Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that dermatologists use to encourage collagen production by taking advantage of the body’s natural healing response.


  • Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that uses small, sterilized needles to prick the skin.
  • The purpose of this treatment is to generate new collagen and skin tissue to smooth, firm, and tone skin.
  • Microneedling is mostly used on the face and may reduce the appearance of acne, scars, dark spots, wrinkles, and large pores.


  • Microneedling is minimally invasive, requiring little to no downtime.
  • It’s considered safe for most people who are in overall good health.
  • The procedure may not be safe for people who use certain acne medications, for those with active acne, or for those with moderate to severe psoriasis or eczema.
  • You can experience minor redness and irritation for a few days after the procedure.


  • Each session may last about 30 minutes.
  • It’s best to see a board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or cosmetic surgeon for this procedure. In some states, an aesthetician may also be able to perform the procedure if supervised by a physician.
  • You may need multiple treatments for the best results.


  • Microneedling can cost anywhere from $200 to $800 per session. The overall costs depend on the size of the area being worked on, the number of sessions needed, and the professional’s specific rates.
  • It’s typically not covered by insurance unless your doctor deems the procedure medically necessary. However, those cases are rare.


  • It’s considered effective in treating minor scarring related to acne, scars, stretch marks, and maturing skin. You may notice brighter, firmer skin, too.
  • Ideal results are achieved after multiple sessions but may require a long-term maintenance plan.
  • Microneedling is far more effective than at-home rollers.

Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that’s used to treat skin concerns by stimulating collagen production. Also known as collagen induction therapy, this treatment creates micro-punctures in the skin using miniature, sterilized needles.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), the skin’s healing process after microneedling can help reduce the appearance of scars and dark spots as well as improve skin elasticity.

Also, though more research is needed, a 2021 review suggests that microneedling may promote hair growth in people with alopecia.

You may be an ideal candidate for this procedure if you’re in good health and have certain skin concerns that haven’t responded to home treatments or other types of dermatologic procedures, such as chemical peels.

This may also be a final step before considering more intensive cosmetic procedures. A dermatologist can help you decide if this is the right option for your skin.

Microneedling has gained popularity for its growing list of benefits. It is said to rejuvenate and plump the skin with minimal discomfort and very little downtime, and it can be adjusted to fit each person’s needs.

Benefits of microneedling can include:

  • reducing the appearance of scars, including acne scars
  • reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • reducing enlarged pores
  • reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, or dark spots
  • smoothing uneven skin tone
  • improving skin elasticity
  • reducing the appearance of stretch marks
  • reducing the appearance of scars
  • promoting hair growth in people with alopecia

Microneedling is considerably less expensive than laser therapy and may work better for some people. Laser treatments involve the use of heat, which can affect your skin’s pigmentation.

People with darker skin tones may prefer microneedling to laser therapy because of safety concerns associated with certain types of laser treatments on skin of color. Research on the effectiveness and safety of using laser treatment on darker skin tones is still lacking.

Microneedling is most often used on the face.

In addition to facial concerns, microneedling is sometimes used to treat stretch marks in other areas of the body. One study found that microneedling was effective for stretch marks on the thighs and abdominal area when combined with fillers.

Scarring on other body parts may also be treated with this procedure.

According to estimates by Dermapen, microneedling may cost anywhere from $200 to $800 per session, depending on the extent of treatment needed. If you only need a light session, you may pay as little as $150.

Since microneedling is considered a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure, it’s usually not covered by insurance. In the rare event that a doctor deems the procedure medically necessary, it’s recommended that you check with your insurance provider before your appointment.

A doctor may be able to help with the affordability of your treatments by structuring a payment plan for you. Some clinics may offer to finance your care.

However, there are other costs to consider outside of the treatment itself. While most people don’t require significant downtime, you may need to consider whether you’ll take time off from work.

You might also think about the cost of potential follow-up treatments. While microneedling is effective, it often requires touch-up treatments as part of a long-term maintenance plan.

Microneedling works by encouraging your skin to make more collagen. The pinpricks from the procedure cause slight injury to the skin and the skin responds by making new collagen-rich tissue.

This new skin tissue is more even in tone and texture. It’s common for the skin to lose collagen with age or injury. By encouraging the skin to make new tissue, additional collagen may help make the skin firmer.

Microneedling may also be combined with topical serums, radiofrequency, and platelet-rich plasma. A dermatologist can help you navigate the decisions regarding additional treatment options and their estimated costs.

Like all cosmetic procedures, microneedling carries some risks. The most common side effect is minor skin irritation immediately following the procedure. You may also see redness for a few days.

Call your doctor if you notice more severe side effects, such as:

  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • infection
  • peeling

You may not be an ideal candidate for microneedling if you:

People who are pregnant may need to be cleared by an obstetrician or gynecologist before the treatment.

Before the procedure, consider talking with the doctor about ways to prepare for your appointment. You may need to stop taking certain medications, such as ibuprofen and those for acne treatment (like Accutane), well in advance of the procedure.

It’s also recommended that you avoid using agents that may increase the sensitivity of your skin. Your doctor may recommend that you stop using topical retinoids and exfoliants before your microneedling appointment.

During the procedure, a doctor makes small pricks under the skin using a pen-like tool with tiny, sterilized needles. The pinpricks are so small that you likely won’t notice them after the procedure.

The doctor typically moves the tool evenly across your skin so that the newly rejuvenated skin will be even, too.

Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour before the procedure, the doctor will apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment area. This will numb the skin during the microneedling process, which takes approximately 30 minutes.

The doctor may then finish your session by applying a growth serum or calming treatment. In total, the average microneedling session lasts approximately 2 hours.

Microneedling isn’t as invasive as plastic surgery, and the recovery time is minimal. Most people require very little downtime if any at all.

You may notice skin irritation and redness within the first few days following the procedure. This is a natural response to the small “injuries” made by the needles in your skin.

You can go back to work or school after the procedure if you’re comfortable. It’s best to let your skin heal before applying makeup. However, once the appropriate time has passed, camouflaging makeup can help disguise the redness as it dissipates.

Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to apply sunscreen. Still, it’s recommended that you wait one week before exposing your skin to sunlight and harsh chemicals.

After microneedling, your skin works fairly quickly to rejuvenate new tissue. In theory, you should see results within a couple of weeks.

To maintain the results of your treatment, you’ll need multiple sessions and perhaps other complementing treatments. The doctor will work with you to develop a plan of action based on your individual goals.

What is the optimal care for skin after microneedling?

Since your skin channels are open and sensitive after your procedure, it’s best to avoid the following during your first week of recovery:

You can help your skin heal after microneedling by:

  • staying hydrated
  • using an antioxidant serum
  • using a cooling mask
  • using collagen-stimulating peptides

Microneedling is a professional procedure that’s performed in a board certified doctor’s office. In an effort to save money, some people opt for home derma rollers instead. Unlike professional microneedling, home rollers don’t puncture the skin to layers deep enough to draw blood.

While this might seem a less painful option, you may not achieve the same results, according to the AAD. The punctures made during professional microneedling are designed to induce skin rejuvenation. With a roller device, you may achieve brighter skin at best.

If you’re interested in more effective and long-term results, microneedling may be a better option than a store-bought roller device. You may still choose to try the latter version if you want less invasive (and more temporary) results.

How long does microneedling last?

Results may vary based on the severity of the skin concern, its location, and the treatment plan used.

A doctor may recommend four to six treatment sessions. The skin may continue increased collagen production for 3 to 6 months after microneedling treatment.

Are derma roller results permanent?

No, derma roller results aren’t permanent.

While derma rollers work under the same principle as microneedling, they don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as microneedling does.

If you plan to use a derma roller at home, you may need to use it more frequently to maintain results. Talk with a dermatologist to determine what’s right for you.

How many sessions of microneedling do I need for acne scars?

Treatment plans vary from person to person, but research has shown mild improvement in post-acne scarring after just two microneedling sessions.

After six sessions, people saw moderate improvement in their skin texture and good enhancement of scar appearance.

Why is it bad to get microneedling while on isotretinoin (Accutane)?

It’s not recommended to undergo a microneedling procedure while taking isotretinoin (Accutane) as it may increase the likelihood of scarring from the procedure.

You should wait at least 6 months after stopping the medication before you begin your microneedling treatment.