RF Microneedling is a highly effective revolutionary treatment to stimulate new collagen production and lift and tighten the skin without surgery and downtime. The treatment can be used at various areas of the face and body to rejuvenate and revitalize the skin, tighten and lift saggy skin, improve skin texture and treat common skin issues such as scarring and more.
Loss of collagen is one of the hallmarks of the aging process in the skin. The result is crepey, saggy, and loose skin, wrinkles and folds, and loss of youthful glow and texture of the skin. Luckily, our skin has the inherent ability and potential to heal and rejuvenate itself but the cells responsible for this miraculous turn-over (the fibroblasts) are often dormant and inactive. Many treatments offered in cosmetic medicine seek to activate and stimulate fibroblasts and other cells in our skin to rebuild and rejuvenate the skin. Radiofrequency-Microneedling or RF Microneedling is one of the most effective treatments to achieve this goal.
How Does RF Microneedling Work?
RF Microneedling combines 2 highly effective treatment modalities in one non-surgical and non-invasive treatment and allows the patients to see the benefits of both treatments in one convenient session:
- Microneedling works by creating thousands of small channels in the skin as the needling device is rolled and applied over the skin. Each of the micro-channels works to signal the body to activate the healing process and recruit the fibroblasts to start rebuilding and renewing the skin.
- Radiofrequency treatments (such as Venus Freeze at Amoderm) work by inducing high temperature in the treated area delivered by radiofrequency waves, which is also seen by the body as a signal to start the healing and rejuvenation process, leading to further synthesis and remodeling of collagen and other components of the extra-cellular matrix that are critical for healthy and youthful skin.
RF Microneedling combines these two treatments together: It has a specific single-use needle cartridge that punches tiny holes (micro-channels) into the skin to a specific depth (varying between 0.5 to 3.5 mm as set by your clinician depending on the area of the treatment and skin condition). Once the microneedles reach their target depth, radiofrequency energy is delivered to the skin through the tips of the needles (or throughout the body of the needles). This highly focused and localized energy is absorbed by the target layer of the skin (epidermis, dermis, and sub-dermal tissues) and triggers the healing and rejuvenation process of the skin which leads to collagen production and renewing skin.
Which Areas and Issues Can Be Treated with RF Microneedling?
RF Microneedling can be used at various areas of the face and body to treat many common issues and problems and to provide general skin rejuvenation:
- Face & Neck Treatments: For a non-surgical facelift, skin tightening, skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction, pore reduction, and to treat issues such as scarring including acne scars.
- Body Treatments: For skin tightening and skin rejuvenation and to treat scars, stretch marks, and some vascular issues such as spider veins as well as other specific issues such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
Which Skin Types Can Be Treated with RF Microneedling?
RF Microneedling is “color-blind” meaning that is does not target any specific skin pigment. Virtually all skin types including darker skin tones can be safely treated with RF Microneedling. Furthermore, prep treatments with bleaching creams are usually not required and there is minimal risk of pigmentation.
How Does RF Microneedling Compare with Lasers?
RF Microneedling delivers localized thermal energy to the specific target layer of the treatment. The treatment can be safely done on all skin types with minimal risk of skin reaction and pigmentation. The specific depth of treatment is tightly controlled by your clinician by setting the penetration depth of the needles.
In contrast, lasers target specific pigments in the skin, and to reach their target, lasers should pass through other layers and tissues which can lead to their energy being scattered and absorbed by other tissues. This can result in a reduced level of energy reaching the specific target, and the energy absorbed by other tissues can given rise to complications such as pigmentation. Most often, the skin type must be determined and the energy level of the treatment should be carefully set to match the specific skin type of the patient to maximize treatment effectiveness while minimizing the risk of side effects.
What to Expect On the Treatment Day?
During your consultation, we provide you with the information to get ready for your treatment as well as important precautions and post-treatment care instructions. Before doing the RF Microneedling, you should be off aggressive skincare treatments such as retinol and AHAs for at least 4 days and do not have any contraindication for the treatment.
Upon arrival to your appointment, we first apply medical-grade numbing cream for maximal comfort during the treatment. Approximately 30-45 minutes later, you will be asked to wash your face and our experienced Registered Nurses will start the treatment which might include multiple passes at various depths depending on the treatment area. The active treatment session may take 20-30 minutes depending on the areas being treated. Most patients will experience very mild or minimal pain and discomfort. For added comfort, a cooling device that provides a continuous stream of cold air toward the treated area is provided during the treatment.
What to Expect Following the Treatment?
Following the RF Microneedling treatment, there is often minimal social downtime. If present, redness, and swelling normally diminish within 3 days. Pin-point bleeding at sites of micro-channels made by the needles is transient and typically stops within minutes. Some patients might experience minor discomfort and pain following the treatment which usually resolves within hours without the need of using pain killers. The treated areas might itch and have a burning sensation (similar to sunburn) which is transient and expected to subside within 24 hours (if lasting longer or accompanied by other signs, it might be indicative of rare complications such as infection which will require a follow-up visit for proper diagnosis and treatment).
In some patients, crusting might develop within 1-2 days after the treatment which usually slough off over the next 3-5 days although it might take up to 2 weeks to fully clear. Bruising is rare, but if it occurs, it can take up to 1-2 weeks to resolve.
How Many Session Are Needed and How Often?
Each patient is different and individual results may vary. If desired or recommended by your physician, treatment can be repeated as early as 1 month apart. Recommended total number of treatment sessions will be determined by your physician during the consultation and subsequent follow-up visits as needed. For treatment of hyperhidrosis, monthly sessions can be done until desired results are achieved.
What Different RF Microneedling Systems Are Available?
Several different RF Microneedling devices have been available and used by clinicians around the world. Examples include Secret RF, Agnes RF Microneedling, Morpheus RF Microneedling, VirtueRF Microneedling, Intensif Microneedling RF, Potenza, Vivace Microneedling, Genius RF Microneedling, Infini RF, and Fractora RF. While each device has a different manufacturer with its own specific branding, characteristics, and performance, they most operate similarly and based on the same principle of delivering radiofrequency energy through microneedling. For specifications of each device, please refer to their respective manufacturer.
For best results and to minimize risks, you should only undergo treatment using FDA-cleared RF Microneedling devices that are operated by highly experienced and trained clinicians. At Amoderm, we provide RF Microneedling treatments using the PiXel8-RF Microneedling system that is FDA cleared and highly safe and effective. The treatment is provided by our experienced Registered Nurses under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.