The Difference Between Potenza and Dermapen Explained by a Doctor

Please use this column as a source of information about the contents of this column, although our clinic does not carry Potenza at this time. (We do carry dermapen).

"Which is better for beautiful skin, the Potenza or the Dermapen?"
If you're trying to heal a crater, would you recommend the Potenza or the Dermapen?"
What's the difference between Potenza and a dermapen in the first place?"

Hello, I am a doctor at Smart Skin Clinic.

Do you have these questions about Potenza or Dermapen?

Of the various skin problems, one of the most difficult to improve is a depressed acne scar called a "crater". Aggressive treatment is necessary to improve craters.

Both Potenza and Dermapen are treatments that utilize the patient's innate "wound-healing power" to lead to beautiful skin. We will compare the features and differences of each and introduce the treatment that is right for you.


What is Potenza?

Potenza is the name of a microneedle (ultrafine needle) RF treatment using Jaysys machines.

An ultrafine needle is pointed into the skin and RF (radiofrequency waves, a type of high frequency) is irradiated from the tip of the needle. When the skin is damaged by the needle and heat energy, the "wound healing mechanism," which tries to heal wounds by itself, is activated, resulting in the production of collagen and elastin, which is expected to have a beautiful skin effect and improve craters.

In addition, the "drug delivery system" allows the drug to penetrate directly into the dermal layer deep within the skin, and the number of needles, tips of different lengths, and drugs can be varied according to treatment objectives.

What is a Dermapen?

Dermapen is another "microneedling treatment" that uses the same wound-healing mechanism as Potenza and is suitable for acne scars and pore treatment.

A high-speed vibrating head with 16 ultra-fine needles is placed on the skin's surface and manually slides vertically and horizontally to create 1,920 needle holes per second.

There is no "drug delivery system," but drugs can be selected for different purposes and applied to the skin surface through needle punctures. Needle length can be selected for each site.

The usefulness of the dermapen is actually described in the following article.

The improvement in pigmentation was insignificant. Nine patients suffered from transient postinflammatory erythema and six patients had postoperative swelling. Nine patients suffered from transient postinflammatory erythema and six patients had postoperative swelling.

An experiment with microneedling (≈ dermapen) was conducted on 10 patients with acne scars between the ages of 20 and 40 from November 2012 to August 2014, and "the number and depth of acne scars were reduced by 90% at the end of three sessions, skin texture was improved by 70%, transient post-inflammatory erythema was observed in nine patients, and postoperative swelling was observed in six patients. Postoperative swelling was observed in 6 patients." The results showed that the treatment is safe and effective.

Komal Babu Waghmare, Joyce Sequeira, B H Sripathi Rao," An objective assessment of microneedling therapy in atrophic facial acne scars. ": National journal of maxillofacial surgery. 2022 Aug;13(Suppl 1);S103-S107. doi: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_7_18.

Difference between Potenza and Dermapen

Both Potenza and Dermapen are procedures that include microneedling using the "wound healing mechanism".

The differences between each are compared in terms of downtime, pain, and single treatment effect, and are summarized in the table below.

Treatment Overviewultra-fine needle
+RF irradiation
+Drug Delivery Systems
ultra-fine needle
+Chemical application    
Downtime period and symptomsPain: about 1-2 days
Swelling: several days
Redness: about 1-2 days
Peeling: not a must
Makeup can be applied 2 days after the surgery.
Pain: several days
Swelling: several days to about 1 week
Redness: about 1-3 days
Peeling: not a must
Makeup can be applied from the first day after surgery.
PainNeedle sticking pain
Pain from RF irradiation
Relief by suction
Anesthesia available
Needle sticking pain
Anesthesia available
Effects per time/recommended number of timesOne time is effective.
Once every 4 to 6 weeks x at least 3 times in total
One time is effective.
Once every 4 to 6 weeks x 4 to 6 times in total
price marketApprox. 50,000-180,000 yenApprox. 15,000-90,000 yen

While both of these treatments can be expected to be effective due to the ultra-fine needles, Potenza has RF and a drug delivery system, which can be expected to be even more effective.

Pain is experienced when needles are inserted in any of the procedures. Potenza increases the pain factor of RF heat, but because of the mechanism of needle insertion with suction, some believe that the pain is reduced.
Anesthesia may be used to reduce this problem.

Downtime" tends to be shorter with Potenza due to the hemostatic effect of RF. However, it is difficult to say for certain because the length of the needle can be changed in both cases, and downtime tends to be proportional to the length of the needle.

Each of the "effects" can be beautiful even once, and for major skin problems such as craters, the effects are more noticeable with a series of sessions. Potenza's effectiveness is said to be equivalent to 4-5 sessions of Dermapen, but it also depends on the symptoms, drugs and treatment techniques.

Fees" vary from clinic to clinic, and in some cases, additional fees for counseling, consultation, and aftercare may be required. In addition, since there is a large difference depending on the drugs used, it is advisable to confirm the amount of money and number of sessions required in advance.

Differences between Potenza, Dermapen, and fractional laser

In fact, the most effective treatment for acne scars is the fractional laser (CO2 fractional).

Fractional laser is another treatment that uses the skin's wound-healing mechanism. However, it uses a "laser" rather than needles or RF.

The laser beam, which penetrates to the dermis layer, is irradiated in a point-like pattern, causing small scars, and the power to regenerate collagen and elastin on its own can be expected to improve skin quality, such as acne scars. In addition, as with the Dermapen, a synergistic effect can be expected by allowing the drug to penetrate into the holes created by the irradiation.

The disadvantage is that the heat of the laser is transmitted to the skin surface as well as the dermis. This involves downtime and risks such as redness, peeling, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and makeup should be refrained from for about a week. 

The market price is about 30,000 to 80,000 yen per visit.

In such cases, 00 is recommended

Potenza, Dermapen, and Fractional Laser can all be expected to regenerate skin and improve craters, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

By choosing the treatment that best suits your symptoms and needs, you will be more likely to achieve satisfactory results.

Who we recommend Potenza for

  • People who want treatment effects but also want to reduce downtime.
  • People who want to obtain results quickly (reduce the number of treatments) even if the unit price is high.
  • Those who wish to use a drug (macroom) that can only be used in Potenza.

Who is recommended to use a dermapen?

  • First time acne scar treatment
  • People who want to reduce the unit cost even if the number of treatments is high.
  • People who want drugs or procedures that can only be used with a dermapen (Exosome, Velvet Skin or Vampire Facial).

Who is recommended to use fractional laser?

  • People seeking high treatment efficacy
  • People who don't mind longer downtime or periods when makeup cannot be applied.

Smart Skin Clinic Dermapen

Have your questions about the Potenza Dermapen been answered?

Both treatments are expected to be effective in treating acne scars, but there are advantages and disadvantages depending on the method of treatment.

What all three treatments have in common is that "regular treatment is necessary to obtain sufficient results. Choose a method that fits your lifestyle and budget and is easy to continue.

Smart Skin Clinic uses dermapen.

For those who want to try something simple first, we also offer a course that combines Dermapen and "Exosome," a drug that is expected to regenerate the skin from the cellular level, for those who want even more effective results.

If you suffer from acne scars, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.




Komal Babu Waghmare, Joyce Sequeira, B H Sripathi Rao," An objective assessment of microneedling therapy in atrophic facial acne scars. ": National journal of maxillofacial surgery. 2022 Aug;13(Suppl 1);S103-S107. doi: 10.4103/njms.NJMS_7_18.

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