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Microneedling vs. Dermarollers: Why Microneedling is Better

September 12, 2023

When talking about microneedling vs. dermarollers, it’s important to understand their differences before making any sort of decision. Microneedling has become a popular cosmetic procedure for its ability to reduce signs of aging, improve the appearance of acne scars, and enhance product penetration in the skin. This treatment uses tiny needle punctures to stimulate collagen production and healthy skin cell turnover.

But is professional microneedling superior to using an at-home dermaroller? Let’s first break down the differences between the two and then get into why microneedling may be the better option.

By: Atalo Aesthetics


What are the Benefits of Microneedling and Dermarollers?

At a glance, microneedling and dermarolling are both meant to help reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores. Both techniques involve using tiny needles to create microscopic punctures in the skin, which then triggers the body’s natural wound-healing process and leads to collagen production. This results in smoother, firmer, and more youthful-looking skin over time.

With all of this said, what exactly is the difference between microneedling and dermarollers?

photo of a Atalo Aesthetics practitioner holding a SkinPen tool


Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that uses a device with fine, short needles to puncture the skin and induce collagen production. The needles penetrate to a depth of between 0.5 mm and 2.5 mm, depending on the desired treatment. Here at Atalo Aesthetics in Cincinnati, Ohio, we use the FDA-approved SkinPen for all our Microneedling treatments.

Microneedling is performed by a licensed professional in a clinical setting. Treatments are customized by needle depth, number of passes over the skin, and serums or creams applied afterward. Multiple sessions are usually needed to see results.


Dermarollers are handheld devices with hundreds of fine microneedles protruding from a rolling head. The needles are 0.2 to 0.3 mm in length, allowing them to only penetrate the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin.

In addition, dermarollers are designed for at-home use. They come in various needle lengths for use on different parts of the body.

Why is Microneedling Better Than Using a Dermaroller?

There are a lot of reasons why one might (and should) choose microneedling over an at-home dermaroller device. Let’s jump into some of the most important ones.

Deeper Penetration

The fine needles used in microneedling treatments can penetrate deeper into the dermis or second layer of skin. This triggers more extensive collagen production, which leads to better anti-aging and scar reduction results. Dermarollers only penetrate the epidermis or the outermost skin layer.

More Sterile

Microneedling is always performed by a licensed dermatologist or esthetician using sterile, single-use microneedling pens. This minimizes any risk of infection. Dermarollers may not always be properly sanitized between uses at home, increasing infection risks.

Customized Treatments

The settings and serums used during microneedling can be tailored to each patient’s unique skin concerns and goals. Everything from needle size to depth, serum used, and number of passes over the skin can be adjusted. Dermaroller users can’t customize beyond needle length.

Improved Absorption

The microscopic channels created during microneedling allow topical treatments like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and retinol to better penetrate the skin. This leads to enhanced absorption and effectiveness of these products. Dermaroller punctures may not go deep enough for major absorption gains.

Reduced Pain and Damage

Microneedling performed by a professional is unlikely to cause pain, bleeding, or lingering damage, especially when numbing cream is used. It’s easier for at-home dermaroller users to press too hard, causing unnecessary pain, bleeding, and potential scarring.

While dermarollers can provide some benefits, microneedling performed in a clinical setting provides superior results with less risk of complications. Work with a licensed provider to determine if microneedling could help you achieve your skin goals.

Which Treatment Should You Choose?

While microneedling and dermarolling both puncture the skin with tiny needles, microneedling penetrates deeper and requires a professional application. Additionally, dermarollers only penetrate the outer skin layer and are designed for safe at-home use. Regularly using either can potentially help reduce signs of aging and acne scarring over time.

If you’re looking for better and longer-term results, then Microneedling is your best option. If you’re local to Cincinnati, Ohio, and interested in scheduling a treatment, fill out our new patient inquiry form and we’ll be in touch.

You can also always schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our providers to have all of your microneedling questions and concerns addressed.