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Microneedling Pen vs. Roller: Pros + Cons

Microneedling Pen vs. Roller: Pros + Cons

Have you heard of a microneedling pen?

While this amazing dermatology tool is often discussed in relation to a certain celebrity’s love for vampire facials, it's also a treatment you can — and should! — include in your own skin care routine. The truth is, while it may look a little harsh, it's minimally invasive and can really help fix nearly any skin issue you may be dealing with.

Ready to learn more? Let’s discuss what it is, what it does and the pros and cons of having a microneedling pen treatment versus using a microneedling roller at home.

Let's start with the basics

Microneedling, sometimes referred to as collagen induction therapy, is a safe, effective, simple and minimally invasive procedure used not only for overall skin rejuvenation, but also for help with scar reduction, stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles, pore size and more. Ironically, microneedling can create all of these impressive results by actually doing its own, controlled “damage” to the outer layer of the skin. These “micro-injuries” are directed specifically to the epidermis, encouraging the skin’s natural healing and protective abilities to kick in and produce newer, younger, healthier skin care more quickly. But how does it do that, exactly? We’ll tell you. When the skin is injured or damaged in any way, the brain sends signals to that specific area of the body to produce more fibroblasts. While that name may not sound familiar to you, the connective tissue that it produces is a dermatological mainstay – aka, collagen. These micro-injuries also produce elastin, which further helps the skin to stay as resilient and firm as possible. This works to help aging skin look more youthful, too. Ultimately, with more collagen and elastin in the skin, fine lines and wrinkles begin to fade away. The increase of blood flow to the surface of the skin can also lead to healthier-looking skin that seems to glow from the inside out. Even people who are afraid of needles will be amazed at the results.

The difference between a microneedling pen and a microneedling roller

While microneedling rollers used to be the standard for any microneedling procedure, times have started to change. At most clinics that perform microneedling, rollers have been replaced by the microneedling pen, which offers a few specific advantages.


Instead of manually moving a roller across the surface of the skin, a microneedling pen is motorized, which offers more precision. This means the areas of the skin that are needled are more controlled and can be targeted much more specifically. This is especially beneficial if you have scars, burns or other specific areas of concern being treated. The other benefit of a motorized microneedling pen is that the depth it's allowed to penetrate into the skin is standard and not subjected to human error. If done too deep, there can be real injury. Alternatively, if too shallow, the treatment may be ineffective. Neither are optimal situations, but the pen is programmed to only reach a certain depth and speed, minimizing the chance for error.


The size and shape of a microneedling pen, as opposed to a roller, also means that the pen can get into a lot more of those small, difficult-to-reach areas to help improve the skin more overall. It’s more adaptable and able to uniformly penetrate areas like the upper lip, sides of the nose and around the eyes. Regular microneedling rollers just can’t get into those areas, which means the skin isn’t treated as thoroughly.


For all of the reasons mentioned above, a microneedling pen can definitely lessen the pain involved in the procedure, as well as the downtime your skin needs to recover. When using a roller, the angle that it needs to be used can increase the likelihood of small tears forming on the surface of the skin. Microneedling pens, on the other hand, are used vertically on the skin, making the entire procedure far more comfortable and easy to heal.

How does microneedling actually work?

It’s time to get down to the real questions. How is the procedure actually performed? Anything involving needles has a tendency to create fear or at least a little hesitancy in people, but we’re here to help ease your fears. After thoroughly cleansing the skin, we apply a topical numbing medication to the areas that will be treated. (This is another reason we don't recommend trying microneedling at home!) Once the numbing has had time to work, we apply our Super Serum – which is rich in antioxidants and other hydrating agents – to the surface of the skin. As the microneedling procedure is performed, it also takes that serum with it, allowing it to penetrate deep into the skin. Our pens can penetrate anywhere from 0.1mm to 2.5mm deep, a depth that varies according to your skin concerns and goals. Some people describe the procedure as pressure or even tickling, while others don’t notice any sensation at all. Once the microneedling is done, we'll apply Recovery Lotion to the area, which helps the skin heal post-procedure. We also send you home with an extra gentle cleanser and lotion meant to help protect the skin and help it heal more quickly. The entire procedure takes about an hour to perform, and any redness you experience should only last about 24 hours. Your skin will be bright, tight and glowy right after treatment, and you'll notice results as soon as a week or two after treatment! Some people may also want to add platelet-rich plasma (or PRP) to their treatment, which is spun from your own blood in the clinic. This elevates microneedling's healing properties overall.

Why you shouldn't try this at home

Microneedling rollers, sometimes called derma rollers, can be found all over the place now, boasting results that you can perform by yourself at home. But, just like any medical procedure, it’s always best to leave anything that involves damaging the skin on purpose to the professionals. Not to mention, as medical professionals, we have the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin to get those truly awe-inspiring results. However, it’s not the lack of results that should lead you to having microneedling performed by a professional, it’s the risk of potential infection that should be the motivation. Even in people who clean their dermarollers regularly, skin infections are far more likely when performing the procedure at home. Issues like staph infections, that can be potentially fatal, are far more common when the right sterilization techniques are unable to be thoroughly performed. But really, why waste money on a subpar treatment with an increased risk of infection? Spend your money wisely by contacting us to schedule a treatment today. It’s just not worth the risk.

To wrap things up...

If you’re ready to give microneedling a try, we're ready to treat you at Skin Pharm! Whether you're looking to treat acne scarring, melasma or just general age management, our providers are eager to get The additional collagen production created as the skin naturally heals from the procedure helps your skin both look and perform at its best. The cost is minimal compared to all of the benefits that you’ll notice, even after your first treatment.


Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons | National Library of Medicine

Fibroblast - an overview | ScienceDirect

Staph infections - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic


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