Microneedling at home: Is it harmful to treat yourself with the dermaroller?

Microneedling zuhause

An even and radiant complexion – and that at home in self-application? That sounds magical! Microneedling is said to be the key. This involves a special roller or pen that uses tiny needles to poke fine holes in the skin. The treatment is said to promote circulation and help with many kinds of skin problems: Pimple marks, pigmentation spots, rough-pored skin and acne scars are said to be improved with it. But is Mircroneedling at home really recommendable? Can’t things go wrong during self-treatment? We take a closer look at the therapy and show you what alternatives are available.

How microneedling works

It’s a bit strong language, but microneedling is about intentionally injuring your skin by using a special dermaroller or DermaPen. The dermaroller is a type of roller that is studded with tiny needles. The DermaPen is an electric pen with vibrating needles at the tip.

The roller or pen is rolled over the face with even pressure. In the process, the fine needles penetrate the facial skin evenly deep and flat at best. The result is microscopic injuries. The skin reacts to this with a self-healing process and forms new skin cells. The lower skin layers repair the injured cells. In this way, the procedure is also said to activate the formation of new collagen. After several applications, the skin is said to show basic tightening, moisturization and improved regeneration.

Dr. Tatjana Pavicic

Dr. Tatjana Pavicic is a specialist in dermatology and venereology with her own practice in Munich. She is an internationally recognized expert in aesthetic dermatology with a special focus on dermocosmetics, botulinum toxin, fillers and lasers.

Microneedling: differences between medical and cosmetic needling
Medical needling

Microneedling can be used to treat pathological changes in the skin, such as (burn) scars, irreversible stretch marks or other skin abnormalities. Medical needling is performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Medical needling treatments usually require local anesthesia because the depth of the puncture is up to 3 mm. The healing time for such treatments is about seven days.

Cosmetic needling

While the depth of puncture is quite deep in medical microneedling, it is much shallower in the cosmetic version. The intensity of the treatment is also less. Microneedling is said to help against wrinkles, dark circles, acne scars, pigment spots, enlarged pores and superficial scars. The treatment is offered in cosmetic salons.

Cosmetic microneedling at home: is it a good idea?

Applying microneedling at home is also possible. There are many tools available for purchase in online stores and drugstores that allow treatments. However, over-the-counter dermarollers and DermaPens have even shorter needles and can’t compete with professional treatments.

In addition, self-application is not that easy. Above all, it is important that you pay strict attention to hygiene, carefully disinfect the roller before use and thoroughly clean your face. After that, you should run the roller over your face vertically, horizontally and diagonally. Make sure to apply only very light pressure to avoid serious injuries. The needle pricks should be barely noticeable. Possible side effects of microneedling at home may include:

  • Redness
  • Bleeding due to too much pressure or wrong needle length
  • Microtears (frayed puncture channels caused, for example, by inferior dermarollers or incorrect technique; leads to poorer treatment results and an increased sensation of pain)
  • Bacterial spread, e.g. of acne bacteria to other areas of the face
  • Infections due to poor hygiene
  • Impairment of skin diseases (resulting in serious deterioration, e.g. rosacea or couperose)

For sensitive skin types, microneedling can be a burden and therefore unsuitable. Especially if you suffer from acute acne, inflammations, wounds or herpes, you should refrain from the treatment.

Please also note that your skin will be sensitive to sunlight after the treatment. Pigmentation spots can appear quickly if you are exposed to too much sunlight after the treatment.

Alternatives to microneedling: treatments for skin improvement in our practice in munich
Medical peeling

One of the goals of microneedling is to activate cell renewal. This is also offered by the Medial Peeling treatment in our practice. It increases the production of the skin’s own hyaluronic acid. It also drives your skin to form new elastic and collagen fibers.

You can learn more about this under: Chemical Peeling Munich


A gentle and highly effective alternative to scalpel, injections and needle treatments is Ultherapy. This is a special ultrasound procedure that allows us to lift your skin from the deeper layers. We can even use the treatment to lift your eyebrows, combat drooping eyelids, and smooth wrinkles around your eyes.

More information: Ultherapy Munich

Btl exilis elite™

This is a radio/ultrasound treatment that encourages your body to produce new collagen. These effects are created through targeted heating of deep tissue.

More info: BTL Exilis Elite™ Munich

Fractional co2 laser

We can minimize sagging skin and clearly visible wrinkles with fractional laser treatment. For this purpose, we remove the superficial layers of skin with the laser. At the same time, we heat the surrounding tissue, which results in a clearly visible tightening.

Further information: fractional CO2 laser Munich


With the combination treatment of laser and cosmeceuticals, we can give your skin more freshness and firmness while improving your skin tone and texture.

Read more: LASEMD™ Munich

Foto: © triocean / stock.adobe.com

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