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DermaRoller: What to Do If You Don't Get the Expected Result?


The use of dermrollers is booming these days, especially in some countries like Australia, or in the US. It’s a microneedling tool that is quite easy to use, and on most cases, derma rollers can do miracles.

However, the use of a derma roller is not always recommended. Not only your skin might require different treatments but it’s essential to know precisely how to use a dermaroller and when not to use one.

Have a look at this complete dermaroller guide and avoid all the mistakes you might be doing!

In this post, we'll discuss everything that could give you some not-so-incredible dermaroller results. We'll also talk about what you can do to manage or prevent it from happening in the future, so you get the results you're looking for!

How to Avoid Disappointing Dermaroller Results?

Whether it's not using the tool properly or it’s your skin that is not taking the treatment well - there are several reasons why all your hopes of achieving beautiful dermaroller results could go down the drain.

So don't be naive - dermarollers are easy to use and effective, but could also give you some unexpected and disappointing results. Luckily, they're not serious concerns and easily fixable.

Below are 15 situations you might face if you use a dermaroller the wrong way (and ways to avoid them):

Situation 1: Not noticing any Differences

We know patience is the key with dermarolling, but it shouldn't take months for you to notice even a slight difference. When this happens, you're probably doing one of the followings:

  • Applying Too Much Force

A likely reason why you're not getting results as quickly as you should've is that you're applying too much pressure while dermarolling. This can cause deeper pricks than needed and damage the skin.

So the next time you dermaroll, do it with a light hand - don't drag or apply any force.

  • Dermarolling Too Often

Using the tool more often than necessary will prevent your skin from healing - it won't get time to recover before you start microneedling it again.

Hence, make sure you keep sufficient gap days between your dermarolling sessions. Only 0.20 - 0.25 mm can be used every other day on your skin.

  • Using the Wrong Needle Size

Using the wrong size of needles will keep you from getting the results you want.

If you use 0.5 or less on thicker areas like the hips, you won't get your desired result. This is because these needles won't be long enough to penetrate deep into the skin here.

And if you're using anything more than 0.5 mm on your face, your skin won't recover as easily as it should.

Read this size guide for microneedling to make sure you pick the right needle size!


Situation 2: Facing Hyperpigmentation

You wanted radiance, and the result you got is hyperpigmentation - it's incredibly disappointing, we know. However, you can easily prevent this situation by taking a couple of precautionary measures.

First off, you want to make sure you don't go under the sun for at least two days after dermarolling. The sun is your worst enemy after using a dermaroller and will make your skin red and darker.

This is especially important for dark-skinned individuals, as they're more likely to develop hyperpigmentation after dermarolling.

Secondly, ensure that you wear sunscreen every time you dermaroll. Oh and, try buying one that has a higher SPF so that it stays effective for longer.

Situation 3: Breaking Out

Getting all sorts of pimples after dermarolling is the last thing you want. Here's what you could be doing wrong:

  • You Already Have Acne

If you've got acne, wait for it to clear up before you start dermarolling. Never - we repeat - NEVER use a dermaroller if you've got active acne! Otherwise, you'll spread the bacteria from one place to another and cause a breakout all over your face.

  • Using an Unsanitary Dermaroller

Before every session, ensure that you've disinfected your tool properly with alcohol. Not cleaning the dermaroller thoroughly will result in infections. Here is a small guide that’ll tell you how to clean your microneedling roller properly.

  • Applying the Wrong Product After Dermarolling

Some serums or moisturizers can clog pores, causing your skin to break out. Hence, check the ingredient list of your skincare product before applying it.

Typically, you want to avoid mineral oils, propylene glycol, petroleum, or silicone-based products. Instead, use water-based serums like hyaluronic acid for effective hydration minus the clogging.

Check out this list of skincare serums if you’re not sure!

Situation 4: Getting Underwhelming Results

Are you using a skincare serum after dermarolling? If not, it could be the reason why you're not getting the results you want.

Yes, dermarolling can give you firm skin. Sure, it can get rid of wrinkles and scars. But if you want quicker results and that Instagram-able glow, pair your dermarolling session with an after-product.

However, make sure you're using the right serum to avoid disastrous results. Generally, you want to avoid AHAs and BHAs, like salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acid. Also, avoid retinol and any product with alcohol in it.

Situation 5: New Scars/Bruises

There are two most likely reasons why you may have new scars or bruises after dermarolling:

  • Size of Needles

One of the possible culprits could be the size of your needles. We can't emphasize enough on how important it is to know the correct needle size for different areas of the body.

If you use anything more than 0.5 mm on your face, you'll notice that you have more than normal bleeding and even scratches all over. Even worse, you'll get bruises on your face because your skin just can't handle such large pricks.

So, know your needle size before you start dermarolling. You should generally use 0.20 mm - 0.50 mm on your face, and 2 mm to 3 mm on the hips and thighs.

  • Thickness of Needles

Make sure the needles on your tool are super thin. Otherwise, you'd know you've got the wrong brand.

To make microneedling work, you need to make sure your skin remains undamaged, and the puncture holes are just temporary injuries.

Thin needles will pierce your skin and do all the good things you want like boosting collagen, etc. If they were thick, they'd penetrate your skin, sure, but also leave scars and damage it instead of benefiting it.

So if you notice that your needles are bent, damaged, or too thick, change your dermaroller.

Situation 6: Worsened Skin Condition

Dermarollers can surely help people achieve their dream skin, but that's not the case for everybody, unfortunately. For some skin conditions, dermarollers are a big no-no, such as:

  • Hypersensitive skin
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Melanoma
  • Rashes
  • Sunburn
  • Rosacea
  • Keloid scars
  • Fungal or viral infections of the skin

 If you've got any of those skin conditions, dermarollers will only make it worse. Skin problems like sunburns, acne, or infections, wait till it all clears out before you start dermarolling.

Situation 7: Irritated Skin

If you've got super-sensitive skin, it might be irritated for a while after dermarolling. And while this isn't a serious concern and will go away on its own, you can prevent it by taking care of a few things.

  • First, you want to make sure you're not over-doing it and giving your skin time to heal and recover.

  • Second, ensure you're not applying serums with harsh chemicals in it. Instead, use soothing serums with herbal extracts.

  • Lastly, try not to wear makeup for several hours after the treatment. This is because your pores are exposed for quite a while after dermarolling, and applying makeup will not only clog them but also possibly irritate your skin. 

3 Alarming but Perfectly Normal Dermaroller Results

Not all dermarolling side effects are disastrous. Here are a few situations that could be concerning, but don't panic - it's all part of the process:

1- Redness

Dermarolling means you've made punctures in your skin, and there's a lot of blood circulation and repairing that's happening behind the scenes.

Hence, you will almost certainly face redness after the treatment, especially if you've used long needles.

You may also see some inflammation, in case you've got super-sensitive skin. It may not look nice, but it'll go away in less than a day - just don't apply anything to cover it up. Your best bet is to leave your skin alone till it goes away.

2- Dryness

Post-treatment often results in very dry skin, begging for some hydration. This is why we always recommend using a hydrating serum or moisturizer that your skin will love lapping up.

3- Bleeding

It can be quite alarming to watch your skin bleed as you roll the tool over it, especially if it's your first ever session. Don't worry, though - it's perfectly normal.

As long as it doesn't bleed excessively and for an extended period, you have no reason to worry.

Final Words

It's smart to do some research before buying and using a dermaroller. Cleaning your tool, using it correctly, applying the right products, and taking preventive measures - you've got to know all of this for the treatment to work.

Moreover, you need to be patient with the process. You could do everything right and still not get quick results because dermarolling works differently for everyone.

Keep going at it, and don't lose hope - you'll surely notice a difference somewhere along the way.