RF microneedling is a popular cosmetic procedure that combines tiny needles and radiofrequency waves in rejuvenating facial skin. This skin treatment is a form of controlled skin injury, wherein the damage inflicted on the skin stimulates the growth of a new set of healthy skin. Common skin issues such as acne scars and wrinkles can significantly benefit from this procedure. When compared with treatments like dermabrasion and chemical peels, RF microneedling is minimally invasive. Today, let’s learn about how this procedure works, some side effects and benefits, and if it is effective and safe for acne scars.
What is RF Microneedling?
Microneedling, as the term suggests, uses tiny or ‘microneedles in creating ‘micro-wounds’ or channels into the skin. This step triggers the stimulation and production of new collagen, elastin, and capillaries. It is also referred to as skin needling or collagen induction therapy.
The ‘RF’ part of the term comes from radiofrequency waves; hence, radiofrequency microneedling. The tiny needles release radiofrequency into the channels it creates. This combination causes additional damage but significantly enhances the effects of what you can typically get from your standard microneedling. RF microneedling helps the skin grow back thicker and smoother. This skin procedure usually targets:
- acne scars
- fine lines
- loose, sagging skin
- scars from injury or surgery
- stretch marks
- the appearance of large pores
You can also undergo RF microneedling together with platelet-rich plasma (Collagen Induction Therapy). In this combination, your doctor or healthcare provider uses your blood, usually from your arm, and separates the platelets using a centrifuge machine. After your microneedling session, practitioners inject or apply these platelets into the treated area. This step potentially maximizes the results you can get from a standard microneedling treatment.
The Ideal RF Microneedling Candidate
Although considered safe and effective, RF microneedling is not recommended or appropriate. However, you may be a perfect candidate for the procedure if you:
- Have an idea and healthy condition
- Are you showing early signs of aging
- Prepared yourself with realistic expectations
The RF Microneedling Procedure
If you’re interested in how the RF microneedling procedure works, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your doctor or healthcare provider, like a cosmetic surgeon.
Before the Procedure:
- During the initial appointment, you will be asked questions about your medical history and expectations.
- They’ll take photos of your face, determine the best techniques to be used for your condition, and provide instructions in preparation for the procedure.
- You may be asked to have oral antibiotics for those with active acne breakouts.
- If you have had or had cold sores before, you might have to take medications of oral antiviral origins.
During the Procedure:
The actual procedure occurs in your doctor’s clinic or healthcare provider’s office. Generally, expect the following:
- Practitioners clean your skin using alcohol, preventing possible infection.
- A topical anesthetic will be applied to the treatment area an hour before the procedure. Some cases potentially require the injection of a local anesthetic instead. This anesthetic helps numb the site to be treated, helping you feel no pain.
- Then, the microneedling device creates tiny wounds on your skin. The needle’s tip procures waves of radiofrequency into the micro wounds simultaneously.
- RF microneedling takes about 10-20 minutes, with the exact duration depending on what you’re treating and its size.
- Practitioners will then apply growth solutions to help support cell regeneration. They finish the procedure off with a soothing solution, minimizing any discomfort.
After the Procedure:
Immediately after your RF microneedling treatment, you can go home and return to your normal activities as if nothing has happened.
The RF Microneedling Aftercare
After undergoing the procedure, your doctor or healthcare provider will discuss aftercare. Some of the common aftercare tips are as follows:
- Place ice packs on the treated site to help reduce any swelling and discomfort.
- Use SPF for a couple of weeks after your RF microneedling. The skin becomes extra sensitive, especially toward the sun during this period.
- Apply antibiotic creams or emollients when your doctor or healthcare provider prescribes them.
- Wash only with a gentle cleanser after your treatment.
- Avoid having make-up on until after 24 hours. Afterward, return to your routine for make-up and skincare.
RF Microneedling: Does It Work Against Acne Scars?
Research suggests that RF microneedling works effectively for many skin conditions, including acne scars. A 2014 study of 31 people showed RF microneedling moderately improved acne scars in 58% of the participants. In 2017, a small study found the same results.
When to Expect RF Microneedling Results
You’ll see results of your RF microneedling after 3-6 months. Although, the exact time frame of when to expect these results greatly depends on your condition type and severity.
In most cases, it’s typical to have at least four (4) sessions. This factor also depends on what you want to have treated. You can accomplish these sessions after every 3 to 8 weeks. This gap allows your skin to heal after and in between treatments.
After the first set of treatments, the results will last about one (1) year. It’s suggested to have touch-up sessions once a year to help maintain your achieved results.
The RF Microneedling Potential Side Effects
Typically, RF microneedling is a well-tolerated skin treatment. However, like all cosmetic procedures, it may also cause unwanted side effects. Possible side effects may include:
- cold sore breakout
- mild acne flare–up
These common side effects might last for only a few hours or take long for days. Some of these after-effects may become complications that need immediate medical attention. When you experience any of the following, contact your doctor right away:
- allergic reaction to needles
- persisting swelling or redness
- prolonged bleeding
- signs of infection
The RF Microneedling: Conclusion
RF microneedling is today’s modern take on skin rejuvenation. Nowadays, it is commonly used in restoring the skin’s natural glow. It can help target acne scars and some early signs of aging, such as fine lines and sagging skin, and is effective for hyperhidrosis. In general, procedures are quick and only take around 20 minutes. There’s no downtime, but the wearing of SPF helps your skin heal faster. It is recommended to have at least four (4) treatments to achieve your desired results. To maintain its full effect, it’s suggested to have repeat sessions once a year.
Did RF microneedling interest you after reading this article? Do you want to experience it for your skin concerns? Don’t worry. Our great friends at Dr. Hillary Taggart, NP, can help you today. Visit them now! https://modernslc.com/