RF MicroNeedling is the new gold standard for treating most types of acne scars, resurfacing skin of color, and tightening and firming aging skin that’s lost its youthful bounce.
Sometimes also called RadioFrequency MicroNeedling, or Fractional RadioFrequency, RF MicroNeedling concentrates its energy into the most important part of the skin that is responsible for the textural irregularities and skin’s firmness and elasticity. By protecting the surface layer of the skin from heat energy, the risk of pigment change in skin of color is eliminated, and the downtime is truly minimized1.
“After losing a significant amount of weight twice, I lost a lot of volume in my face. On top of that, I had acne scarring. He recommended the RF microneedling along with fillers and my face has regained its volume and the scarring is noticeably better. I am so grateful to him and his team. He really helped me regain confidence and I HIGHLY recommend him.”
–lacjk on RealSelf.com
BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
- 1 RF MicroNeedling as Part of an Acne Scar Treatment Plan
- 2 How Fractional RadioFrequency Works
- 3 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RF MicroNeedling
- 3.1 What downtime or recovery should I expect with RF MicroNeedling?
- 3.2 Does RF MicroNeedling hurt?
- 3.3 When will I start to see results from a RF MicroNeedling treatment?
- 3.4 Is RF MicroNeedling safe? Can RadioFrequency Microneedling be dangerous?
- 3.5 Is RF MicroNeedling safe for my skin tone or type?
- 3.6 How many treatments will I need? How far apart are treatments spaced?
- 3.7 Will I need to go under general anesthesia?
RF MicroNeedling as Part of an Acne Scar Treatment Plan
RF MicroNeedling is usually one step in a multi-therapy acne scar treatment plan. For patients with deeply sunken-in scars (Box car and Ice Pick scar types), elevation of these deep scars usually occurs prior to RF MicroNeedling, which will help to put the finishing touches on skin texture and smoothness. Pigmented scars are also typically treated with laser therapy prior to RF MicroNeedling.
At Reflections, you can be sure your acne scar treatment plan will be hand-selected by the some of the nation’s foremost laser and cosmetic physicians, who will choose the best combination of therapies, based on the very latest science. To support our ability to create the ultimate in acne scar treatment plans, we offer the largest selection of technology-based cosmetic services in the Northeastern United States, including all of the leading Fractional RadioFrequency systems, the Endymed 3Deep Intensif, Lutronic INFINI, and Syneron-Candela eMatrix, as well as over 50 additional cosmetic technology-based treatments.
RF MicroNeedling works to smooth out the acne scars that plague so many people by stimulating new collagen and elastin in the deep layers of the skin, while bypassing the most superficial layer which is most prone to side effects and prolonged downtime. Before RF MicroNeedling, many treatments were provided with aggressive lasers or deep chemical peels that patients found difficult to fit into their busy lifestyle. Furthermore, many of these devices were not safe for patients with darker skin.
How Fractional RadioFrequency Works
RF MicroNeedling uses very tiny microneedles (smaller than the diameter of a hair) to deliver safe radio frequency energy into the deeper layer of the skin where collagen and elastin fibers form support structures. The polarity of the energy emitted creates arcs of energy between the microneedles, delivering energy below the skin’s surface to remodel the skin without the visible top-layer downtime of previous technologies. Both the Lutronic INFINI and the Endymed 3Deep Intensif offer several settings for depth, intensity, and number of microneedles, which allows each system to provide a variety of treatments, customized to the individual.
By delivering the majority of the energy to the mid-level dermis, RF MicroNeedling targets the skin’s underlying support system of collagen fibers and restructures any areas that have damage due to acne scarring. Rebuilding the skin’s support system allows the epidermis, the top-most layer of the skin, to be smooth and strong. This is this as similar to rebuilding a cracked foundation in a house, allowing all of the layers above that foundation to be stronger, stabilized, and in their proper place. In the skin, this often means replacing the support “holes” in the dermis, which cause sunken-in scars, like ice pick and box car scars to form.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RF MicroNeedling
What downtime or recovery should I expect with RF MicroNeedling?
Most people feel comfortable to return to normal social activities no more than 24-48 hours post-treatment and makeup can be following day after treatment.
Fractional RadioFrequency works to minimize your downtime and maximize the speed at which you achieve results in two ways:
Fractionated Energy: “fractional” energy treatments deliver energy to a portion of the skin. The percentage of skin treated during Fractional Radio Frequency MicroNeedling can be adjusted during each treatment. Treating the entire skin at once would lead to a very long recovery with high risk for infection and complication (think intense chemical peels and fully ablative laser therapy). Treating a portion of the skin means the skin is able to recover quicker and keep risks and complications at a minimum. Using a series of treatments, Fractional Radio Frequency treats each cell at least once during the series. This way you can achieve the same effectiveness as an invasive treatment, with fewer risks and a shorter downtime.
Minimized Damage to the skin surface: Unlike laser skin resurfacing, Fractional Radio Frequency is able to deliver the energy where its needed most, in the lower dermis, while minimizing the damage to the skin’s surface. This means you will experience the absolute minimum in visible downtime, without sacrificing results.
Fractional RadioFrequency does have the potential to create bleeding, due to the microneedles. We have seen this vary from patient-to-patient. Typically bleeding is minimal and resolves immediately without any additional side effects or required action. Most patients elect to take the evening off from social activities. You should feel comfortable to return to normal social activities no later than 48 hours post-treatment, without the risk of anyone knowing you’ve had a procedure.
Does RF MicroNeedling hurt?
Treatments with Infini and Intensif are tolerated quite well. To ensure your treatment is comfortable, we utilize a topical numbing cream (lidocaine), and can offer additional numbing with injection, if desired.
When will I start to see results from a RF MicroNeedling treatment?
Fractional RadioFrequency works by causing your skin to rebuild old and damaged cells, thus the results are not immediate and depend upon the speed at which your body responds. typically, improvements are noticed 6-8 weeks after a session. Each patient typically wants to have 3 or more sessions to see significant results. However, the number of sessions recommended for your acne scars will be included in your customized treatment plan, provided during your consultation.
Is RF MicroNeedling safe? Can RadioFrequency Microneedling be dangerous?
RF MicroNeedling is very safe. Because the energy spares the most superficial layer of the skin, most of the risks of side effects seen with aggressive lasers or deep chemical peels can be minimized or completely avoided. The two devices we use most often are the Intensif made by Endymed 3Deep and the INFINI made by Lutronic. Both have been FDA cleared for their safety and effectiveness. Infini is unique in that it insulates the tiny microneedles. This is an added safety measure to protect the very top layer of the skin, which is the area most prone to damage with laser treatments, especially in patients with darker skin. (epidemis not treated)
Is RF MicroNeedling safe for my skin tone or type?
The range of treatment settings in these two devices allow our physicians to create treatments which are safe for all skin types, including darker skin tones and skin which is prone to hyperpigmentation. This makes RF MicroNeedling a better alternative than laser skin resurfacing for the majority of patients with dark skin or skin which is prone to scarring or pigmentation. This also means those with lighter skin tones no longer have to post-pone laser therapies during the summer – Fractional RadioFrequency doesn’t have to wait for your tan to fade.
How many treatments will I need? How far apart are treatments spaced?
Generally, patients require 3-4 treatment sessions that are spaced one month apart in order to give the skin time to fully rejuvenate and rebuild its foundational matrix, restoring the skin’s texture and strength. Your initial recovery period should last no longer than 48 hours, but it’s important to allow your skin to naturally and sufficiently rebuild itself before your next treatment session. This treatment plan allows us time to measure your skin’s progress and determine whether further treatments are needed (or whether you might benefit from other treatment options in the meantime). We recommend you undergo at least 3 treatment sessions in order to see significant changes and improvements in the skin’s smoothness and texture, but this can vary based on your aesthetic goals and prior treatments. RF MicroNeedling can be a final step in an acne scar treatment process, however, which might also require other treatments prior to this procedure in order to elevate deep scars and achieve the best results for your skin. We offer a wide array of laser- and technology-based treatments for your unique skin concerns, so our experts can help you create the best treatment plan for you and your schedule during your skincare consultation.
Will I need to go under general anesthesia?
No, general anesthesia is overkill for this procedure.
Typically, patients are either given a strong topical numbing cream or they are injected with lidocaine to numb the area that will be treated. Most patients do report some discomfort, but say the treatment is tolerable. In the case that you find you are experiencing discomfort, we do offer nitrous oxide (commonly referred to as laughing gas), for a pain and anxiety-free experience. None of these options in any way inhibit your ability to drive yourself home from the procedure.
In general, we try to steer clear of general anesthesia because of its negative side effects and potential risks. While it does serve a great purpose in emergency medicine and general surgery, the risks are too high for something such as RF Microneedling.
The next step is a consultation with one of our acne scar experts.
Call (732) 356-1666 to schedule.
Omar A. Ibrahimi MD PhD,a Robert A. Weiss MD,b Margaret A. Weiss MD,b Christian R. Halvorson MD,b Flor Mayoral MD,c E. Victor Ross MD,d and Joel L. Cohen MDe; Treatment of Acne Scars With High Intensity Focused Radio Frequency; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology; September 2015 – Volume 14 – Issue 9 -Case Report 1065