This treatment provides a simple, cost effective method of acne scar revision.

Dermapen is the next generation of skin needling or skin rolling. This treatment performed by Specialist at Westside Laser Dermatology, Brisbane represents entry level scar revision for patients.

A needle delivery system can be individually targeted to acne scars at different depths. Each needle punctures the skin and breaks down collagen, which results in scar remodelling.

This treatment provides a simple, cost effective method of acne scar revision, and can be safely used in all skin types. The results are inferior compared to lasers, however costing is kept to a minimum. This treatment is best for atrophic and rolling scars, and can be used in all skin types.


  • Dermapening is a evolution, not a revolution of a treatment known as skin needling
  • This treatment uses microneedles to precisely puncture the surface of the skin
  • This causes fragmentation of acne scars, and encourages new collagen to form
  • 4-6 treatments are needed for optimal outcomes
  • Specialist Dermapen treatment starts at only $240
  • Dermapen can be combined with LED Phototherapy for better results
  • Dermapen provides entry level scar revision with out the costs of laser resurfacing
  • Fractional laser resurfacing or RadioFrequency treatments provide better results than skin needling


Rolling & Depressed Acne Scars

Mixed Acne Scars

Dermapen is skin needling that is precise and controlled. It is a form of non-laser Fractional skin resurfacing. The depth and coverage of treatment can be adjusted according to the skin type, and acne scars.

Dermapen comes in 3 types - Dermapen Personal, Professional and Medical. Each series are tailored to skin types and skin conditions.

Dermapen is the evolution of skin needling! This treatment delivers a series of microneedles into the dermal or deeper layers of your skin- where acne scars lie. These scars are then fragmented, break down, and the process of scar remodelling occurs. The micro-injury caused by Dermapen needling encourages your collagen and scars to remodel.

Scar remodelling is gradual, and can take upto 3-4 months for maximal affect. Most patients will require a series of 4-6 skin needling procedures with Dermapen for best results.

Step one - assessment

This is an essential step in the correct management of acne scars. Atrophic and rolling scars respond best to Dermapen. An accurate assessment * will reveal if you are the correct candidate for Dermapen needling.

Step two - mapping and photographs

Similar to a laser procedure, we map and photograph all acne scars prior to treatment- this ensures that Dermapen treatment areas are pre marked, and results can be followed up.

Step three - pre procedure anaesthetic cream

This occurs on the day of the Dermapen procedure. This provides excellent pain relief, and is applied 30-60 minutes BEFORE each treatment.

Step four - Dermapen treatment

Dermapen skin treatment uses a special delivery system to move needles across the acne scars. Depending on the depth and type of acne scars, the treatment depth and amount of ‘passes’ will vary. Dermapen produces grid and cross hatch like areas within the acne scars, each hole that punctures your skin will lead to collagen remodelling.

Step five - Post treatment follow up

For cases of extensive acne scarring and deeper settings, your specialist nurse my elect to schedule a follow up visit 24-48 hours after the procedure to ensure you are healing as expected.

*Patients are assessed by either a Specialist Dermatologist, or a Specialist Nurse, depending on your preference. If you would like a nurse to assess you prior to Dermapening, book in via our Acne Solutions Clinic. If you prefer an assessment by a Specialist Laser Dermatologist, a referral from your GP will enable you to claim a percentage of the assessment from Medicare. The cost of a Dermatolgist visit will be discussed during your booking.

NO! This does not mean than RF is better than laser for the treatment of acne scars, in fact the opposite is true.

RF is an alternative method of acne scar treatment- remember that there are many ways to treat acne scars, and an ideal treatment will depend on the scar type, the age of the scar, the patient’s skin type, downtime, and also the budget of the procedure. RF is ideal for -

  • Early acne scars (less than 3 -6 months old)
  • Rolling scars (can have modest improvement of ice pick, box car and tethered scars)
  • Scars in darker skin patients- ideal for Asian skin or darker
  • Acne scar revision in patients who can not have downtime- skin heals up within 48 hours with even high settings of RadioFrequency treatment
  • As part of the Synergy Program for acne scar revision- RF compounds the effects of laser scar revision for acne scars

No. We use a special formulation of numbing cream, applied 60 minutes before your procedure. This ensures that your Dermapen treatment is comfortable. In the ‘shallow mode’ you will feel NO PAIN, in deeper settings, you will feel slightly prickly, but this is very well tolerated.

The numbing cream is a special formulation and far better compared to the EMLA and LMX brands.

More on real life experiences using the DERMAPEN

After the treatment, your skin will be red and swollen for 2-5 days. The ‘downtime’ will depend on your type of acne scars and the depth of treatment. Your Specialist will give you an accurate assessment of downtime prior to the procedure. We can use a special concealer to speed up the recovery process, and shorten downtime following treatment.

The use of red light phototherapy with our Dermapen - LED program can shorten the recovery time following this procedure

Most patients will require 4-6 Dermapen needling sessions. Each session should be spaced between 4-6 weeks apart.

Remember, as Specialist we will recommend the correct method to treat your type of scarring. Dermapen works best for atrophic and rolling scars, however the end results are not as good compared to FRAXEL or Fractional laser resurfacing.

Dermatologists at the Acne Specialist Clinics will recommend the best acne scar revision techniques based upon your skin type, scar type and down time. These 3 factors are the most important in determining the outcome of scar revision.

Unlike laser treatments, Dermapen skin needling does not involve heating the dermal layers of the skin. Dermapen needling does however (if used in the correct medical setting), break down collagen scars, and can help reduce atrophic and rolling acne scars. Essentially Dermpen is like fractional laser without the heating of the dermis.

Why is heating important in scar revision? It is because CONTROLLED heating of the dermal layers promotes further denaturation of collagen scars- in turn improves scar revision even further. Laser such as Fraxel, Profractional, and CO2 resurfacing provides BOTH controlled heating AND collagen breakdown in the one sitting.

Bottom line, all things considered, lasers are more superior compared to Dermapen for most forms of acne scarring.

The advantage of Dermapen skin resurfacing is the cost- treatments start at $240 for small areas of needling.

Treatment Treatment time Number of treatments needed Downtime Ideal scar severity Projected scar improvement Costs
Dermapen non laser resurfacing 15 min 4-6 3-5 days Mild –to moderate scarring ++ From $240 per treatment
Chemical peels 15 min 4-6 Hours Mild + $95
RF RadioFrequency 15 min 4 0-2 days Mild to severe +++ (early scars) $1100 for 4
Fractional laser- CO2, Erbium, Erbium Modulation, Fraxel RF combo 30 min 3-5 3-6 days Mild to severe ++++ $800 - $1200 each
TCA cross 30 min 2-3 5-7  days Mod to severe ++++ $490 - $900
Synergy approach = laser +others 15 min to 60 min 3-8 1-12 days Mod to severe +++++ $3500 - $7800

Cost! Dermapen treatments start at only $240 for small areas (excluding numbing cream).

The advantage Dermapen has over lasers is that skin needling using Dermapen, is that costs are kept to an absolute minimum for patients. This provides entry-level scar treatments that can be affordable to everyone!

Darker skin types such as African or Indian Skin types can be treated with relative safety - note however that Erbium Profractional laser and RadioFrequency treatments, in our experience, is even safer and more effective compared to Dermapen needling. Laser resurfacing, conducted by Specialists is a very safe and effective method of acne scar revision.

Fractional Resurfacing with DERMAPEN - From only $240 per treatment

*small areas - half cheeks
** anaesthesia cream extra

Dermapen treatment is actually a form of Fractional skin resurfacing, however no laser is used.

Side effects and risks are very similar to fractional laser resurfacing, and are very rarely seen - if performed correctly. Risks and complications include-

  • Lightening or darkening of skin (Very rare)
  • Prolonged swelling (very rare)
  • Infection (very rare, however we do take precautions with deeper Dermapen treatments and place you on anti-viral medications)
  • Blistering (very rare, and usually secondary to infections)

Dermapen does break the outer layer of your skin, and this should be classed as a medical procedure. Always ensure that the center that performs this procedure can also deal with complications, should they occur.

Note that Dermapen comes in 3 different models-

Dermapen Personal

Super safe, at home kit. Minimal risks, minimal effects on acne scars.

Dermapen Professional

Safe, but still should be medically supervised. Will need local numbing cream if done correctly.

Dermapen Medical

Specialist choice. Can have modest results on atrophic and rolling scars. Will definitely need numbing cream. Best combined with LED PHOTOTHERAPY to decrease healing times, and hasten recovery.

As a guide:

Dermapen: small areas (half cheek): $240 – includes ½ cheeks both sides

Dermapen: large areas (cheeks, forehead, temples): $ 295

Dermapen with LED – Dual Mode treatments: additional $80 per session

Dermapen Consultation with Laser Nurse: $98 refundable upon treatment

Highest quality numbing gel: $80 per application small area, $99 large area

Pay for 5 treatments upfront, and receive the 6th Dermapen treatment for free!

* A pre- consultation 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.

Westside Laser Dermatology is NOT a cosmetic clinic or Spa center, but a Specialist center. We treat all forms of acne scarring, in all ethnic types, from mild to severe acne scarring. Dermapen treatments are conducted by Specialist nurses trained and supervised by Specialist Dermatologists.

Treatments are performed as a medical procedure in our Queensland Health accredited laser suites.

We provide Dermapen acne scar treatments as an entry-level treatment for patients who would like scar revision, without the expense of laser methods.

In Specialist hands, lasers are more effective than Dermapen Skin Resurfacing, with minimal risks involved.

A referral is NOT needed for Dermapen Skin Resurfacing. This procedure is carried out by our Specialist Laser Nurses. You can book in directly with Specialist Nurse Emily Hyde, Kristy Macpherson, or Dimity Radcliffe for this procedure.

Call reception on 07 3871 34 37 to schedule a time for a DERMAPEN acne scar assessment. The assessment will take between 15-30 minutes, and costs $98. This is fully refundable with your first Dermapen treatment.

** We conduct Dermapen resurfacing to the highest MEDICAL STANDARDS, and not at the Spa or Salon level. Assessment includes mapping, photography, and medical history as well as examination.

Dr Davin S. Lim
Laser Dermatologist

Dermapen is the next evolution in skin rolling, which in turn is the forefather of fractional laser treatments. Skin rolling, needling and ‘Dermapening’ uses needles of various sizes and depths to break down collagen tissue.

What are we targeting in acne scars? The answer is collagen. This forms the matrix of your skin, gives it tensile strength, but also needs remodelling if scar revision is sought. Collagen lies deep in the dermal layers of the skin. For skin needling to be successful, the depth MUST be deeper than the superficial layers of the skin. The needles MUST hit scars to break down the collagen.

So, does skin needling work? Yes it does, and Dermapen treatments provide an ‘entry point ‘ to scar revision. Unlike fractional laser treatments, Dermapen does not generate heat. The addition of controlled and precise heating of the scars, delivered by lasers such as Fraxel and CO2 CORE gives a far superior outcome to scar revision compared to skin needling, whether it be needle rollers, or newer generation Dermapen methods. Never the less, Dermapen needling can provide modest improvement in rolling and atrophic scars at a price point that is affordable to everyone.