By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Updated May 10, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
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SEO: What Is a Derma Roller?
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On any given day, a new "it" procedure can make its way into the skin care arena, including some of the newest favorites like a microcurrent treatment or the gemstone facial. Another newbie worth checking out? Dermarolling.

A dermaroller tool has been said to help boost collagen and elastin, creating an all-over smooth and refreshed look. That definitely sounds nice, but before you jump into any new treatment, you need to know exactly what you're getting yourself into.

That's why we tapped an expert to give you the lowdown on dermarolling and all it entails, including who should give the treatment a shot and how you can try it at home.

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What Is a Dermaroller?

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explains it best: A dermarolling skincare device has a handle on one end and roller with fine needles on its surface at the other — kind of like a rolling pin for the face.

So, It's Like Microneedling?

Zeichner says dermarolling is essentially microneedling, but on a rolling head. Microneedling, on the other hand, involves using a tool with small stationary needles at the tip, which can be adjusted by a skincare expert between 0.5 and 2.5 millimeters. It creates what Zeichner calls "a controlled ruin, allowing the skin to heal in a more cosmetically appealing manner."

These micro-injuries then trigger a "healing cascade," causing the skin to generate collagen and form new blood vessels, according to a 2016 study. Researchers even found that repeat sessions could lead to a 400 percent increase in collagen and elastin.

Does It Hurt?

There's no doubt about it — the procedure isn't fun, Zeichner says. But patients typically apply a numbing cream prior in order to reduce discomfort. The good news? Zeichner says the procedure takes about half an hour, so at least you won't have to endure the painful process for too long.

Who Should Try Dermarolling?

In addition to increasing collagen and elastin, Zeichner says dermarolling might also be for you if you are dealing with acne scarring, irregular texture, and/or hyperpigmentation.

One thing, Zeichner says: Just make sure you do not have any active infections or broken skin before trying dermarolling or microneedling.

Are At-Home Dermarollers Safe?

Unlike microneedling (which is typically performed in office), Zeichner says dermarolling utilizes smaller needles which means they do not penetrate as deeply into the skin as microneedling and are, therefore, safer to use at home.

If you do give dermarolling a shot at home, then Zeichner says it's important to use the roller on freshly cleaned skin. "You should consult the manufacturers about their recommendations on how and how frequently to best clean the devices between uses," says Zeichner.

At-home dermarollers include StackedSkincare's Micro-Roller, Ora's Microneedle Face Roller and GloPro’s Microstimulation Facial Tool, though you should do thorough research and even ask your derm before adding any to your shopping cart.

And as always, if you have any hesitations, talk to your doctor first before giving it a shot.