Dermapen4® - Micro Needling


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The Dermapen™ is a revolutionary micro-needling device which aims to tighten, lift and rejuvenate skin. The Dermapen™ can visibly improve the appearance of -

fine lines


surgical, acne and trauma scars

stretch marks


Dermapen™ is a high speed, vibrating device that uses multiple micro needles that pierce the skin creating “controlled damage” on the surface of the skin.

The concept of skin needling is based on the skin’s ability to repair itself whenever it encounters physical damage such as cuts, abrasions and other physical trauma.

Skin needling procedures are performed in a safe and precise manner with the use of the sterile Dermapen needle head. The procedure is normally completed within 20 minutes for the entire face and neck and up to 60 minutes for the body depending on the size of the problem area.

This is a great treatment for stretch marks and sagging/crepey skin. Before the procedure commences a topical anaesthetic or local block is applied to the client’s skin to ensure a virtually painless experience.



Dermapen™ Treatments are one example of what is known as “fractional rejuvenation”, a term which gets its name from fractional lasers, the technology closest to Dermapen™ in theory and results. Fractional lasers use heat to systematically ablate “fractions” of the skin’s surface, while leaving surrounding areas in tact, essentially “drilling holes” in the skin to produce a wound healing response.

The unaffected tissue around the holes acts as a reservoir for fibroblasts and stem cells needed for regeneration of affected segments. Fractional radio frequency devices work on a similar principle and have many of the same side effects as fractional lasers.

Dermapen™ also makes holes in the skin to produce a wound healing response, leaving the surrounding tissue unaffected. While these technologies have similar results, they achieve them in very different ways, generating very different side effect profiles.

Lasers use light to either char and obliterate the epidermis, or “denature” the collagen, depending on the laser type and manufacturer.

Dermapen™, on the other hand, creates reproducible and consistent micro-punctures in the skin without the damaging side effects of heat.

Dermapen's™ mode of action limits the occurrence of side effects specific to fractional lasers, such as -

Pain - Higher in dark skinned patients (Mahmoud et al., 2010)

Persistent erythema (Gold 2010)

Infections (viral and bacterial) - Facial herpes reported in 10.6% of patients in spite of antiviral prophylaxis (Naouri et al., 2011)

Post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation - Up to 18% (Vaiyavatjamai and Wattanakrai, 2011; Chan et al., 2010; Mahmoud et al., 2010; Yeung et al., 2012)

Post-inflammatory hypo-pigmentation - Seen in patients up to two years after a laser treatment. Occurs in up to 20% of patients with photo-aged skin (Gold 2001)

Light-based therapy is not for all skin types. The indications for use cleared by the FDA may put limits on the skin types that can be treated with a fractional laser, as is often seen with Fitzpatrick skin types 4, 5 and 6 (darker skin colors).

The fractional holes “drilled” by the laser are affected by skin type, skin thickness, and vascularity. Alternatively, the Dermapen™ is “color-blind” and is therefore safe for virtually all skin types.

A major complication from light-based therapy includes Post-inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation (PIH) in Oriental, Mediterranean, and African skin types (Yeung et al., 2012; Metelitsa and Alster 2010; Chan et al., 2007).

PIH presents as symmetric hyper-pigmented macules and patches on the face, and is one of the most common and distressing pigmentary disorders seen in dermatology clinics.

It is notably difficult to treat and may relapse. Micro-needling, for the most part, has not had reports of PIH complications and thus is much safer for darker skin types (Fabbrocini et al., 2009).



Dermal rollers are simpler, less tech-savvy predecessors to the Dermapen™. A dermal roller consists of a rolling pin covered with tiny needles.

During a derma roller treatment, the roller is rolled across the skin, leaving behind a trail of microscopic punctures. While the needle roller is effective, the rolling action of the device pushes the skin into mounds, and causes the needles to enter and exit the skin at an angle, creating lateral epidermal tears.

The tearing is not due to the needles not being “properly anchored” in the skin, but the simple mechanics of angular needle entry. Whilst not detrimental to the results, this makes the treatment much more painful, and often causes a longer downtime for the patient.

The Dermapen's™needles enter the skin at a 90 degree angle, eliminating the pain and epidermal tearing associated with dermal rollers. Dermapen™’s patent-pending AOVN™ technology keeps the oscillation speed of the motor at its optimal rate for smooth, drag-less operation.



The needle roller also makes it difficult to treat certain hard to reach areas, such as those around the eyes, nose and mouth.

The Dermapen™ tip has a much smaller surface area which comes in contact with the skin, which allows it to treat those hard to reach areas quickly, easily, and effectively.

Though it may seem that such a small contact surface would make the treatment much longer and much more tedious, the truth is to the contrary - because the needles vibrate at such a high oscillation rate, the Dermapen™ “glides” across the skin with ease, providing for quicker treatment times.

The different depths needed to treat various regions on the face and body presents another problem - the need for multiple depth rollers to treat just one patient.

Some practitioners, due to the high cost of dermal rollers, choose to rely on variable pressure to treat different areas. This means that the practitioner never truly knows the depth of penetration they are achieving at any given point during the treatment.

The Dermapen™ features adjustable needle depth, making it easy for the practitioner to tailor the treatment perfectly to patients’ needs. Dermapen™ needles are made of surgical grade stainless steel, which means they retain their sharpness long after a typical Dermapen™ Treatment is completed.

The needle tips are also the only disposable piece of the Dermapen™ device, which means not only low consumables cost in the long run, but also much less waste, making them a more environmentally-friendly choice.

The most important difference between dermal rollers and the Dermapen™ lies in the effectiveness of the two technologies. One thing has been repeatedly shown to be true - the more micro-punctures a device is able to achieve, the more dramatic the results will be.

With the majority of dermal rollers, the maximum achievable number of holes is somewhere between 300 and 400 holes per second. While this sounds like a lot, the number sounds quite small when compared to the number of micro-punctures created by the Dermapen™.

With its 12-tip needle head and a motor that produces close to 110 revolutions per second, the Dermapen™ is able to deliver an impressive 1,300 holes per second, ensuring the most dramatic results.

A 60-patient study conducted by Prof. Tony Chu comparing the dermal rollers to the Dermapen™ revealed that not only were Dermapen™ Treatments less painful and had a shorter period of downtime, they were also much more effective in achieving visible results when compared to dermal rollers.



This page is not intended to advertise any Dermapen™ Micro Needling treatments and is purely for educational purposes.