Almost everyone is familiar with laser resurfacing and its improvements offered by today’s concept of fractional laser resurfacing. By cutting into the skin layers in closely spaced holes created by a laser beam, improved skin quality results through collagen regeneration and remodeling. While there is no question about the benefits of fractional laser resurfacing, other non-laser devices can create similar patterns of skin ‘holes’
One of these devices is Demapen 3. This is a mechanized device use to fractionally rejuvenate the skin. Its tip contains 12 microneedles in a spring loaded sterile cartridge which is single patient use. The depth of needle penetration can be adjusted to go as deep as 2.5mms if desired. With 12 needles and an oscillating vertical motion with a top speed of 108 movements per second, 1,296 skin holes can be created per second to create a fractional skin rejuvenation effect. With the creation of some many skin holes, topical nutrients/agents (e.g., PRP) are applied and theoretically absorbed into the skin via the open channels. Interestingly, the oscillation movements helps dampen the transmission of nerve pain fibers making the treatments possible with little or no topical anesthetic.
Because Dermapen 3 does not create heat to make the channels (unlike a laser), it is safe to use on all skin types with no risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and a more rapid recovery period.
Like fractional laser resurfacing, Dermapen can treat a variety of skin issues from the treatment of wrinkles, skin texture irregularities and acne scars. Its use is being increasingly used for hypertrophic scars, vitiligo and in the treatment of alopecia for hair regeneration.
The role of skin needling, which has been around for decades, has taken a quantum leap forward with Dermapen technology. This mechanized handpiece offers a more consistent method of making skin channels and has a real role to play alongside fractional laser resurfacing. For those patients who want less recovery and a lower treatment cost than that of lasers, Dermapen skin needling offers an effective alternative.
Dr. Barry Eppley