Dermapen™ Skin Needling

Dermapen™ is the result of dermaroller skin-needling evolution. Our medical grade Dermapen™ devices offer patients entry-level treatments for acne scarring. Scars types that respond best to Dermapen™ treatment are mild to moderate mixed, atrophic and rolling acne scars.


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Like many devices, Dermapen™ is best combined with other treatment types to produce the best results.  These additional treatments may be fractionated laser treatments that produce improved overall results due to the controlled release of laser-emitted heat.  Dermapen™ is a very cost-effective specialist device that still provides satisfactory results as a stand-alone treatment.

  • Dermapen™ is the result of energy-free microneedling evolution
  • Skin needling remodels collagen networks and decreases the appearance of acne scarring
  • Skin needling can be used on all skin types
  • Works best on early, mild to moderate mixed, rolling and atrophic scars
  • Average downtime of 3-7 days
  • Medical-grade Dermapen™ can reach scars up to 2.5 mm under the skin’s surface
  • Dermapen™ microneedling is an entry-level, low-cost treatment for acne scars
  • Fractionated laser devices (Fraxel® and CO2) are more effective in treating scars than skin needling techniques

Skin needling

This technique was first introduced over a decade ago. Medical skin needling uses multiple surgical needles (2.5mm long and 0.25 mm in diameter) attached to a roller that creates multiple pin-point puncture wounds that extend into the mid-dermal layers of the skin. This type of dermal damage breaks down the collagen that forms scars and releases growth factors. Skin growth factors are neogenetic and stimulate collagen and elastin production. Neogenesis forms the basis of scar revision.  New collagen fibres fill the scar from the bottom up, eventually raising the depression level with the surrounding skin.

Medical Dermapen

This is the latest generation in microneedling devices, using vertically orientated needles without out-dated rolling methods.

The Dermapen is available in three models:

Dermapen Personal: a super safe, at home kit. Very user friendly. Ideal for extremely early and very mild scarring. Effects on established scars are minimal.

Dermapen Professional: safe when under medical supervision. Requires the application of an anaesthetic cream and offers additional effects to very slightly deeper scar types.

Dermapen Medical: the choice of dermatology specialists. Offers modest results on atrophic and rolling scars after the essential application of numbing cream. Can be used with LED red-light dermal phototherapy to decrease healing times and speed recovery.

The 2 main differences between laser fractional treatment and Dermapen skin microneedling are:

  1. Lasers are more precise. Specialists at Cutic Clinic have access to a range of innovative laser devices and can dial in the exact depth and coverage in the laser settings. In fact, lasers provide up to one hundredth of a millimetre accuracy.
  1. Lasers produce controlled target heating. Heating allows protein denaturation to break down scars and collagen within and surrounding the target areas. Denaturation of collagen an essential step in scar revision as it stimulates new collagen formation.

Fraxel, Profractional, and CO2 resurfacing techniques provide both controlled heating and collagen breakdown in a single sitting.

Laser treatments are far more superior than Dermapen for the majority of acne scarring cases.

The main advantage of Dermapen Skin Needling is its cost – treatments begin at $240 and are conducted by our specialist laser nurses.

Skin microneedling is a form of non-laser fractional resurfacing. Needling destroys old dermal collagen networks and stimulates new collagen growth. Apart from acne scars, Dermapen can also be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Stretch marks (3-4 treatments for 20% improvement)
  • Chicken pox scarring (3-4 treatments for 30% improvement)
  • Solar damaged skin (sun damaged skin, lax skin tone, fine lines)

Dermapen Skin Needling physically breaks down the collagen fibres that produce scars.

For the best in scar remodeling, 2 processes must be carried out. The first is the physical destruction of scars and old collagen. The second is a heat source that denatures old collagen and stimulates the unheated surrounding tissue to release growth factors. Lasers provide both of these processes, while Dermapen Skin Needling provides only the first; no heat is generated with the Dermapen but it does break down old collagen networks.

In short, Dermapen is effective in treating some forms of acne scarring but is not anywhere near as effective as fractional lasers.

At Cutis Clinic, there are five steps in this particular skin needling procedure.

Step One – acne scar assessment

The first step is to establish the type of acne scars you have. Early, mild, atrophic, and mixed rolling scars respond best to skin needling. An accurate assessment* will reveal if you are the right candidate for Dermapen needling.

Step Two – photos and planning

We map and photograph the affected areas prior to treatment in all acne scar revision cases. This establishes a baseline, allowing us to keep tabs on your treatment progress. If you decide to go ahead with skin needling, we will allocate a suitable time slot for the procedure that takes approximately 70-90 minutes to perform, including the application of an anaesthetic cream.

Step Three – treatment day, pre-treatment anaesthetic

A local anaesthetic cream is applied 45- 60 minutes prior to the skin needling procedure. This super-strength numbing cream is similar to the  numbing gel used for Fraxel laser procedures.

Step Four – microneedling treatment

Dermapen skin needling uses a patented delivery system to apply tiny needles into your acne scars. Treatment intensity and depth depends on the extent and depth of your acne scars. We typically apply treatment at depths of between 1.5 and 2.5 mm. Dermapen produces thousands of microscopic holes in the treated areas. Each punctured hole produces collagen remodeling.

Step Five – Dermapen follow-up

In cases of extensive acne scarring and deeper scars, your specialist nurse may elect to schedule a follow up visit 24-48 hours after the procedure to ensure you are healing as expected. We can also arrange your follow-up via email or Skype.

*Dermapen Skin Needling patients are assessed by a Cutis Clinic specialist laser nurse. This assessment costs $98 and is fully refundable should you opt for a Dermapen treatment.

No. Our specialist will apply a medical-grade anaesthetic cream well before your skin needling procedure. We also use this anaesthetic cream for much more invasive procedures like laser treatments.

This cream is applied to the to-be-treated areas 60 minutes prior to the procedure. For anxious patients, we also offer mild sedation. Rest assured that your skin needling experience at Cutis Clinic will be close to pain-free.

Each session takes 10-20 minutes; however a numbing cream must be applied for 45 minutes before your treatment commences, so please arrive in good time.

You may opt for the Dermapen LED treatment. This technique requires an extra 10 minutes. Dermapen LED uses red light phototherapy to further stimulate collagen production and shorten healing time.

You can expect the following effects after microneedling techniques:

  • Moderate redness and swelling 24 to 48 hours after the procedure
  • Swelling and bruising up to 2-4 days after Dermapen treatment
  • Flaking, peeling and crusting 3-5 days after the procedure.

Recovery times range from 3-7 days, depending on the extent of the procedure. Your Dermapen therapist will discuss skin healing times during your consultation.

The majority of patients can expect to see modest results after several treatments. Collagen remodeling is maximal 3-4 months after the procedure and results are best assessed at least 3 months after the final session. On average, scars improve by 10%-15% after a single treatment implementing medical grade 2.5 mm Dermapen needles.

Fractional laser resurfacing produces better acne scar results than skin needling due to increased collagen denaturation and new production via controlled heating.

The advantage of Dermapen skin needling is that this procedure, though not nearly as effective as laser treatment, is affordable. Treatments start from as little as $240 per session.

As a rough guide, we recommend 3-4 sessions at 6-10 week intervals. The total number of sessions depends on your individual response, your skin’s ability to deposit new collagen (much better in younger skin and non smokers) and, most importantly, the severity of scarring. We do not recommend treatments at more frequent intervals as the above-mentioned time frame is in accordance with maximal collagen remodeling processes.

Skin needling can be used on acne-free areas and on acne-scarred areas but not on active acne. We strongly advise you begin with an effective acne treatment program if you are still suffering from active acne or regular flare-ups. Untreated acne can lead to even more scarring.

Contact Cutis Clinic to set up a customised active acne skin cleansing plan.

Dermapen treatment is a method of fractional skin resurfacing without the added benefit of laser. It is, however, and extremely safe treatment with very few potential side effects. These include:

  • Changes in the colour of your skin (very rare)
  • Delayed swelling (very rare)
  • Infection (very rare; however, we take precautions with deeper Dermapen treatments and prescribe anti-viral medication)
  • Poor wound healing (very rare, and usually secondary to infection)

It is always important that you select a specialist dermatology centre that employs trained medical professionals who not only recognise but can prescribe medical therapies to treat all side effects should they occur.

Dermapen Skin Needling is our entry-level acne scar revision treatment and, compared to high-end laser treatments, is extremely affordable. After all, Dermapen devices are around 200 times cheaper than laser machines.

Please contact us for pricing information.

* A pre – consultation with a Specialist Nurse is essential as we perform Dermapen resurfacing to the highest MEDICAL STANDARDS. Assessment includes mapping, photography, and medical history as well as examination. This fee is refundable and goes towards your Dermapen treatments.

** Medicare does NOT cover Dermapen skin resurfacing, however procedures such as surgical scar revision, and laser resurfacing under Specialists are partially covered by Medicare.

Our specialists have provided skin needling services for over a decade, long before the invention of fractional laser, radiofrequency and Dermapen. Our experience is passed on to every new specialist nurse responsible for performing Dermapen needling.

Skin microneedling performed at our Brisbane cosmetic clinic is conducted to the highest standards, using the Medical Dermapen model from the Dermapen series – the most powerful Dermapen model on the market equipped with 2.5 mm long needles. We have kept the cost of this treatment as low as possible, ensuring that even those acne scar patients on a budget can benefit from professional treatment by a specialist team.

A referral is not required for Dermapen Skin Resurfacing.

This procedure is carried out by one of our specialist laser nurses. You can book directly with Emily Hyde or Kristy Macpherson. Dermapen Skin Needling is designed as an entry-level, affordable treatment for patients with acne scars.

Call reception on (07) 3088 6985 to schedule your Dermapen acne scar assessment with a specialist nurse. This assessment will take between 15-30 minutes and costs $98. This fee is fully refundable upon completion of your first Dermapen treatment.

** We conduct Dermapen resurfacing to the highest medical standards, and not at spa or salon levels. Assessment includes mapping, photography and medical history, as well as a thorough skin examination.

We use the Dermapen Medical model – a step beyond the devices used by beauty spa’s, salons and non-medical cosmetic clinics.

I have been using the skin needling technique for over 10 years. This long-standing method of acne scar revision was once carried out with a single needle held by a needle holder. Talk about time consuming!

In 2005, I started using a skin roller – the now outdated Derma-Roller – when performing skin needling treatments. This was a moderately effective method of scar revision in darker skin types, well before Fraxel and erbium fractional lasers came on the scene.

Dermapen provides an evolution, rather than a revolution, in skin needling results. The principles are exactly the same as they were 10 years ago; however, the device is now electrically operated and obviously the procedure has become much quicker. Needless to say, we have replaced all our skin rollers with  medical-grade Dermapen model.

Is Dermapen as good as laser? No, it’s not. However, it does provide our patients with an entry-level treatment that is extremely cost effective as skin needling treatments start at just $240. Fractional lasers are much more effective due to their ability to emit controlled collateral heat – this is a very positive side effect that breaks down scars and old collagen networks,at the same time stimulating fresh collagen production and formation.

Regardless, patients with mild to moderate atrophic scars, box scars and mixed scars will see a mild to modest improvement with Dermapen skin needling when 2.5 mm medical grade needles are used.