Dr. Paul Nassif Dermapen Micro-Needling Review

  • Diplomate, American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Diplomate, American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Fellow, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Fellow, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Member, California Society of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Fellowship Trained, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Southern California School of Medicine
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons

Dr. Nassif believes that Dermapen is fantastic for everything when it comes to skin rejuvenation: scars, wrinkles, skin tone, texture, large pores, or even mild pigmentation. His opinion is that Dermapen treatment is efficient, safe, and gentle but still provides results and promotes collagen remodeling. He has also seen results with Dermapen for melasma, although not in a clinical trial. Outcomes are modest so far, not dramatic, but work continues although it’s too early for definitive results. “DermaPen is the only micro-needling device we use. It’s consistent, it’s nice, I like it, and it’s sturdy. The actual product is pretty darn good”.

For treatment, Dr. Nassif will apply PRP before and after; activated PRP is applied to a treatment zone (such as the forehead or cheek). Dermapen is administered on each zone of the face. After the face is complete he applies more PRP.

He will also use Dermapen with some peels and in conjunction with a microdermabrasion exfoliating facial (hydrafacial) as well as Dermapen with PRP, then two weeks later with hydrafacial, then Dermapen again two weeks after that. Dr. Nassif’s assistant Aubrie Cook administers most of the treatments (including PRP delivery). She describes using a diamond-tipped microdermabrasion device and/or a suction device that allows the infusion of different sera during treatment. This promotes hydration, nourishment and exfoliation for a great facial. She reports that Dermapen pays for itself rapidly, depending on how much one charges, making it very lucrative to use;especially as an inexpensive adjunct to therapies. She says it’s an amazing and beautiful device that hasn’t given her any problems.

When asked to describe his clinical experience with Dermapen, Dr. Nassif reports: I am pleased to have Aupie Cook, skin care specialist and aesthetician, in my office. She is the one who does the micro-needling, especially with the PRP on most of the patients. It’s so nice when you have a micro-needling device. When you have something that is entering the skin you can do this pretty quickly and with consistent results. It’s time-efficient because you’re gliding over the skin with it. It’s entering the skin with these tiny needles and is gently traumatizing the dermis and epidermis. When you traumatize it from an ablative laser or with this micro-needling, you’re actually helping to remodel the collagen. That’s what makes this device so amazing. It’s great for scars, wrinkles, tone of the skin, pores, acne scars, wrinkles, anti-aging, brown spots and blemishes; it’s fantastic for everything. There have been some studies that show it does help to even out pigmentation and even decrease it. So far, we’re also using it for that but it’s too early to really see how that’s going.

In addition we also use DermaPen with PRP. Usually you want to put something on top of the skin before using the micro-needling device. But we will take some PRP, activate it, put it on the forehead for example, then we’ll use the machine over the forehead, then on the cheek. So the delivery system makes tiny holes in the skin. This can actually be done for any delivery system, whether it’s a peel or skin care products. This is the best system because there are holes in the skin so the product is going into the skin. It’s a perfect delivery method. After the treatment we put more PRP on the skin and the patient can put whatever they would like on when they get home.

Have you done drug delivery with this at all, or is this something you’d be doing in the future?

We don’t know that yet. You can theoretically do it, but we haven’t done anything like that with this. We’ll probably try that in the future. Actually, she’s saying you have to be careful with it but she’s saying you can use it with some peels.

SO far the only micro-needling device we’re using is DermaPen. I don’t know of any other that are out there at this point. There is one formulated from the vampire face lift people, and I’m not a big fan of those because the needles are not facing the skin all in the same direction. So to me you’re not getting the most effective and consistent needling into the skin. There are too many different levels and different angles.

Do you use it in conjunction with IPLs or for drug delivery?
That’s a good question about IPLs in conjunction. We haven’t done that yet but as I mentioned, I’m sure we’ll look into it. With drug delivery, so far it’s been the PRP and a peel or two. With facials Aupie says that she alternates the Dermapen first with the PRP then two weeks later, the hydrafacial, then 2 weeks after that another Dermapen treatment. Then doing and IPL two weeks after a micro-needling device might be a good idea.

Tell us about the hydrafacial.

It’s similar to Microdermabrasion. You can use diamond-tipped microdermabrasion with it, but it’s basically a vortex fusion that has suction action while you’re going across the patient’s skin. It’s exfoliating with either a plastic vortex tip or diamond tip microdermabrasion. They both have openings in them so you can infuse different serums into the skin at the same time you’re vacuuming them off. It’s hydrating, nourishing and exfoliating all at the same time. You get really nice, smooth results that helps with unclogging pores, giving that overall rejuvenation to the skin. It’s a better facial than anyone can give with their bare hands.

I really love the Dermapen because compared to other facial rejuvenating procedures, it’s inexpensive. As a practitioner you will make your money back from the cost of the device within maybe 3-5 treatments. Without giving specific numbers it’s a lucrative procedure.

Have you had any problems with the device or issues with maintenance or downtime with the device?

AUpIE: None whatsoever. It’s a beautiful device. It works amazing. It has not given me any problems at all.

How long have you been using the device?

Since March of 2012

This PRP treatment is suggested by Dr. Nassif and is not and approved Indication of use by the FDA.