How Much Does Microneedling Hurt? Find Out The Biggest Pain Factor!

Does Microneedling Hurt

Does Microneedling Hurt?

That’s quite a complicated topic to cover because pain is subjective and varies from person to person. Everyone has a different pain tolerance so the question: “does microneedling hurt?” might have a completely different answer for you than it does for someone else.

That makes it tough to answer. The true answer is that it depends. There are a few ways you can minimize the pain and we’ll go over that in some detail in this blog post.

Here are a bunch of topics very relevant to how painful microneedling will or won’t be. Things to consider when microneedling:

  • The type of needles you use (Titanium vs. Stainless steel)
  • Needle lengths are most important (.25 mm vs 1.5 mm)
  • How many needles your tool has
  • How hard you press with your micro needling tool (user error)
  • If you use numbing cream
  • The type of tool you use (Roller, Stamp, Pen)
  • How often you microneedle
  • Where you use the needles

The type of needles

There are two different types of needles available.

  • Titanium
  • Stainless Steel

Why does the material affect how much microneedling will hurt? Both options have tradeoffs as far as being safe with micro needling.

Let’s take a look at titanium needles first.

Titanium Needles

These needles are known for being more durable. So you can use your dermaroller/stamp/pen for longer.

There are two things that can happen when you wear out your needles.

  • They go dull
  • They bend.

Dull needles are less effective at penetrating the skin. They may start to penetrate less cleanly and leave small tears in the skin. That can be painful.

Needles can also bend which makes the needle useless.

So titanium needles are helpful because they can be used longer than other materials. They still need to be replaced though.

The key here is that titanium needles won’t dull or bend as quickly as a stainless steel needle.

Stainless steel needles

These needles are easier to sharpen so they penetrate the skin more easily. These needles are also much easier to keep clean which can keep your skin free from infection by dirty needles. The downside is they become blunt more quickly so they need to be replaced more often than the titanium ones.

Preventing infection is going to be very important. Because a skin infection really doesn’t feel too great. So make sure your needles are clean!

The key with stainless steel needles is they clean more easily to prevent infection.

Which one is better to avoid pain?

While there are definite differences neither one is going to significantly change your experience. Although I personally think stainless steel is better, don’t stress about getting one over the other.

As long as you make sure your needles are sharp and clean, you shouldn’t have many problems.

The most important factor when it comes to the pain is actually the needle lengths.

Needle Lengths

The length of the needles is the most important factor when it comes to pain. The smallest needles are the least painful and longest are the most painful.

For example, .25 mm needles are not going to be that bad. In fact, it feels just about painless. There’ll be a little bit of discomfort because needles are puncturing the skin. But, it’s not deep at all. It doesn’t hurt.

On the other hand, 1.5 mm needles can be quite painful but, they are much more effective at producing results from micro needling. It may make your eyes water. That’s the amount of pain it will be.

Because they are more painful it’s recommended that you also buy numbing cream before you microneedle. It won’t make it painless but, it’ll help.

There was a study on the design of a microneedling tool vs the pain people experience. I’ll paraphrase it below:

The length of the needle was the most important aspect when it comes to pain. When the needle length was tripled, the pain experienced was multiplied by 7 times.

The amount of needles also affected pain although not as much as needle length. An increase of the number of needles by 10 times doubled the pain felt.

The angle, width, and thickness of the needles didn’t change the pain felt.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917250/

If you want to do a test run, buy an inexpensive roller before you go for a derma pen or something of higher quality so you can test a needle length you can stick with.

Does the number of needles change how much microneedling will hurt?

In the study I mentioned above they said the number of needles had an effect on pain with 10 times the needles equaling double the pain.

There aren’t a huge number of studies on the relationship between the number of needles and the effectiveness of micro needling. But, at the moment it doesn’t seem that more needles are more effective. So if you’re shooting for minimizing pain, go for an option with less needles.

For example, there are rollers out there with 540 needles and some with 192.

It won’t be a massive difference in the pain level. Just a little bit. So don’t stress if you have a roller with 540 needles.

If you have a tool with a higher number of needles, you won’t need to go over the spot as many times.

How hard you press with your needles

Once again with shorter needle lengths the pressure won’t be too big of a deal.

But, with longer lengths, it’s going to hurt. You’ll need to apply enough pressure for the needles to puncture your skin. But, not too much that you’re bleeding all over the place. You might bleed a little bit but, the goal is not to see blood.

Does numbing cream make microneedling hurt less?

Does microneedling hurt? Not anymore with numbing cream!

A lot of people can deal with the pain without numbing cream but, if you find it too painful, a numbing cream is a great option. Especially for 1.0 mm and higher.

If you choose to use numbing cream with micro needling, make sure you only apply it and then wash it off before you microneedle. You don’t want to absorb it into your skin afterward.

This numbing cream is the strongest allowed by the FDA without a prescription.

Ebanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing CreamEbanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing CreamEbanel 5% Lidocaine Topical Numbing Cream

 

The type of tool you use can lower pain

The kind of micro needling tool can have a big effect on the pain.

There are three different kinds of tools available:

  • Dermaroller
  • Dermastamp
  • Dermapen

Out of the three, a derma pen is going to be less painful than the others. And there is less concern for user error with a pen.

Derma pen is a safer and less painful option. It’s a bit more expensive than a roller or stamp though. And because the needles are disposable, there will be less concern for dull or bent needles.

Skincareguys 1.5 Facial Roller Massager-Face Body Head NeckSkincareguys 1.5 Facial Roller Massager-Face Body Head NeckSkincareguys 1.5 Facial Roller Massager-Face Body Head NeckDr.pen A6 Multifunctional Rechargeable SPA Professional Care EquipmentDr.pen A6 Multifunctional Rechargeable SPA Professional Care EquipmentDr.pen A6 Multifunctional Rechargeable SPA Professional Care Equipment

 

How often you micro needle

If you choose to micro needle often for it’s benefits you need to make sure your skin has enough time to heal in between uses. And longer needles take longer to heal.

Where you use the needles

Some areas of your face and scalp will be more sensitive than others. So that can definitely change how much pain you experience. For example, microneedling on your scalp will be less painful than on your temples.

If you are microneedling for hair growth, make sure you do not use a dermaroller on areas where you have longer hair. It will get tangled in the roller. Use a pen or a stamp instead.

What do most people experience?

During the actual procedure, for most people, shorter needle lengths should not give you any pain. For example .25 mm – .5 mm needle lengths shouldn’t be very painful. Redness is normal.

For higher length needles like 1.5 mm you may want to use some kind of numbing cream before.

As far as afterward, you may feel some discomfort for a few days. Slight skin irritation and redness is normal. With longer needle lengths you may also experience some bleeding.

It can feel like sunburn afterwards for a few days.

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