Dermapen Micro Needling Impresses for Atrophic Acne Scars
Micro Needling Acne Scars therapy with Dermapen® has been demonstrated in pilot research to be more than a match for dermal rolling devices in the treatment of atrophic acne scars. The economical and easy to use device is about the size of a large marker but delivers results comparable to those seen with energy-based modalities.
As presented by U.K. dermatologist Prof. Anthony Chu, professor of dermatology (Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, London) at the 2012 Cosmetex congress in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, the study put Dermapen head-to-head against a popular dermal roller device in terms of treatment tolerance, operator ease of use, and downtime as well as subjective and objective evaluation of scar improvement.
Study subjects (n=48 at the time of the presentation) included men and women who had undergone at least one previous treatment with a dermal roller device, and were randomized into two groups (dermal roller group and Dermapen group). EMLA cream was applied to numb the treatment area (removed before treatment followed by alcohol swab), and a thin layer of Filast serum was applied immediately before treatment.
Dermal rolling was performed by rolling four times horizontally, diagonally, and vertically. Dermapen treatment was performed at the 1.5 mm needle depth setting at speed 7 in a circular motion, followed by horizontal and vertical passes. Pinpoint bleeding was removed and the skin washed with sterile saline solution before a five minute session of cold packing.
Of the subject population, 28 of 48 ranked Dermapen as less painful or much less painful than the dermal roller, with 12 reporting them as being the same. Downtime was three days or less among most of the Dermapen group, while downtime among the roller group was not less than four days. Approximately twice as many patients ranked their results as improved or much improved with Dermapen than with the roller. Digital measurement in reduction of scar volume was 29.1±4.82 among the roller group, versus 42.0±7.97 among the Dermapen group.
Michael Johnson, M.D., head of research and development for Derma Pen, explained that while dermal rollers are more inexpensive and conceptually simple to use, automated micro needling with Dermapen is simply better. “People may ask, ‘What could be less expensive to produce and easier to use than a roller device covered with needles?’ and they’re asking the wrong question,” he said. “Rollers don’t offer consistent results from user to user or site to site, because even skilled operators will vary pressure and penetration depth will vary similarly. Also, depth isn’t consistently adjustable; with Dermapen you can choose depth as well as the speed of the piston driving needle oscillation as you move the device across the treatment area. Dermapen is easier to use on the perioral, periocular, and perinasal areas. There’s the issue of sterilizing a roller versus using a fresh, disposable, sterile tip with Dermapen that’s very inexpensive. Moreover, the wounds created with a roller are more of a tear or divot; Dermapen makes vertically driven holes that are uniform in size and less traumatic, which speeds healing. Dermapen is relatively inexpensive when you consider the cost of most devices, and operators around the world know it’s wonderfully easy to use.”