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What is microneedling with RF?

Radiofrequency microneedling (RF microneedling) is a noninvasive skin rejuvenation treatment that enhances collagen-inducing microneedling with the simultaneous delivery of radiofrequency energy. It improves skin texture and tone—addressing fine lines and wrinkles, laxity, and acne scars.

Benefits of RF Microneedling

Micro-needling (also known as collagen induction therapy) is a minimally invasive treatment that has been used for decades to rejuvenate the skin. A device with fine needles or pins creates tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin, which triggers the body to create new collagen and elastin. Results can include improved texture and firmness, as well as skin resurfacing. RF micro-needling adds the element of radiofrequency energy to the traditional micro-needling procedure. The RF energy is delivered via small needles into the dermis. In addition to the benefits seen with the micro-injury provided by the traditional microneedles, RF micro-needling also delivers RF energy deep into the dermis further enhancing skin tightening and scar reduction.

How does RF Microneedling work?

The RF energy heats the underlying layers of skin, causing constriction and tightening of the skin, as well as the stimulation of collagen and elastin production. Because the RF energy is delivered so deeply, it can produce faster results that are more dramatic.

Who's a good candidate for RF microneedling?

Radiofrequency microneedling best suits people with some degree of skin laxity and sun damage—specifically solar elastosis, a condition marked by crinkling as a result of depleted skin elasticity. It can also benefit people with stubborn acne scarring.

What happens during an RF microneedling treatment?

A single RF microneedling treatment session typically lasts 30–45 minutes.

At each treatment session, your provider will first cleanse your skin and apply a numbing cream, to help mitigate pain. Once you’re sufficiently numb, they’ll begin pressing the handheld device into your skin, stamping it across the entire face (or a specific targeted treatment area). 

When the microneedles puncture your skin, they emit the RF energy as heat, delivering it directly into the dermis. You may feel a warm, prickling sensation, but the treatment shouldn’t hurt.

After the treatment is complete, your provider may apply a calming mask or balm to your skin before sending you on your way.

What can you expect after a RF microneedling treatment?

Immediately after your treatment, you might have a little pinpoint bleeding, flushing, and slight swelling—all part of the expected inflammatory response to the micro injuries inflicted on your skin. These side effects should resolve within 24–48 hours.

As you recover, you can encourage healthy healing with gentle skin care. A physical sunscreen (featuring titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) with an SPF of at least 30 will help protect your skin, with less potential for irritation than with a chemical sunscreen that may enter the micro channels left by the needles.

While you can wear makeup the day after treatment, keep those little puncture marks in mind—your skin may be more sensitive, since products can penetrate more deeply than usual. Likewise, you may want to lay off skin-care products with potent active ingredients (e.g., retinoids, vitamin C serums, exfoliating acids) for a few days.

How soon will you see radiofrequency microneedling results?

You may notice your complexion looking brighter and smoother within the first two weeks of treatment. However, it’ll be two to four months before you experience the below-the-surface structural benefits; it takes time for the body to produce the new collagen and elastin that tightens up skin.

Your results will continue to improve with each treatment, reaching maximum improvement a few months after your final treatment session.

How long do radiofrequency microneedling results last?

You can expect your results to last for one to two years, depending on the device used and the intensity of your treatments. Depending on the concern you’re treating, you may see an even longer improvement. If you are treating acne scars, you could expect the improvements to last a number of years. For photodamage and skin aging, the duration of improvement may be less, unless these patients are concurrently using products like topical retinoids and sunscreen.

You can expect to need maintenance treatments to continue reaping the benefits. 

To prolong your results, consider using medical-grade skin care and be diligent about wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, to prevent recurrence of the sun damage your RF microneedling treatments have addressed.

Is microneedling with radiofrequency safe?

RF microneedling is widely considered to be a safe treatment, with mild, temporary side effects. Bleeding, scabbing, swelling, or flushing usually subside within a few days, if they occur at all. Possible pinprick marks from the needles should fade on their own within two weeks.

RF Microneedling Before and After

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