Dermapen VS CO2 Laser


Many patients ask about Dermapen vs CO2 laser treatments and wonder which to choose. It’s best to come in for a free consultation to see what all of your options are and get recommendations based on your specific needs and goals but we will highlight some information on each treatment here to help you make an informed decision, with the help of your professional of choice, when the time comes.

Both treatments are ground breaking and work by resurfacing facial skin. There are differences in how the treatments are performed, how they work, the number of treatments typically needed and length of recovery time.

The Dermapen uses sterile surgical stainless mircroneedles that pierce the skin causing the cells to die and new cells to emerge. With the puncturing of the skin, the body’s tissue continues to release growth factors from fibroblasts, keratinocytes and monocytes. This process increases cell turnover that continues for approximately 30 days.

Numbing cream is applied beforehand to minimize any possible pain, which is minimal. Dermapen treatments can be done on your lunch break with little to no side effects following the procedure. There may be some slight redness following a treatment but it’s easy to cover with makeup, which can be applied shortly after the procedure is finished. Any redness may last for up to 24 hours at the most. It is suggested that most patients receive 2-3 treatments for a noticeable difference, however 5-6 Dermapen treatments will show the most dramatic results.

Dermapen procedures treat acne scars, facial scars, improve tone, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and works for tattoo removal. Treatments are safe for darker skin with a careful post-procedure regimen that includes sunblock.

The fractional CO2 laser takes the CO2 laser beam and fractionates, or pixellates that beam into thousand of tiny shafts of light. These shafts penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and cause the skin to repair is self by pushing ou the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with new skin. This is more of a one-time treatment with 7-10 days of recovery while the old skin flakes off and the new skin emerges. It’s best to take it easy the rest of that day then keep your face out of the sun and apply ointments and serums as directed for the remainder of the week.

Dr. Thompson does recommend a second treatment in certain circumstances but usually has patients wait 6 months to a year after the initial treatment. Numbing cream is applied beforehand and a cooling device is used on the face during treatment. Patients report feeling very hot for approximately 4-6 hours following the procedure and sometimes compare it to a moderate sunburn feeling.

CO2 laser treatments are great for fine to moderate lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, acne scarring, facial scarring, and overall skin tone and texture. Treatments are safe for darker skin as long as the settings are adjusted accurately.


The lasting results of either treatment will depend on how well you protect your skin from the sun and handle other aging factors, such as avoiding smoking and using topical antioxidants, retinol, etc.

Both procedures can be done with other surgical and non-surgical procedures but not at the same time. Adding a skin resurfacing procedure to previous facelift or eyelift surgery will really maximize the overall results. Many patients achieve great overall facial rejuvenation with the combination of Botox®, dermal fillers and skin resurfacing treatment(s).

To learn more, call (801)776-2220 for a free consultation. Jill, our master esthetician, is offering 2 Dermapen treatments for you and a friend this summer for the price of one! The friend must be a new patient to Thompson Facial Plastics. You can email [email protected] with Dermapen questions or call our office.

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Posted in: Dermapen, Fractional CO2 Treatment, Skin, Skin Care, Skin Resurfacing


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