Dermapen ™

Product summary

The Dermapen™, manufactured and distributed on behalf of Equipmed of Australia has the claim of being the original device that started the revolution in automated pen-like devices in the medical skin-needling world when it was first launched in 2010.

For this reason they note that their technology has developed through a few generations (Dermapen 1 and 2) and is now on the third iteration of the device; the Dermapen 3 series, following multiple trials and practitioner feedback to improve the device. They maintain that it offers the gold standard in micro-needling.

It is used for a treatment referred to by many names including medical skin needling, collagen induction therapy, percutaneous collagen induction, micro-needling or simply electronic dermarollering. 

Equipmed produce several Dermapen devices which are branded as MyDermapen (a personal, home use version), Professional or Dermapen 3PRO (for beauty salon use by aestheticians with a maximum depth of penetration of up to 1mm) and Medical or Dermapen 3MD (for use by doctors and nurses only, with a maximum penetration depth of up to 2.5mm). Medical aesthetic clinics will generally perform treatments using the Medical (Dermapen 3MD) model; it’s also worth checking that they have the improved 3rd generation model of Dermapen.

Technical specifications spectrum

The Dermapen handpiece

The Dermapen devices are manufactured in South Korea in an ISO 13485 certified factory, on behalf of Equipmed of Australia. The final units are assembled in Australia. 

The pen-like hand piece of the Dermapen 3MD, which plugs into the electric via a cable, comes with a disposable, single-use needle head incorporating one more needle than previous Dermapen models with 12 needles (33 gauge) which are adjustable at any increment between 0mm and 2.5mm by adjusting a rotating dial on the pen tip. The speed of the device is also changeable.

The Dermapen 3MD is said to be 30% faster than its predecessor, the Dermapen 2, producing 1,300 micro-holes per second, compared to 990.

How does it work?

A new needle cartridge is used per patient treated.

The needle head operates using a very strong spring which pushes the shaft of the needles back into the cartridge with significant force after each insertion of the needles.

Dermapen use their proprietary AOVN™ technology which stands for Advanced Oscillating Vertical Needling; this is based on using a combination of the best frequency, size of needles and speed of the motor to oscillate the needles into the skin, which the manufacturers claim allows the device to run smoothly across the surface of the skin and not cause tissue tearing. The device operates in a continuous motion at variable speeds, depending on the indication being treated, by using the AOVN technology.

This action creates thousands of micro-needle columns in the skin which then close very quickly and start the skin repair process. The insertion of the needles stimulates skin cells such as keratinocytes, fibroblasts and growth factors which encourage the production of new collagen and renew and repair the skin layers.

Dermapen also offer a variety of proprietary topical serum products which have a hyaluronic acid base to target hydration, pigment stabilisation, skin lightening, scar correction and stretch mark minimisation which are for use during treatment, to avoid dry application.

License status

The Dermapen needles are European class IIa CE certified medical devices.

***UPDATE***  27/08/2019

Microneedling pens: Dermapen 3 and sterile single use needle cartridge tips for: Dermapen 3 – risk of injury or infection (MDA/2019/028)

Manufactured by Equipmed and distributed in the UK by Naturastudios. Do not use affected devices as they have been manufactured to unknown standards and their safety cannot be verified. Dermapen 3 devices are intended to stimulate the skin for natural collagen induction. Affected devices were manufactured after 30 May 2017. The devices’ packaging have a CE mark but this has not been obtained through appropriate regulatory oversight.

Full safety report issued by the MHRA

Should be used by

The Dermapen 3MD should only be used by trained medical professionals including doctors and nurses, although the Dermapen 3PRO model (max. penetration 1mm) may be used by trained aestheticians and beauty therapists.

What is it used to treat?

The Dermapen is used for improving fine lines and wrinkles on the face, neck and décolletage, to address and reduce the appearance of surgical, acne or trauma scars anywhere on the body. It can also be used to treat other scarring such as stretch marks. In some cases it is also used to address pigmentation problems.

It is suitable for all skin types.

How long does it last?

Noticeable results will be seen after the first treatment. Lasting and more significant results will begin to become apparent after 4 to 6 treatments, which being space 4 - 6 weeks apart, means after approximately 4 or 5 months. Your skin should continue to improve over the next 6 - 12 months following completion of the treatment programme, in combination with topical aftercare products. Maintenance or top-up treatments may be recommended to continue long-lasting results.

Side effects & risks

Treatment with the Dermapen is generally described as more tolerable than a manual dermaroller treatment due to the speed of the needles.

If the treatment is being performed at a very shallow needle depth then it is considered to be painless. Treatments whereby the needles enter the skin at a depth of over 0.5mm may require a topical local anaesthetic cream to be applied before the procedure. This of course will significantly improve your comfort during treatment, making it virtually pain free.

Erythema or facial redness will be noticeable immediately after treatment and will last for 12 to 48 hours. Most people are able to return to normal daily activities immediately after the treatment.

You may apply a breathable camouflage make-up product, such as Lycogel® after treatment as this will seal the skin and cover any redness if you need to return immediately to work or other activities where you wish to disguise having had treatment.

Your practitioner may provide you with skincare products to apply following treatment and in the weeks between your planned treatment sessions.

Not to be used in 

As long as you are generally healthy and don’t have any active skin diseases or infections in the area treated, there are few medical reasons why you should not undergo this treatment.

Tell your practitioner if you have a history of conditions such as cold sores.

Pregnant and breast feeding women, although not contra-indicated for treatment, you may be advised to wait before commencing treatment.

If you are having other cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers it is advisable to either wait for a week after having the filler injections before embarking on a Dermapen treatment programme, or alternatively have the Dermapen treatment first, leaving a minimum of two or three days before embarking on the dermal filler treatment.

Treatment regime

For optimal results, Dermapen recommend the application of various pre and post skincare products from their DP Dermaceuticals™ Pre- and Post- procedure protocol. This includes products with active ingredients such as Vitamin A, C or Resveratrol and Procyanidin to allow the skin’s strength to build-up (especially for thin or delicate skin areas). This can be tailored to each person.

The time taken for a treatment session will depend upon the size of the area and indication being treated, e.g., face, neck and décolletage etc.; an individual session should last between 30 and 60 minutes.

The number of treatments needed will vary depending on the skin concern being addressed, however a treatment programme would normally consist of 4 - 6 treatments every 4 weeks apart for skin rejuvenation, 6 treatments every 6 weeks apart for acne scarring and 4 - 8 treatments every 4 - 6 weeks apart for stretch marks.

Cost of treatment

The cost of treatment depends on the area(s) being treated, the indication being targeted and the individual practitioner and can range from approximately £150 - £300 per session for a full face treatment. Expect to pay around £500 to £750 for a course of 4 treatments.

Clinical Results


Before and after Dermapen on Acne scarring

Acne scarring (before, left, after, right)

Before and after Dermapen on cut scar

Improvement in a scar from a cut to the neck (before left, after, right)

Before and after Dermapen on a womans chin

Before and after Dermapen on a womans lips

Improvement in the lines and wrinkle around the mouth and chin of a female (before, left, after, right)

Photographs provided courtesy of Dermapen (Equipmed)

Before and after pictures are of real patients, your results may differ.

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