How to Use Derma Roller

Derma rollers can be used to benefit the skin, including reducing the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars and other flaws. Derma rollers are rolling devices that contain several rolls of tiny, thin needles. Users roll the derma roller over problem areas and the needles puncture the spot, helping build up collagen, create new cells and break down scar tissue. Even though derma rollers are often used at spas, salons and dermatology clinics, they are also available for home use.

How to Use Derma Roller

Learning the correct ways to use a derma roller is very important, as the roller does pierce the skin. Therefore, preparation matters! Since the derma roller should be rolled in every direction over the problem area, pain can become an issue. Make sure to have a lidocaine cream (an anesthetic) handy to use about 20 minutes before using the derma roller.


You will need to have a sterile environment when you begin. Learning how to use derma roller at home doesn’t mean anything if you wind up with an infection during the first time you use it. To prepare, ensure your hands are clean – wash well with soap and water, or you can wear disposable gloves. Clean and disinfect a table on which you will place the pertinent items: the derma roller, a bowl of ice water, clean cloths and towel, paper towels, moisturizing cream, numbing gel, a timer, and more disinfectant, preferably in a glass.

Ensure the skin where you will use the derma roller is entirely clean. If you will be using the derma roller for the first time, follow instructions on how to sterilize it before you begin.


How to use derma roller depends upon the size of the needles. Those with 0.20 or 0.25 mm needles can simply put the derma roller against the skin and roll, then add the lotion or cream; or they can put the cream on the spot first, then use the derma roller over it.

If the needle is 0.5 mm and above, it is a much more complicated process. Make sure to swab down everything you will touch with alcohol, including the spot you will treat, your hands, and all equipment. Let the alcohol evaporate. Apply the numbing cream; when it has taken effect, remove it with alcohol. Stretch the skin with your hand to make it as flat as possible, and you are ready to begin.

  • Roll the derma roller in a star pattern, five times up and down, five times left to right, and five times diagonally. Lift the roller slightly between each path, as you want to evenly prick the skin. Use very light pressure in sensitive areas, but medium pressure in other areas.
  • Remember how to use derma roller with care. This means you never apply too much pressure – if you draw blood, you are pushing too hard. Take care of your skin by sterilizing everything, every single time. Never use the derma roller on your eyelids or other areas that might be extremely sensitive, as you could do serious damage.
  • When you are done, your skin will be red, like sunburn. Keep the area moist for the first few days, preferably covered with an appropriate ointment. Don’t go into the sun for several days, and avoid makeup and harsh cleansers during this time. The area might start to peel in a few days; don’t mess with it. Just allow the collagen to grow.

Notes and Precautions

For best results, plan your sessions carefully and stick to a routine. If you happen to have an active breakout, don’t use the derma roller. Avoid using it if you have sunburn as well. When you do use it, keep sessions to only once a week at the most.

This video can tell you much more about the instructions:

How Often to Use Derma Roller

Knowing how to use derma roller means also knowing how often to use it. Smaller needles, such as those between 0.2 mm or 0.25 mm, can be used every other day on the same area. Needles of 0.5 mm can be used once or twice per week, 1 mm can be used every two weeks, and 1.5 mm can be used only every three to four weeks. Needles of 2.0 mm or higher can only be used every five weeks or so, and only with the permission of your physician.

Different Derma Roller Sizes for Different Purposes

Knowing how to use derma roller at home is very different than the process used in the spa or clinic. Derma rollers for hospital use are typically between 0.5 mm and 2.5 mm. In some cases, this might be large enough to cause bleeding – in that case, anesthesia will be administered. What you use at home depends upon the purpose. Here are the most popular sizes:

  • 0.3 mm: for use on the face with skin care products
  • 0.5 mm: For use on the rest of the body to apply products, some acne spots and pigmentation
  • 1.0 mm to 1.5 mm: For use on fine wrinkles, individual deep wrinkles, loose skin, sun damage, and some burn scars
  • 2.0-2.5 mm: Used for some burn scars, deep acne scars, and some dense scars.
  • Derma rollers can be used for other purposes such as on scalp. For example, men who are suffering from hair loss can use a derma roller with needles from 0.25 mm to 1.0 mm, depending upon their situation. The derma roller can be combined with products designed to promote hair growth, such as Rogaine or Copper Peptide. Applying moisturizing lotion and other products afterward can help promote growth even more.

No matter the size of the roller needles, clean the derma roller with warm water and dishwashing liquid, being careful with the needles, and then disinfect by soaking in alcohol for 20 minutes. Let the derma roller air dry, then put it back in its container. 

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