Skin Perception

Dermaroller Needle Size: What Length Is Best For You

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Different skin concerns can be addressed with different dermaroller needle size, so choosing the right dermaroller size is crucial. Learn more about various microneedling sizes below.

Table of Contents:

Dermarollers have gained significant popularity for their ability to rejuvenate the skin, promote collagen production, and treat various skin concerns. In addition to providing anti aging benefits, microneedling is also used to soften acne, scars, and improve the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. However, choosing the right dermaroller needle size is crucial for achieving optimal results and avoiding potential side effects. This guide will help you understand the different needle sizes and their specific uses, ensuring you make an informed decision for your skincare routine.

Why Dermaroller Needle Size Matters

There are two main characteristics of dermarollers – the drum size and the length of needles. The drum size determines the width of a roller and the amount of needles. The regular dermaroller size usually has between 192 and 540 needles and is used mainly for the face or scalp. The microneedling roller for the body is about three times wider than a regular dermaroller and can have between 1000 and 1700 needles. There are also mini rollers with 192 to 250 needles, which are designed for treating small and sensitive areas like under the eyes and lips.

dermapen vs dermaroller comparison of different sizes

You can address different skin concerns by using microneedling devices with different needle lengths, which will cause different penetration depths. In other words, the longer the needles, the deeper puncture wounds will be inflicted, the more painful the procedure will get, and the longer recovery time will be required. Depending on how thick your skin is, spotted bleeding is very likely with needles of 1mm and longer.

When choosing the right size of dermaroller for at-home use, you should ask yourself the following questions.

 

   Do you have a previous experience with the microneedling devices?

For the beginners, it is recommended to start with the dermaroller needle size of 0.2mm – 0.3mm, and gradually make your way up. This allows your skin to acclimatize to the procedure. The concept is similar to using chemical peels or retinol – you start with a lower concentration product to allow your skin to adjust and avoid unnecessary skin irritation.

Microneedling devices with needle lengths exceeding 1mm are NOT recommended for home treatments on the face. However, 1.5mm can be used on body parts with caution. Overall, dermarollers with needles longer than 1mm create deeper puncture wounds, penetrating through the epidermis and dermis, and should only be used by a licensed specialist. This will allow us to avoid uncontrolled skin damage, skin infection, or overall misuse of the device. When in doubt – go with a shorter needle length.

 

  What part of the body are you planning to treat?

Microneedling can be used on most parts of your body including the face and neck for overall rejuvenation; the scalp for hair growth stimulation; arms, thighs, and abdomen to address stretch marks, scars, or cellulite. 

Also, skin thickness on different body parts should be taken into consideration, as it varies throughout the face and body. For the neck, scalp, and under-eye area where the skin is naturally thinner, it’s recommended to use shorter needles ranging from 0.1mm to 0.75mm. If you are planning on using your microneedling device on body parts like arms, thighs, or abdomen, you can safely use longer needles (0.75mm -1.5mm). There are also dermarollers that are designed specifically for body as they are three times bigger than regular rollers and are more comfortable to use on large areas.

 

   What skin concern are you trying to address?

Different dermaroller needle size is used to address different skin concerns. Please refer to the “Length of needles” section below to figure out which needle size will be best for you.

 

   How thick and sensitive is your skin?

The thickness and sensitivity of your skin will also determine which size of dermaroller will work best for you. If you have thin skin, you’ll want to use a shorter needle length (below 0.75mm), and you might need to go a size up in needle length for the naturally thick skin.

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Numbing cream or topical anesthetic gel might be necessary if you have low pain tolerance, or overall thin or sensitive skin.

Other things to consider when choosing a microneedling device:

Choosing Needle Size

The effectiveness and safety of microneedling treatment depend on selecting the appropriate needle length. Dermaroller needle size is measured in millimeters and ranges from 0.1 mm to 3 mm. Here’s a breakdown of the most common dermaroller needle sizes and their recommended uses. 

1: 0.2mm to 0.3mm Needles
  • Purpose: Enhanced product absorption and superficial skin treatments.
  • Uses: These short needles are ideal for improving the absorption of topical skincare products, such as serums and creams. They create tiny punctures on the skin’s surface, allowing active ingredients to penetrate more effectively without causing significant trauma.
  • Benefits: Minimal discomfort and no downtime, making them suitable for frequent use.
2: 0.5mm Needles
  • Purpose: Treating fine lines, mild acne scars, and pigmentation issues.
  • Uses: The 0.5mm needles can penetrate deeper into the epidermis, making them effective for stimulating collagen production and addressing superficial skin concerns like fine lines, light scarring, and hyperpigmentation.
  • Benefits: Noticeable improvement in skin texture and tone with minimal discomfort. Suitable for use every few weeks.
3: 1.0mm Needles
  • Purpose: Treating moderate acne scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
  • Uses: These needles penetrate deeper into the skin, reaching the upper dermis layer. They are effective for more pronounced skin issues such as deeper wrinkles, moderate acne scars, and stretch marks.
  • Benefits: Significant improvement in skin appearance, though they may cause more discomfort and require longer recovery time. Typically used once a month.
4: 1.5mm to 2.0mm Needles
    • Purpose: Treating severe scarring, deep wrinkles, and advanced stretch marks.
    • Uses: The longest needles are designed for professional use and can address severe skin concerns. They penetrate the lower dermis, providing intensive collagen stimulation and significant skin remodeling.
    • Benefits: Drastic improvement in severe skin issues, but they require professional application due to the potential for pain and longer recovery periods.

 

Related: What to use after microneedling?

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How Often Can You Do Microneedling At Home

It depends mainly on the length of the needles, skin thickness, and sensitivity. The longer the needles are the more time between the microneedling sessions needed for your skin to heal. Devices with 0.1mm – 0.3mm needles can be used each other day, 0.5mm can be used once a week, 0.75mm – 1mm can be used once a month.

 

Choosing the Right Needle Size for Your Skin Concerns

Selecting the appropriate needle size is crucial for achieving desired results and minimizing risks. Here’s a quick reference guide based on common skin concerns:

  • Product Absorption: 0.2mm – 0.3mm
  • Fine Lines and Light Scarring: 0.5mm
  • Moderate Scarring and Wrinkles: 1.0mm
  • Severe Scarring and Deep Wrinkles: 1.5mm – 2.0mm

Microneedling In Office Vs At-Home

IN OFFICE MICRONEEDLINGAT-HOME MICRONEEDLING
$200-$600 per session$30-$200 per device
Need at least 3-4 treatmentsNeed at least 6-10 treatments
Achieve results fasterTakes longer for visible results
Longer needles (1mm- 2.5mm can be used)Shorter needles (needles longer than 1mm are not recommended for home use)
Topical anesthesia (strong, high %) is used to numb the painOver the counter numbing gel or topical anesthetic can be applied if using needles larger than 0.75 mm
Safe, since it’s done by a trained professionalSafety might be an issue if device is not sanitized properly or if longer needles are used
ExpensiveAffordable

Safety Tips for Dermarolling

  • Sterilize your dermaroller before and after each use with isopropyl alcohol (about 70%) or dermaroller sanitizing solution. See our step-by-step guide on how to clean a dermaroller.
  • Start with a smaller dermaroller needle size of 0.25mm or 0.3mm and gradually make your way up the size.
  • Do not use needles longer than 1mm on face as at-home treatment.
  • Do not share your dermaroller.
  • Wash your face and hands before microneedling.
  • The best time for the procedure is in the evening before you go to bed. This way you’ll maximize the skin’s natural regeneration process, and it will be easier to stay away from applying makeup, and unwanted sun exposure.
  • Don’t use retinol, chemical peels or vitamin C in high concentration (15% or stronger) 24 hours before and after microneedling to avoid skin irritation.
  • Don’t use microneedling devices if you have active acne, active skin infection like herpes or warts, psoriasis, eczema, blood clotting issues or poor healing, ongoing cancer treatments like chemo or radiotherapy. Also, avoid areas with raised moles or raised scars.
  • Replace your dermaroller after 10-15 uses.
  • Over-the-counter topical anesthetics/numbing creams can be used to lessen the pain. 

>> Read more on microneedling aftercare.

When Should You Replace Your Dermaroller

A typical dermaroller should last for about 15 treatments. The main reason for replacing your microneedling device is the sharpness of the needles. Similar to razor blades that get dull after 7-12 usages depending on the blade type and the size of the shaving area, the needles in your dermaroller get dull with usage and need to be replaced.

Some dermarollers are designed with detachable heads, so instead of disposing of the entire unit you are replacing just the roller head. It is also recommended to dispose of your dermaroller if you accidentally dropped your device as the needles can be damaged or bent.

Ablon G. “Safety and effectiveness of an automated microneedling device in improving the signs of aging skin.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Vol 11, Aug. 2018

Arora S, Bhandaree P. Gupta. “Automated microneedling device – a new tool in dermatologist’s kit – a review.” Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists, 2012

Bahuguna, A. “Microneedling – facts and fictions.” Asian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2013

Glynis Ablon, MD. “Safety and effectiveness of an automated microneedling device in improving the signs of aging skin.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Vol.11, Aug. 2018

Gordon H. Sasaki. “Micro-needling depth penetration, presence of pigment particles, and fluorescein-stained platelets: Clinical usage for aesthetic concerns.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Vol. 37, Issue 1, 1 January 2017

Iosifidis, Christos, and Ioannis Goutos. “Percutaneous collagen induction (microneedling) for the management of non-atrophic scars: literature review.” Scars, burns & healing, Vol. 5, 26 Nov. 2019

Lauren Meshkov Bonati, Gorana Kuka Epstein, and Tamara Lazic Strugar. “Microneedling in all skin types: a review.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Volume 16, Issue 4, April 2017

Maeliosa T.C. McCrudden, Emma McAlister. “Microneedle applications in improving skin appearance.” Experimental Dermatology, Vol. 24, Issue 8, April 2015 

Mohamed Amer, Fawzeya Faarag, Amin Amer. “Dermapen in the treatment of wrinkles in cigarette smokers and skin aging effectively.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Vol. 17, Issue 6, Dec. 2018

Satish Doddaballapur. “Microneedling with dermaroller.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, Jul-Dec. 2009

Singh A, Yadav S. “Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal, Vol. 7, Jul-Aug 2016

Tina Alster, Paul Graham. “Microneedling: a review and practical guide.” Dermatologic Surgery, Vol. 3, March 2018

Yang J, Liu X, Fu Y, Song Y. “Recent advances of microneedles for biomedical applications: drug delivery and beyond.” Acta Pharmaceutica Sin B., Vol. 9, Issue 3, May 2019

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