There are a wide variety of different designs of derma roller or skin rollers currently available on the market. This blog will not discuss the different brands involved but rather the different designs used. Whichever style you choose make sure that the needles are of high quality surgical stainless steel. Also if you are planning to use the derma roller to induct collagen make sure that you purchase at least a 0.5mm derma roller needle length as needle length shorter than this often called home use rollers are too short to penetrate through the epidermis to induct collagen. Principally there are 3 types of Derma roller design. This is open to interpretation as new designs are being created daily but it is easier to review them in this way
1. Tubular Derma rollers The first is the type that comes in tubes. They come in sealed sterile tubes. There is generally a tamper evident seal around the top of the tube. The roller is usually of a solid construction with a round handle. Advantages There is generally no problems with the tamper evident sterile packaging which is easier to check than other designs. Disadvantages These derma rollers are excellent for single use. The problems we have seen with this design is that when they are reused the outer row of needles tends to get damaged when the rollers are reinserted into the tube. As this row of needles bends inwards the derma roller becomes harder to use and can catch on the skin and become painful. Generally they have a short life span.
2. Moulded ergonomic handles By this I refer to the rounded handles which are described as moulding to your hand. They generally arrive in a flater case where the entire top can be taken off. These cases are usually transparent. Advantages The case generally protects the needles as they do not come in contact with any hard surfaces. This makes these rollers preferable to the tubular derma rollers for those planning to reuse the derma rollers. Some people say the moulded handle is comfortable to use. Disadvantages Many people complain that when doing areas like the scalp or parts of the face that cannot be seen that it is hard to know if the needles are being rolled perpendicular to the skin. This can mean that only the needles on the edge of the roller are actually in contact with the skin and this can limit its effectiveness. This disadvantage also applies to example 1 and any round handled derma roller.
3. Flat handles This refers to derma rollers which actually have flat plastic handles and usually arrive in transparent cases similar to those used for the moulded derma rollers mentioned in example 2. These have become increasingly popular in recent years and several major manufacturers are now converted to this design. Advantages These rollers have all the advantages of the moulded derma rollers mentioned in example 2. They are easy to reuse and they don’t tend to get damaged easily due to the case. These rollers have 2 other distinct advantages. By having a flat handle it is much easier to know when the rollers are perpendicular to the skin and therefore covering the maximum area when you are rolling. The flat handle also provides a small amount of give when you roll over a raised area like a prominent bone or raised mole. It is almost like a small amount of suspension and makes it easier to apply even pressure over the whole area being treated. We have found in clinic that this design tends to be less painful or traumatic to the skin to use for this reason. Disadvantages Some customers look at the thinner handle and assume that they must be structurally weaker. This is possibly true however to break them you still need to apply a great deal of pressure. If you apply this level of pressure to any design of derma roller you will already have damaged the delicate needles and the roller will be useless any way. This is why derma roller forums that boil derma rollers or perform other types of stress tests are pointless as in all cases they would have already damaged the needles rendering the derma roller useless. By far more important in these cases is a good quality case to protect the all important needles in between treatments. It is important at this point to point out a bias. White Lotus has experimented with all 3 types of rollers mentioned above both in clinic and for home use. We have found the flat handled rollers the easiest to use in both situations and now exclusively use and sell this derma roller.