Microneedling therapy, aka collagen induction therapy, is a popular minimally invasive procedure that utilizes tools like dermaroller, dermapen and dermastamp to resurface and rejuvenate skin. However, safety is one of the main concerns when using microneedling tools like dermarollers at home. For this reason we created this step-by-step guide on how to clean dermaroller and how to properly store your sterilized microneedling device.
Overall, microneedling treats several skin conditions, aids in stronger hair growth, and provides numerous anti aging benefits including wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, increases collagen production and elastin production, epidermal thickness, improves appearance of acne scars, uneven skin tone, skin structure and texture. Additionally, microneedling treatment increases ingredient absorption, which amplifies the results of topical products and active ingredients.
Why do you need to sterilize your dermaroller?
Unlike dermapen, which has disposable needle cartridges (tips) and doesn’t need to be sterilized, dermaroller and dermastamp are designed without disposable parts. In addition, both dermaroller and dermastamp are multi-use tools. That is to say, since dermaroller can be used up to 10-15 times, the needles need to be sanitized after each use to prevent the growth of bacteria.
In fact, you can limit the risk of infections by properly cleaning and storing your dermaroller, as well as being mindful about the length of the needles you are using. To point out, longer needles penetrate skin deeper and cause deeper microscopic wounds, so there are more chances of infecting the skin and possible side effects.
Ultimately, sterilizing your derma roller after each use and properly preparing skin for the needling treatment prevents the transfer of harmful bacteria from the derma roller to the skin. That is why it is important to know how to clean dermaroller!
How To Clean Dermaroller
As mentioned before, safety is a big concern when using micro needling devices at home. Moreover, most derma rollers don’t come with a sanitizing solution or roller cleaning container, so it has to be purchased separately. In addition, many micro needling tools come with very limited instructions on how to care for the device, so it’s your responsibility to do a proper research. That is to say, here are few easy cleaning steps that show how to clean dermaroller at home.
When you open your newly purchased derma roller you will need to sanitize it before the first use and after the treatment as well. Even though some derma rollers come sterilized (depends on the manufacturer), it is safer to disinfect it before you use your roller for the first time. However, when you use your derma roller for the second time, there is no need to sanitize it before AND after the micro needling treatment. Instead, cleaning your needling device right after the procedure is sufficient.
Step 1 – Dish Soap Soak
Fill a small measuring glass or shot glass with warm water and add few drops of dish soap. Place your dermaroller head down in this soapy water mixture and lightly stir the water so that it mixes well with dish soap. Keep stirring water carefully with your derma roller for 30-60 seconds, and try to avoid hitting the sides of the glass.
To clarify, using dish soap helps to dissolve traces of proteins that can be transferred from skin and blood via pinpoint to the derma roller head. Since alcohol is effective for disinfecting but can’t dissolve proteins, this step is needed to prepare the derma roller for further sterilization.
Step 2 - Rinse
Remove the roller from the soapy water mix and rinse it for few seconds under warm running water.
Step 3 – Sterilizing (isopropyl alcohol soak)
The best way to disinfect your dermaroller is by using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol) or dermaroller sanitizing solution or hydrogen peroxide. In fact, the most cost efficient and easiest way to soak your unclean derma roller is to place it vertically, head down in a small cup or glass (shot glass or small measuring cup work great!), and pour enough of isopropyl alcohol or sanitizing solution to cover just the head of the roller (not the entire derma roller). Make sure that the head of the dermaroller is fully submerged and let it soak for about 10-20 minutes.
Some microneedling devices come with a sterilization tray (don’t confuse it with protective storage case), which simplifies the whole process of disinfecting.
Step 4 - Rinse
After isopropyl alcohol (or alternative cleaning solution) soak, dispose leftover alcohol and place your dermaroller under the running water. Rinse it for about 20-45 seconds flipping roller from side to side few times.
Step 5 – Air-Drying
Carefully shake any water access after the rinse and let the roller air dry on a clean paper towel. Overall, 30-45 minutes of air-drying should be enough.
Step 6 - Storing
Once the dermaroller is dry, you can store it in a storage case or plastic container it came in for maximum safety and hygiene. Make sure your microneedling device is completely dry before storing it to avoid moist environment and bacteria spreading.
Tip: If you disinfect the dermaroller after each time you use it (and keep it in a protective container), there is no need to disinfect it again before doing microneedling procedure.
Just remember that your dermaroller needs to be cleaned after each use with 70% of rubbing alcohol or roller cleaner in order to kill bacteria and prevent skin infection.
Related: Learn how to sooth your skin after microneedling and speed up wound healing.
Dermaroller Cleaning “DO NOTS”
⊗ Avoid sanitizing sprays or roller cleaner sprays. Even though some manufacturers recommend using sanitizing sprays, you should avoid using sprays as there is a high chance that some parts of the roller might not get covered in the sanitizing solution. In fact, submerging works the best.
⊗ Do not use boiling water, dishwasher, bleach or any other alternative or home-made cleaning solutions, as harsh cleaning chemicals can be damaging to the microneedling devices. Just stick to isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or derma roller sanitizer.
⊗ Paper towel works the best for air-drying dermaroller. Try to avoid using fabric towel or alcohol wipes, as the fibers will get tangled between the needles and trace to the skin.
⊗ Just like you would not share your toothbrush, don’t share your dermaroller for obvious hygienic concerns.
So to sum up, avoid using the following things while cleaning your dirty derma roller:
- Sanitizing spray
- Bleach or other harsh chemicals
- Boiling/hot water
- Home-cleaning solution
- Towel or alcohol wipe
- Do not share your dermaroller
Find out what is the difference between dermaroller, dermapen and dermastamp?
When should you replace your dermaroller?
A typical dermaroller should last for up to 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 shaving area, the needles in your dermaroller get dull with usage and need to be replaced.
Quick note, some dermarollers are designed with the detachable heads, so instead of disposing the entire unit you are replacing just the roller head. It is also recommended to dispose your microneedling device if you accidentally dropped your device as the needles can be damaged or bend.
Prepare Your Skin For Microneedling
As mentioned before, safety is a big concern when using microneedling tools at home. In order to limit risk of skin infection you should carefully follow instructions on how to clean dermaroller, dermapen or dermastamp, and how to care for your microneedling device, Also, it is important to know how to use the microneedling device properly and how to prepare your skin for the microneedling procedure. For example, here are few simple essential steps to get your skin ready for dermarolling:
- Wash your hands
- Remove all makeup by using makeup remover
- Wash your face with a mild cleanser
- Apply toner using cotton rounds and let it dry
- If using needles longer than 0.75mm – disinfect targeted skin area by swiping it with the alcohol. Also, you might need to use numbing cream if you have overly sensitive skin or can’t tolerate mild to moderate pain.
- Follow instructions on how to use your specific type of microneedling device.
In conclusion, freshly cleaned skin and sanitized microneedling device are essential safety measures to prevent skin infections and any unwanted roller side effects. Hopefully our step-by-step guide on how to clean dermaroller at home was helpful and easy to follow, and you are ready to transform your skin!
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