In this guide we are going to tell you absolutely everything you need to know about the ever-popular Dermapen treatment. This resource will be your go-to complete guide to micro needling, ensuring you know everything there is to know about this popular skin rejuvenation treatment prior to booking an appointment with us.

Read on below to discover it all!

What is Dermapen?

People often get confused by the word Dermapen. Is it a derma roller? A pen of some kind? What is used for? Well, we’re here to explain it all.

Dermapen, is in fact, a micro needling device that focuses on rejuvenating the skin in many different ways. It is an electrical handpiece the size of a large pen that features a disposable need tip. This needle tip is made up of 12 tiny needles that oscillate when turned on. It’s this rotating motion that helps heal and rejuvenate the skin from the inside out.

What is Dermapen used for?

Dermapen is a non invasive solution that aims to improving the appearance and quality of your skin. It can significantly improve the appearance of:

  • Stretch marks
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Trauma scars
  • Pigmentation

How does Dermapen work?

So how exactly does this wonder treatment work? It’s simple, really.

At the top of the Dermapen device sit 12 micro needles that oscillate when turned on. These tiny needles puncture 1300 holes into the skin per second, activating a healing response in the skin. It sounds scary, we know, but it’s really not!

This healing response caused by these tiny punctures actually leads to the formation of fresh collagen and elastin, proteins found in the connective tissue of skin. These two proteins work together to provide skin its strength and shape.

Collagen makes up about 30 percent of the protein content in the human and aids in keeping the skin firm and tight. Elastin, on the other hand, is responsible for your skin’s ability to stretch and snap back into its original shape.

As we age, our collagen and elastin production takes a hit, which is why we’re faced with lax skin and more visible stretch marks and scars.

By stimulating collagen and elastin production, Dermapen can help fight against signs of aging by smoothing out uneven skin tone and texture, softening the look of wrinkles and diminishing scars over time.

Does a derma roller do the same thing as Dermapen?

Many individuals choose a derma roller over Dermapen treatment as a way to save money and time. And while a derma roller is similar to Dermapen in that it uses tiny needles (in this case, hundreds of tiny needles) to puncture the skin and cause a healing response, a derma roller isn’t nearly as effective as a professionally-grade micro needling treatment like Dermapen

Dermapen has more immediate and dramatic results and is also much safer for your skin. While a Dermapen device evenly distributes micro-punctures vertically on the targeted skin area, a derma roller is applied on an angle and leaves a harsher pattern on the skin, causing tears throughout the targeted skin area.

What areas of the body can Dermapen be used the most effectively on?

A Dermapen treatment can be used anywhere on the skin that needs softening and rejuvenation. A few popular examples are:

  • General face area
  • Forehead
  • Cheeks
  • Under eye troughs
  • Thighs
  • Buttocks
  • Legs

Does Dermapen treatment hurt?

Dermapen treatment is generally not considered a painful treatment. In fact, once a topical numbing cream is applied most, if not all, discomfort is diminished. Some patients might experience mild discomfort as the handheld device oscillates around the targeted treatment area but this feeling is temporary and ceases as soon as the treatment is complete.

Is Dermapen safe?

Dermapen is a fantastic and safe alternative to more invasive laser treatments designed for skin rejuvenation. There is zero downtime involved with Dermapen, not too mention little to no side effects. With every Dermapen appointment, a new sterile cartridge is used, completely eliminating any risk of infection or inflammation. Dermapen is the ideal micro needling treatment for individuals looking to improve the appearance of damaged skin without surgery or high risks.

What are the benefits of using the newest Dermapen 3 model?

With the latest Dermapen 3 model that we use at the Physician Skincare Centre, patients can rest assured they’re in safe hands. Dermapen 3 is the most advanced micro needling device on the market today and is often hailed as the “gold standard” of micro needling technology by skincare experts.

Some of its other benefits include:

  • Being able to effectively treat sensitive areas around the eyes nose (thanks to its vertical insertion method capabilities)
  • Delivering 1300 microchannel holes per second, a big step up from the older Dermapen model that delivered only 990 micro channels.
  • Using 12 fine, sterile needles over the original 11 used in Dermapen 2
  • Switching to a battery-free motor that is quiet and more controlled than the older model
  • Significant results in less time

How many treatments do I need to have to see results?

The amount of treatments needed to see results will vary from patient to patient. It all comes down to the type of treatment getting done:

  • For facial rejuvenation (including diminishing fine lines and reducing diffuse redness): 4-8 treatments, at four week intervals.
  • For scars (including acne and surgical scars): 6-10 treatments, at four week intervals
  • For stretch marks: Minimum 8-10 treatments, at six week intervals.

What can I expect after a Dermapen treatment?

Results are gradual and occur over a period of several months. Some patients might notice results after just one treatment; patients with deep scars or stretch marks might need to complete a series of treatments before seeing optimal results.

New collagen and elastin production takes time which is why noticeable results often take a few months to appear. Be patient! You’ll start to notice results as new collagen is produced and a new layer of skin is formed over the damaged one, for an overall smoother complexion.

What kind of aftercare is required?

Dermapen doesn’t require any downtime so aftercare is simple. Patients will experience mild redness, dryness and scabbing following treatment but this generally clears up within a few days. To help reduce these symptoms, it’s recommended patients avoid working out, wearing makeup and the sun for at least 24 hours following treatment.

How long does Dermapen last?

Results can last up to two years following a series of treatments, and can be maintained with follow up treatments and daily skin care (sun screen is everything!).

How to prepare for a Dermapen appointment

Dermapen isn’t surgical or painful so there is little preparation required pre-treatment. Some individuals prefer to pop a pain reliever like ibuprofen prior to treatment to avoid any discomfort but this is not a requirement.

The experts weigh in

Dermapen is preferred over a derma roller

“Dermapen can help some scar types, especially atrophic, rolling and in some cases tethered scars. It is certainly better than skin rolling with a derma roller as it causes less collateral tissue damage.”- Dr. Davin Lim, Real Self.com

Microneedling is best for improving skin tone and texture

“Microneedling is a wonderful treatment that helps with skin texture, tone, fine lines and scarring. However, it does not do much for skin tightening. If your main concern is skin tightening, I would recommend doing a radiofrequency-based treatment.” Tracy Leong, MD, Real Self.com

Dermapen is recommended over laser treatments for skin rejuvenation

“Medical micro needling, when properly done and combined with effective skin care products such as human growth-factor serums, has been shown to give as good or better results than laser or Fraxel treatments. And at a fraction of the cost! Compared to fractionated laser treatments, micro-needling not only spares the epidermis, it strengthens it.

The key to micro-needling is the healing response that this process stimulates. The keratinocyte is responsible for releasing several key growth factors that orchestrate underlying cell turnover to facilitate ideal skin rejuvenation. Repeated "stimulation" of healthy keratinocytes leads to release of growth factors and cytokines that optimize cell-to-cell communication between keratinocytes, melanocytes and fibroblasts.

When these signals are boosted, fibroblasts differentiate to form normal collagen and greater amounts of hyaluronic acid. The result is thicker, healthier looking skin.” - Mitchell Schwartz, MD, South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon, Real Self.com

Recommended Dermapen after care serums

“After microneedling or dermapen treatment, I would advise patients to use Melarase creams to help reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.” - Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon, Real Self.com

“Studies have shown that serums help heal laser wounds faster so they should also help heal micro needling faster. Although, if the serum is irritating to the skin then it will create slower healing. So I believe that any product should be tested on the skin for a week or two before the microneedling to make sure that there is no reaction.

You can look up SkinCeuticals vitamin C and see that valid studies have been performed and reviewed. In my experience LED always seems to have a soothing effect on the skin.” Mitchell A. Kline, MD, New York Dermatologic Surgeon, Real Self.com

“Post treatment for Dermapen is similar to that for ablative lasers: avoidance of caustic skin medications such as Retin-A or hydroquinone which can irritate the skin.”

What past clients say

“Dermapen helped smooth out my skin. I had scarring and bumpy skin texture due to years of cystic acne and Dermapen really helped diminish the look of these scars. It wasn’t immediate but over the course of six treatments, I noticed a visible difference in my complexion.” - Kathryn Greenwood

“Been wanting to try (Dermapen) for a while, glad I finally did! I got a great deal on three treatments of the Dermapen by the person who did my botox and filler (only done that once), so I thought why not? Dermapen is a type of microneedling device, but not a roller. I heard about skin needling (Collagen Induction Therapy - CIT) years ago and the science behind it appealed to me.What do you know, after 5 weeks I can see a difference!” - StillSouthern, Real Self.com

“It is crazy how much one (Dermapen) session changed my skin. I am 46 and have generally pretty good medium-toned skin for my age. Not wrinkly, just some laxity issues. HOLY COW. I got one dermapen treatment and she did not even go terribly deep (.5-1mm). I cannot stop looking at my skin. My smile lines are almost gone. Those dimples that had turned into deep folds are better. The skin around my chin and jawline is tighter. It is WILD. Under my eyes the skin looks amazing.” - Guacamoleandchips, Real Self.com

“I wanted to refresh my face and decided to try Dermapen. I love it! I just had my third treatment and I can't wait for the results. The first treatment I noticed a small amount of improvement but after my 2nd treatment the improvement was much more noticeable. The depth of the needle will likely make the difference. I was given a numbing agent prior which really helps. The fines lines are disappearing and I notice that the bags under my eyes look better too! I recommend trying the Dermapen and giving it at least two treatments.”- Cadair1, Real Self.com

“I was looking for a solution to minimize some sun spots and deep wrinkles with limited downtime and the dermapen was the perfect solution. I went back to work the next day with light make-up to cover a bit of redness. My skin is much smoother and the discoloration is definitely improved after 2 of 3 recommended treatments.”- Nicolea47, Real Self.com

“Great results! Did Dermapen and the results are fantastic. After one treatment the scarring is minimized. Will definitely do this again! The skin got tight and itchy and looked irritated for a few days but by the end of the week my skin looked great. I'm going to alternate between dermapen and peels and I'm looking forward to the results.” - Tsimss24, Real Self.com

“I have had five Dermapen treatments and my skin has never looked this good ... not since I was 25! This is a painless procedure that takes about an hour. I used to have problem skin ... breakouts, discolorations, etc ... now my skin is smooth and much more youthful looking. For the first time ever I have actually have been asked : "How do you keep your skin looking so nice." The answer is: DERMAPEN.” -Poe, Real Self.com

“Despite all the steps, aftercare and healing process... i'm excited to be seeing fabulous results already! This procedure is heaven sent for people with dark skin and that suffered from severe acne. The price is reasonable to me - i've spent thousands of dollars on other useless treatments with no evidence of improvements afterwards. I see major improvements in my skin texture, colouring and scar depth. I’m very happy with my results.” -Marisabella_v, Real Self.com

“I was looking forward to having a Dermapen procedure done on my face but I was really anxious because I didn't know what to expect. Would it hurt? Was I going to have to hide out for a few days? Would I be peeling? I did not have anything to WORRY about. The procedure was a breeze. I was a little uncomfortable a couple of times for about 2 seconds. A numbing cream was applied before the treatment began and made the Dermapen experience pleasant.

Most exciting were the RESULTS! My skin looks so refreshed and I could see immediate results in my fine lines. My skin was a little pink for a couple of days but honestly it just looked like I had gotten a little color. I wore my same simple mineral powder makeup the day after. There is no down time and the results were so great after one treatment, that I am excited for my next treatment with Dr. Sims and her amazing new Dermapen! Dr. Sims was so great about following up with me and wanting to hear about and see the results for herself. I will be using Dr. Sims for all my facial cosmetic needs!” - Social Whizkid, Real Self.com

Celebrities who use Dermapen

”I do micro-needling! I just learned about it a couple months ago from a facialist in New York. It allows the serums and whatever products you’re using to really soak in” - Jennifer Aniston, People Magazine, 2014, pg. 62

“I’m here with Dr.Diamond and we’re doing PRP and microneedling…” - Kourtney Kardashian in a recent Snapchat video, documenting her microneedling treatment.

Other noted celebrities who use Dermapen

  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Naomi Watts
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Demi Moore
  • Brad Pitt