Microneedling with a dermaroller is a very effective treatment for scars (especially acne scars), stretch marks, wrinkles and to promote skin rejuvenation overall. Using a dermaroller at home makes this a simple, affordable option for many people.
* Please do remember that the depth you will achieve at home will be shallower, so for deep scars we recommend you visit a professional salon or aesthetic practice.
A dermaroller (or microneedling device as it is also called) looks a bit like a DIY torture device covered in tiny needles. So why would you subject your skin to this? Well, these needles create micro-injuries on the skin, which stimulates collagen and elastin production and skin repair - leaving your complexion firmer than it was beforehand. Unfortunately when you have existing, healed scars the body makes no further effort to repair this tissue, so the scars don’t go away without some sort of intervention.
So how does it work?
This micro trauma erases the skin’s “memory” of the scar, and as the skin replaces itself over a period of months, textured scars begin to “fill in” and resemble normal skin.1
This means that over time the appearance of the old scars is improved as new tissue is formed.
During treatment, the needles pierce the stratum corneum and create microconduits (holes) without damaging the epidermis. It has been shown that rolling with a dermaroller over an area for 15 times will result in at least 250 holes/ cm2 . Microneedling leads to the release of growth factors which stimulate the formation of new collagen (natural collagen) and elastin in the papillary dermis. In addition, new capillaries are formed - this neovascularisation and neocollagenesis following treatment leads to reduction of scars. The procedure is therefore aptly called "percutaneous collagen induction therapy" and has also been used in the treatment of photoageing.2
What to look for in a derma roller for home use?
There are a range of these available online these days. Make sure to buy a good quality roller.
- Needle length – the safest lengths for at home use on the face are 0.25mm, 0.5mm, 0.75mm and 1mm. Whilst you can get rollers with longer needles these are not recommended for use on the face and should only be used by a trained therapist in a salon environment.
- Needles should be made of titanium, don’t buy anything else.
- If you are using the derma-roller on your face make sure the needles are very fine, thick needles are only to be used on the body.
- The roller should have at least 540 needles.
- Detachable roller heads with different length needles that can be changed for different areas:
- A separate, much narrower roller for use around the eye-area: no longer than 0.75mm.
- Fine lines, crows feet etc are best tackled with a 0.75mm needle length in a wider roller base.
- Deep wrinkles and scars need longer needles: 1.0mm.
- The roller heads should each have their own protective cover for storage - this stops the needles from getting bent or damaged when you aren't using them.
How to handle and use your roller?
Always store your roller in its protective case to prevent the needles from getting bent, and so that you don't cut yourself when handling the equipment. Always take the time to read the instructions that come with your dermaroller kit so that you know how to change the roller heads (if applicable) and remove the protective case before use. If the needles are bent or rusted, or the roller doesn’t turn easily, then it should not be used.
- Always use your roller on a clean, dry face.
- Spray your skin and the roller with our GF1 to thoroughly disinfect your skin and the needles before you start.
- Once your skin is dry take your dermaroller in your hand (place your index finger on the back of the handle near the roller head so that you can apply some downward pressure) and roll it over a section of your skin vertically, horizontally and diagonally. Do this 2 to 3 times in each direction.
- Apply gentle to moderate pressure whilst rolling. Don’t drag the roller sideways over your skin, it should only be used back and forth in a natural rolling motion.
- Don’t roll too quickly – slow with steady pressure will produce more uniform pinpricks.
- Holding the skin tight with your other hand, especially on the cheeks, can improve results especially when using longer needles.
- Apply as much pressure as you can tolerate without hurting yourself.
- Take extra care on your lips (or avoid them altogether) and use the shorter, narrower roller around the eye.
- Once you have completed the needling wash your face again in case of any blood, pat dry and spray the area with another layer of GF1 Aftercare. Allow your skin to air dry. Repeat this application every hour if required, depending on how deeply you rolled and if you have any pain or discomfort.
- Don’t apply anything else to your face (sunscreen or makeup) for 24 hours whilst your skin heals. Make sure to apply sunscreen thereafter before going outdoors.
- Make sure to clean your dermaroller thoroughly. Run it under hot water and use a toothbrush (specifically for this purpose not the one you use to brush your teeth) to remove any dirt. Place on a clean dry towel to dry. Once dry spray with GF2 and store in its case.
- Replace the roller head after 15 to 20 uses. Never share your roller.
Your results are not dependant on the amount of bleeding you might experience so please don’t roll excessively or apply too much pressure.
When you combine our GF1 Aftercare product with your microneedling you will maximise your results. Any redness and pain will be minimised whilst inflammation is reduced. The healing process is accelerated by 60-70%. Using GF1 also reduces the risk of infection and therefore further scarring or hyperpigmentation.
Please note - use of a dermaroller is contra-indicated:
- if you have hypersensitive skin.
- with a keloid condition or on raised scars.
- over active acne or nodular rosacea.
- on eczema, herpes, hives or psoriasis.
- on a fungal infection or open wounds.
- if you have blood clotting problems.
- on cold sores, warts or moles.
- if you have skin cancer, melanoma or shingles.
- with solar keratosis, on sunburn or if you have just had any skin treatment that has not yet healed (incl laser & radiation).
- if you are on Roaccutane, antibiotics, Corticosteroids, anti-depressants or any drugs that slow down healing, cause photosensitivity, cause hypersensitivity or are blood-thinners.
- if you have just had botox (wait 2 months), fillers (wait 2 weeks) or facial surgery (wait 6 months).
- if you are pregnant or breast-feeding (your body just doesn’t have extra resources for tissue healing).
With regular dermarolling you will get very good results. Needle lengths of 0.25mm can be used daily to boost your skin as it causes no bleeding and very little (if any) pain. Other lengths suitable for home use (0.5mm to 1.0mm) should be used once every 4 to 6 weeks or when your skin has completely recovered from any previous treatments. A minimum of six weeks is recommended between two treatments as it takes that long for new natural collagen to form. Three to four treatments may be needed for moderate acne scars.