Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that encourages collagen production using tiny, sterilized needles. It may help smooth, firm, and tone skin and improve the appearance of scars, acne, and wrinkles.


  • Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that uses small, sterilized needles to prick the skin.
  • This treatment aims 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, those with active acne, or 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 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 treats 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 and improve skin elasticity.

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

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 downtime, and it can be adjusted to fit each person’s needs.

Microneedling can improve:

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

Microneedling is less expensive than laser therapy and may work better for some people. Laser treatments involve heat, which can affect skin 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 laser treatment on darker skin tones is still lacking.

Microneedling is most often used on the face. Dermatologists may also use it for scarring and stretch marks elsewhere on the body.

One study found microneedling effective for stretch marks on the thighs and abdominal area when combined with fillers.

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

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.

Some clinics may offer financing or payment plans to make the treatments more affordable.

Microneedling often requires touch-up treatments as part of a long-term maintenance plan.

The pinpricks from microneedling 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.

Dermatologists may recommend microneedling with other treatments, such as topical serums, radiofrequency, or platelet-rich plasma. A dermatologist can explain additional treatment options and their estimated costs.

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

Some people may have severe side effects that need medical treatment, such as:

  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • infection
  • peeling

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

Pregnant people may need to be cleared by an obstetrician or gynecologist before treatment.

Before the procedure, you may need to stop taking certain medications, such as ibuprofen and those for acne treatment (like Accutane).

Dermatologists may also recommend avoiding using agents that may increase your skin’s sensitivity before your microneedling appointment. This may include topical retinoids and exfoliants.

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

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.

They may 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, with minimal recovery time. Most people require minimal downtime, if any at all.

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

If you’re comfortable, you can return to work or school after the procedure. It’s best to let your skin heal before applying makeup.

Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to apply sunscreen. Still, dermatologists typically recommend waiting one week before exposing your skin to sunlight or harsh chemicals.

After microneedling, your skin works fairly quickly to rejuvenate new tissue. You may see results within a couple of weeks.

You’ll likely need multiple sessions or complementary treatments to maintain the results. 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 performed in a board certified doctor’s office.

Unlike professional microneedling, most home derma 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.

While you may be able to purchase medical-grade devices online that more deeply penetrate the skin, it’s best to have this treatment performed by a professional in a controlled environment. This can help avoid consequences that may cause permanent scarring.

If you want more effective and long-term results, microneedling may be better than a store-bought roller device. You may still try the latter version for less invasive (but more temporary) results.

What is microneedling good for?

People typically use microneedling to treat scars, hyperpigmentation, and stretch marks.

How long do microneedling results 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 starting your microneedling treatment.

What are the microneedling pros and cons?

Pros: Microneedling can be less costly than plastic surgery and may help you achieve lasting results.

Cons: You may need multiple sessions to maintain your results and the procedure is likely not covered by insurance.

Is microneedling better than Botox?

Microneedling and Botox have different purposes. Microneedling can treat scars, hyperpigmentation, and large pores by increasing the skin’s production of collagen. Botox injections prevent certain muscles from contracting and forming wrinkles on the skin.