Is Dermaroller Painful Explained With different Needle Lengths & The Discomfort While Dermarolling

Ouch?! Is Dermaroller Painful?

Probably the first thing that comes into your mind when looking at the dermaroller is – doesn’t it hurt?? Because derma rollers are made with with hundreds of tiny medical grade metal needles, you may experience slight discomfort or even pain while dermarolling. So is dermaroller painful or not really  depends on what needle size dermaroller is being used.

The human skin has an average thickness of 1.5 mm and as a general rule usually longer needle than 1.5 mm also isn’t necessary to achieve results from rolling. Needles longer than 0.5 mm very likely cause pain and numbing your skin before use is recommended.

There are topical numbing solutions that can be used to numb the skin, but make sure that you do not apply them to any open wounds as this can cause complications – always read the instructions that come with the purchased numbing cream.

Dermaroller needle length vs pain factor

Dermaroller needle length


0.2 mm

0.5 mm

0.75 mm

1.0 mm

1.5 mm

2.0 mm

Sensations, discomfort & pain during dermarolling

Mild tingling sensation, no pain or discomfort

Moderate discomfort, tolerable for most users

Very uncomfortable & causes pain, pre-numbing recommended

Painful, numbing necessary.

Very painful, numbing necessary.

Very painful, numbing necessary.

The above chart gives you slight overview of what to expect when using the dermaroller at home.

Is dermaroller painful mainly depends on what needle length dermaroller is used..

The daily use 0.2mm dermaroller is specifically designed to penetrate deep enough to be effective, and yet not deep enough to touch nerves and cause pain. When used according to the directions, the ultra-sharp needles will penetrate only the upper layers of skin without causing bleeding or any permanent injury.

When using a 0.2 & 0.5 mm dermaroller, usually no topical numbing cream is necessary. Longer needles (0.75 mm, 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm) can cause pain but also produce significantly better results.

Pain & discomfort when dermarolling different body areas

Skin sensitivity in different body areas is also not same – for example dermarolling with 0.5 mm dermaroller on your forehead will most likely cause greater discomfort when compared to rolling same needle length on your thighs or on any other fleshier body areas.

The longer the dermaroller needles the more it hurts. However, the first microneedling session is usually perceived more painful than further rollings. Also, when you roll, the first minutes are more painful and it gets better as you continue.

An alternative skin numbing method to numbing creams

Ease Dermarolling Pain With Ice

Ease Dermaroller Pain With Ice

There is also an alternative way to make your skin less sensitive before dermarolling without the need for numbing cream. You can hold an ice pack or a small plastic bottle with ice covered with towel on the skin before rolling – this works very well and has no side effects.

Just don’t hold the ice on the same spot too long, otherwise there is a small danger of frostbite.

Your skin right after dermarolling

After the dermarolling your skin will be red and even a bit swollen in a similar way to moderate sunburn. You will feel skin tightness and mild sensitivity to touch on the area that was needled.

All these sensations are normal and will fade after a few hours after dermarolling and within the next 24-48 hours the skin will be completely healed. With smaller needles all these irritation skins will fade within hours, but with longer needle lengths it may take up to 2-3 days for your skin to calm completely.

Seeing results after dermarolling

Our skin requires time to regenerate and repair after stimulation with dermaroller. A period of time is necessary to enable the new collagen to grow which then boosts cell growth and improves blood circulation.

Usually it takes about 4-6 weeks before you notice any visible signs of improvement in your skin. But once the changes start to occur, the improving of your skin will continue over the next few months.

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