Microneedling is one of the most effective methods of treating different skin conditions. It works great on its own, but skin experts recognized the benefits of combining this base procedure with various other methods.
One of the most successful such combinations is RF microneedling, AKA radiofrequency microneedling. Let’s find out what RF microneedling is, how it’s done, and what additional benefits radiofrequency brings into the mix.
What Is RF Microneedling?
Radiofrequency microneedling is a skin treatment that combines the methods of microneedling and RF to target particular skin conditions and improve the overall texture, integrity and look of the skin.
To explain how this fusion treatment works, we’ll explain each of the methods.
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a form of collagen induction therapy done by puncturing the skin with super thin needles to create controlled trauma and trigger the natural recovery process. The needles penetrate into the dermis layer of the skin, and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the 2 key proteins that make up the web that gives the skin its structure.
Boosted production of these 2 proteins tightens the skin and improves its state.
Microneedling is done with special serums, and the technique allows the product to penetrate deep into the skin and provide the effects it’s supposed to, but since it’s administered directly into the skin, its effects will be much more intense compared to just the topical application.
Find out more about traditional microneedling here.
What Is RF?
The use of radiofrequency for skin improvement implies using energy waves to delegate heat into the dermis. The thermal energy creates controlled trauma and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
In the case of RF done without microneedling, the waves pass through the skin without opening it and essentially cause a burn.
How Are These 2 Methods Combined?
RF microneedling is performed with a special device which enables the needles that penetrate the skin (microneedling) to administer thermal energy (RF) directly into the dermis.
The device is a special machine that features a handpiece similar to the derma pen, but usually somewhat bulkier, that’s connected to a housing with an interface. The treatment is adapted to the particular needs of your skin by adjusting the length of the needles according to skin thickness.
Image source: Instagram @studiobrunacampos
Which Conditions Can It Treat?
Radiofrequency microneedling is a very effective treatment for:
- Acne scars
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sagging skin
- Large pores
- Stretch marks
Apart from targeting particular skin imperfections, the treatment improves the overall appearance of the skin. After RF microneedling, the skin will look healthier and have a special glow.
Image source: Instagram @pamchaneyaesthetics
Is RF Microneedling Better Than Traditional Microneedling?
Many experts agree that, yes, RF microneedling is superior to doing microneedling on its own, since it uses 2 approaches to collagen induction. The combination of creating microchannels and controlled burns makes the collagen induction much more powerful than either of the methods can provide on their own.
Is the Treatment Safe?
Yes, as long as it’s done by a cosmetic dermatologist or a trained, certified and licensed esthetician. The setting of the device used has to be adjusted to the needs of your skin, otherwise there can be permanent damage to the skin, such as scar formation.
The treatment has to be done following all health and safety protocols, so you should only get the treatment done by a reputable, experienced practitioner. Ideally, a cosmetic dermatologist.
Is There Any Downtime or Aftercare?
The treatment is minimally invasive and it doesn’t entail any actual downtime. However, there are some minor side effects you may encounter:
- Minor swelling
- Mild tenderness
- Potential skin peeling in the days after the treatment
These can be relieved with a soothing balm. Cold compresses aren’t really recommended, as you want all extra blood circulation you can get to maximize the results.
In the days after your RF microneedling appointment, you’ll have to pay some extra attention to the treated skin to allow it to recover from the treatments and prevent infection (the skin was broken in countless microchannels and each is a pathway for bacterial contamination).
The aftercare rules come down to:
- Touching the area as little as possible
- Keeping it away from sunlight as much as possible and wearing SPF
- Washing the skin according to a prescribed schedule with cold water and a gentle cleanser approved by your practitioner
- No makeup for at least 24 hours, but a bit longer is better
- Avoiding sweating and swimming for 48-72 hours
The microchannels usually close up within 24-48 hours, but the skin can remain sensitive longer than that.
These are the basic instructions, but to learn more about the RF microneedling aftercare routine, check out the Microneedling Aftercare Guide – all the same rules apply.
Image source: Instagram @rejuvlv
Be aware of the fact that, depending on the severity of the issue you want treated and the desired results, you may need more than 1 session of RF microneedling. That said, since radiofrequency enhances the effects of the needle, you may get results faster than with traditional microneedling. In most cases, 3-4 sessions can give amazing results.
Cover image source: Freepik