Best in class treatment for acne scarring and nonsurgical skin tightening. 0-3 days downtime.
Radiofrequency microneedling is a relatively new type of energy-based treatment. During this treatment, a microneedling array delivers 64 tiny gold-plated needles to a set depth within the skin. Both deeper and more superficial depths can be targeted during the same treatment. The device then delivers radiofrequency through the needles, causing tissue tightening and gentle nonablative resurfacing. Numbing cream along with forced cold air cooling (Zimmer chiller) is used to make this a painless treatment. This is an ideal treatment for skin of color, because there is minimal chances of the complications that can occur with laser treatments in darker skin tones. It is an ideal treatment for acne scarring, because it disrupts the scar bands that tether the acne scars within the skin. It is also excellent for nonsurgical skin tightening, and is the next generation technology beyond well known treatments such as Thermage® and Ultherapy®. After treatment, there is some mild redness for 1-2 days after treatment. Often, a series of 3 treatments are performed one month apart, and ongoing improvements are seen 6 months out from the last treatment.
What conditions does RF microneedling treat?
RF microneedling is FDA approved for dermal remodeling including fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, and photoaging.
Non-FDA indicated or “off label” treatments may include nonsurgical skin tightening of the face and neck, as well as axillary hyperhidrosis (underarm sweating – yes a permanant reduction in sweaty armpits!)
Adjustable needle depth from 0.5-3.5 mm allows your doctor to treat conditions in different layers of the skin.
What do treatments cost?
Treatments range from $250-$550 in our clinic depending on the type of treatment
Who is not a good candidate?
Patients who are pregnant or nursing, have a pacemaker, severe
cardiac problems, liver problems, metal implants, piercings in the treatment area, or fat metabolism disorders should not undergo treatment.
What should I do before treatment?
- It is important to be well hydrated because the energy reacts with the water in the skin. The better you are hydrated, the better result you will have
- Avoid NSAID medication such as asprin, ibuprofen, and naproxen for sat least one week prior to treatment. These can interfere with the important inflammation process that heals the skin
- Tylenol may be taken prior to treatment to ease discomfort
- If you have a history of cold sores, we may pre-treat with preventative medication
- Stop topical medications such as retinol and acids (glycolic, alpha hydroxy) several days prior to treatment
- Do not apply makeup on the day of treatment. Cleanse the skin thoroughly ahead of treatment
- Avoid alcohol 24 hours prior
What should I expect during treatment?
Depending on the settings and the treatment area, there may be mild to moderate discomfort. We use a strong topical numbing cream to reduce pain, however patients with a poor pain tolerance may not be a good candidate. In some cases, injections of local anesthetic may be used to improve treatment comfort. Strong and deep treatments used for skin tightening and acne scarring may be more uncomfortable than lighter treatments
What should I expect after treatment?
- Depending on the strength of treatment, there may be a range of downtime from 1-3 days.
- Expected side effects include redness, mild discomfort, pinpoint bleeding, bruising, and swelling. You may see a grid in the skin, and you may or may not see much peeling.
- It is okay to use an icepack for comfort, but do not use this excessively. Some swelling is a good thing and helps to improve the results
- To help with swelling, you may sleep with your head elevated
- Keep the area covered at all times with aquaphor or vaseline. Do not let it dry out
- Do not pick at any scabs or peeling skin. This could cause scarring
- Avoid any direct sun exposure for one week. After that, it is important to strictly use a physical sunscreen (containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) when outside for a month.
- Avoid any makeup for at least 24 hours, after that time a mineral makeup may be worn.
- Avoid alcohol for several days after treatment
Are the needles insulated or non-insulated?
We use both insulated and non-insulated needles. Non-insulated needles are used for most conditions because they cause deep effects but also improve the skin from the surface all the way down to the tip of the needle. Insulated needles may be used to deliver energy more deeply for more significant tightening.
What are the differences between types of RF machines?
We use radiofrequency microneedling, because it delivers energy penetrating thought the skin. There are many brands of RF microneedling devices on the market, and all work similarly. Some devices use only insulated or non insulated needles. Ours is a second-generation machine, meaning that it uses a higher frequency radiofrequency. Other types of radiofrequency include Monopolar and bipolar, which is applied to the surface of the skin (see ablative RF on the graphic below). These devices generally offer more limited results because the treatment is limited so as to not cause a burn on the skin surface. Additionally there are “injectable radiofrequency” devices which use a long electrode through the skin, these devices are used for different applications (see MFR, below).