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The Dermaroller and How It Works

Microneedling with dermaroller is a new treatment method against wrinkles, scars and stretch marks, and for total facial rejuvenation. It is a hassle-free and comparatively cheap modality which can also be used to administer drugs through the transdermal route.


Dermaroller attained popularity first as a simple approach to the treatment of scars, particularly those caused by acne. Any licensed dermatologist with minimum training can use it safely.

The Dermarolling Instrument

The typical dermaroller used for acne scars is drum-shaped and studded with 192 microneedles – 0,1 mm in diameter and 0.5 to 1.5 mm in length – arranged in eight rows. Reactive ion techniques are used to stamp the microneedles into silicon or medical-grade stainless steel. Gamma irradiation is used to pre-sterilize the instrument. Medical dermarollers are designed only for single use.

How It Works

The length of each medical dermaroller needle is 0.5-1.5 mm. During treatment, the needles cut into the stratum corneum of the skin, creating microconduits or holes without causing damage to the epidermis. Dermarolling over a particular area 15 times makes about 250 holes for every square centimeter. Microneedling stimulates the release of growth factors that lead to the production of new collagen (natural collagen) and elastin in the papillary dermis (upper layer of the skin). On top of that, new capillaries are formed, and with such neovascularisation and neocollagenesis that come after treatment, scars are visibly reduced. Thus, the procedure is fittingly called “percutaneous collagen induction therapy,” and has been used in photoageing treatments as well.

Dermarolling Acne Scars

Dermarolling or microneedling is a quick and easy procedure that may be performed in any office. First, topical anesthesia is applied to the area of treatment, where it is left to work for 45 minutes to an hour. After preparing the area, the dermatologist starts dermarolling until 15 to 20 vertical, horizontal and vertical strokes are completed. The site will then be wet with the use of saline pads. The whole procedure is good for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the area to the treated.

Prior to the next treatment, there should be at least a six-week gap, the period it takes the body to manufacture new natural collagen. For moderate acne scarring, three to four treatments are usually necessary.

Post Care

In general, microneedling is well-tolerated by patients, although it can cause erythema, which may last for a maximum of three days following treatment. Dermatologists recommend photoprotection for a week, as well as the application of local antibiotic creams. Patients can usually return to their normal routines the very next day.

Self-use Dermarollers

Self-use dermarollers are typically shorter than 0.15 mm, and come in handy for delivering lipopeptides and other anti-aging substances through the transdermal route. Most brands may be used twice weekly for up to a hundred times. After every use, the rollers must be cleaned with hot tap water and shaken dry.

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