Is Derma Roller Safe To Use?
If there’s one thing that the lockdowns have popularized, it’s taking beauty matters into our own hands. With many clinics temporarily closing during the pandemic, many of us were forced to turn to D-I-Y kits and online shopping.
But even after restrictions were eased, a lot of people chose to continue performing home procedures. For one, they’re much cheaper than going to a dermatologist’s office.
But are they always a good thing? Not quite! In some cases, performing a derma procedure by ourselves can do more harm than good. Such is the case with the derma roller.
What is a Derma Roller?
Derma rollers are handheld devices packed with tiny needles that you can massage all over your face to stimulate collagen production. They trigger the blood vessels and the formation of microscopic wounds on the skin.
This process can also be referred to as micro-needling or collagen induction therapy. It’s often used for the treatment of skin conditions like fine lines, wrinkles, acne damage, wrinkles, and damaged scar tissue.
What happens when you get micro-needling?
By triggering the body’s wound healing response, your skin can rebuild the collagen that was lost in aged skin or damaged by acne scars, resulting in smooth, clear, and younger-looking skin.
Are Derma Rollers Safe?
Microneedling with the use of professional-grade derma rollers is a safe procedure that can help improve the appearance of damaged skin. However, the risks to doing it at home are undeniable. Without the right supervision, preparation, and aftercare, using a derma roller by yourself can be disastrous.
Below, we explain the differences between at-home micro-needling vs. micro-needling by a dermatologist and why the latter is a much better option.
Derma Rolling at Home vs. With an Expert
The main difference between the two is the device used. Microneedling devices available online are typically shorter in needle length, while in-office micro-needling usually requires longer needles in order to make deeper wounds. This stimulates more collagen and is more effective for severe skin problems like deep wrinkles and fine lines, but can also cause mild pain and a few days to weeks of downtime.
Also, many health and wellness professionals who specialize in this area don’t use the same derma rollers you’ll find online. They can use a pen-shaped tool or a roller with deeper needles.
“Typically, an at-home device would vary between 0.1mm-0.3mm in terms of needle depth and is primarily designed to enhance skin-care ingredient absorption,” explains facialist and skin expert Andy Millward to Refinery29. At-home micro-needling doesn’t penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, but they do make tiny holes in the outer layer, which can help with minor issues.
A professional treatment, on the other hand, employs deeper needles. Aestheticians generally use deeper needles of around 0.5mm-1.5mm. Dermatologist clinics can use needles up to 3mm in their treatment.
If you use a derma roller with shallow needles meant for at-home use, the risks are pretty minimal. It was only when professional-grade devices became available to the public that the procedure became much more dangerous. The wrong technique can easily cause micro-tears in the skin, leading to scarring and hyperpigmentation.
Another huge problem with performing an at-home cosmetic procedure is the risk of infection. Online devices are unregulated, and unless you have an at-home clinic with top-grade sanitation, you’ll be exposing your needles to lots of dangerous substances.
Bottom line, if you have serious health conditions or don’t want to risk further damaging your skin, then going to a clinic is your best bet. However, if you want to know how to incorporate derma rolling into your skincare regimen the right way, read on.
Benefits of Derma Rolling
Derma rolling, when done correctly, can help with the treatment of the following skin issues:
- Fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin or loss of skin elasticity
- Large pores
- Remove stretch marks
- Uneven skin tone
- Acne scarring
- Extensive dun damage
- More affordable than laser treatments
Another main advantage of derma rolling is its efficacy for those with darker skin types, as cited in the research “Microneedling: Advances and Widening Horizons” which was published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal. So, morenas and morenos, if you’ve ever had trouble with laser treatments and their aftereffects, then this procedure could be better suited for you.
How to use a Derma Roller?
Professional micro-needling is the safer option, but if you can’t go to a clinic right now, consult with your dermatologist to see if at-home micro-needling is a good option for you. This is how the treatment is usually performed:
- Make sure you’re using a new derma roller with sanitized needles. These needles should exceed 0.3mm in depth.
- Cleanse your face.
- Make sure there aren’t any open or active wounds, rashes, or skin infections that could worsen when pricked.
- Apply a numbing cream or serum.
- Derma roll from the bottom and work your way up, going from the chin, jaw, right cheek, left cheek, and then the forehead. This promotes skin firmness and prevents sagging. Use soft strokes.
- The whole process should not take more than 2 minutes.
- You should not feel a painful stinging sensation. If this occurs, stop immediately.
- Apply a hydrating or anti-aging serum – this depends on your skincare routine. But be careful because vitamin C and retinol are huge no-nos.
How do I approach aftercare?
According to Healthline, you must avoid wearing makeup, exercising, and hot showers for at least 24 hours after the skin needling procedure. You should also wear sunscreen as the process may sensitize your skin.
Microneedling Healing and Risks
An at-home treatment typically does not require a lot of downtimes as the procedure isn’t as deep into the skin. However, it’s important to give your skin a few days to rest and heal before performing another procedure.
On the other hand, a professional service may require up to one month of downtime before the next session. Data shows that four micro-needling sessions are needed in order to maximize results.
The entire procedure is minimally invasive. Side effects include a slight sting and redness.
Derma Rolling Myths
Contrary to what you see on social media, derma rolling isn’t a one-time miracle treatment. Instead, as Dr.Zeichner recommends, derma rolling devices must be used regularly over weeks to months to see improvements.
Microneedling with a derma roller has plenty of wonderful benefits, especially when done by a professional. As much as we want to take our beauty into our own hands, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the dermatologists and the estheticians if you can. However, if you’re a D-I-Y expert, then make sure you do as much research as you can or talk to your doctor first.
Want to learn more about all things beauty and skincare? Take a look at our most popular articles right here on Pretty Me!
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.