects, but if your skin condition warrants using a longer needle, you should seek professional treatment performed in the office of a physician or in an ambulatory surgery center. You can learn more about the derma roller needle size here.  

Side effects of using a derma roller may include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Risk of infection
  • Increased risk of side effects caused by any skincare products applied to the area just before or just after derma rolling
  • Photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn)

Side effects such as redness, swelling, and photosensitivity usually only last for two or three days after dermal rolling.

The skin on your face is likely to be more sensitive to the effects of derma rolling. The procedure is often used on the face to reduce wrinkles but you should be especially careful when using a derma roller on your face, especially around the eyes. You may be more likely to notice side effects like redness or swelling there. Don’t use a derma roller on your eyelids.

If you are concerned about the possible side effects of derma rolling, consult a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to discuss alternatives. Of course, you should consult a physician immediately if you experience side effects that worry you after derma rolling.

To minimize your risk of derma roller side effects, use a derma roller with a needle size of 1.5 mm or less. Don’t try any new skin products right before or right after derma rolling since you won’t know how they will affect your skin. Avoid using any products that might irritate your skin right before or right after derma rolling. Talk to a dermatologist if you want more information about reducing the risk of side effects or about alternatives to derma rolling.

Choosing a Derma Roller

If you want to try derma rolling at home, we recommend starting with a derma roller with a needle size of 1.5 mm or less. That way you will minimize your risk of derma roller side effects while still seeing how derma rolling will benefit you. If you are worried about side effects or discomfort, choose a very small needle size, either 0.25 mm or 0.5 mm, to start with. Follow this link to to see some of your options and to read reviews from people that have purchased derma rollers for home use.

NCBI – Microneedling with Dermaroller