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Micro-Needle Skin Rollers


The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful about Micro-Needle Skin Rollers

Micro-Needle Rollers have had a sudden surge in popularity thanks to celebrities like Angelina Jolie.

But are all these rollers safe? Are they painless to use? Do they cause infections? How do you know if they are right for you? This lens will look at micro-needle skin rollers, also called derma rollers, from several different angles.

For questions about skin rollers and skin care, leave a comment below or write to me at Find me on Facebook.


Are Skin Rollers New?

Skin rollers have been around for a while, but the technology is still fairly new. The original medical skin roller, the Dermaroller®, was patented in Germany in 2000. The rollers were found to be helpful in assisting drugs pass through the skin's natural protective barrier. They also have been used in clinics where they are administered by trained professionals as a way to help with scarring. It was found that the micro-needling devices could also stimulate healthy skin.

Roller Rash

Roller Rash

Is There a Downside to Skin Rollers?

Yes, there are several problems associated with typical skin rollers. For one thing, many of them call themselves "micro-needle rollers," but the skin rollers found online typically are very flimsy and have needles that are not intended for home use. There has been much discussion by skin care professionals about the legality of selling equipment meant for clinical and medical use to the general public.

Needles that are longer than .2 MM can cause discomfort and needles that are longer than .3 MM can leave the skin red and irritated. The longer the needle, the greater the irritation, and needles that are .4 MM or longer can cause the skin enough irritation to require downtime while the skin heals. Needles that are .5 MM and longer can draw blood.

This photo shows my own skin 2 days after experimenting with a .5 mm skin roller which was so painful I could only use it for one pass on my neck, but I did 2 to 4 passes on my chest and chin with very light pressure. My skin actually bled in 2 or 3 spots, and the next day my skin had small wounds and swollen places and was very tender. It looked unsightly for 5 days after using the .5 mm roller and was rough, scabby and itchy for several days. I had to use Neosporin on it the first day to make sure it didn't become infected and I had to use a Benedryl product for two more days to reduce the swelling. I am so thankful I had the good sense not to use the .5 mm roller on my face!

I rinsed the roller after use, and the next day, I noticed the rotating barrel stuck some -- it would have been even harder to use after I rinsed it. No thank you!

Flimsy, cheap rollers often have needles that become blunt quickly or develop bent tips that pull the delicate skin. Many rollers have needles that go all the way through the roller with needle tips at each end. If a needle gets bumped on one side, or hangs on the skin on another side, the needles can get pushed or pulled so they stick out further on one side of the roller, cause the longer needles to snag or pierce the skin more deeply each time the roller passes over the skin.

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Sharing rollers with others can run the risk of exchanging diseases and infections including AIDS and hepatitis. Using dirty rollers can cause irritation and infection. Using needles that are blunt, dull or that become hooked at the end can cause injury.

The bottom line is almost all skin rollers you can find for sale online were not intended for at-home use and are intended to be used by medical professionals ONLY... and few medical professionals would buy the cheap, flimsy rollers commonly sold online. However, there are 2 ways to safely use this technology.

MorgueFile photo

MorgueFile photo

How to Safely Use a Skin Roller

At present, there are only two safe ways to use a skin roller. One is to visit a dermatologist or doctor who uses rollers to treat patients with skin problems. This involves making an appointment, driving to the clinic, waiting in the doctor's office, being evaluated, and then undergoing a procedure that is both painful and disfiguring. A topical anesthetic may be applied to help with the discomfort during the procedure. The skin may bleed and will look red and swollen after the procedure and may require up to 5 days to recuperate.

The other is to find a skin roller actually patented and designed for in home use. For questions about safe skin rollers and effective skin care, leave a comment below or write me at skin _ and _ health @ yahoo . com (remove the spaces)

More Information on Derma Rollers

Are Skin Rollers Safe? What You Should Know About Derma Rollers

Recently two different readers sent me similar inquiries about the length of needles used in skin rollers

For more questions about skin rollers and skin care, leave a comment below or write me at

Questions? Comments? Please Sign the Guestbook

Lynn on March 20, 2016:

Rodan & Fields roller is great make sure you disinfect it, I used it probably 10 times and then got a horrible rash, disinfect your roller!!

anonymous on October 19, 2012:

I use the Rodan + Fields derma roller you mentioned here. It has been so gentle and painless I never feel any needles, but, oh! the difference it has made in my skin!

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