The Disadvantages of Using a Derma Roller: What You Need to Know Before Microneedling Your Skin

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Derma rolling has become a popular at-home technique to help stimulate collagen production and cell turnover. By creating micro-injuries in the skin with tiny rolling needles, it aims to trigger the wound healing process. While research shows it can provide benefits like reduced scarring and fine lines, there are also some potential disadvantages to be aware of.

What are the disadvantages of a derma roller?

Some key disadvantages of derma rolling include:

Risk of infection:

Creating tiny puncture wounds opens the skin up to potential infections, especially if proper hygiene isn't followed. It's important to sterilize the roller before and after each use.

Pain and discomfort:

Derma rolling, especially with larger needle sizes, can cause stinging or soreness that lasts for a few hours or days. This may discourage some from continuing regular use.


While unlikely with smaller needles, using too large of a needle size or applying too much pressure could potentially lead to scarring in rare cases of sensitive skin.

Injury to eyes:

There is a risk of accidental needle-puncture injury to the eyes if the derma roller slips or isn't handled carefully around the eye area.

Uneven results:

It can take practice and a steady hand to ensure the entire treatment area is evenly rolled. Missing spots may affect the overall outcome.


While cheaper initially than laser or professional treatments, frequent derma rolling requires ongoing purchases of new sterile needle cartridges every few uses.

No instant effect:

As with any natural skin needling method, results from derma rolling take time - usually 4-8 weeks to see minor improvements and 3-6 months for fuller effects.

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Minimizing disadvantages:

To reduce risks, it's important to:

  • Use the smallest needle size (0.25-1mm) recommended for the treatment area.
  • Cleanse skin thoroughly before and after use and sanitize the roller.
  • Roll with light, even pressure and avoid overly irritating the skin.
  • Stop immediately if pain or irritation occurs.
  • Apply a hydrating serum or cream after to aid healing.
  • Replace needle cartridges regularly as recommended.

With proper precautions, derma rolling can provide skin benefits for many. But its disadvantages require cautious, sterile use to minimize risks versus other professional treatments.

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A hand-held microneedling tool intended to stimulate the scalp and encourage fuller hair

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.