Microneedling vs. Microneedling RF

Skin treatment

Youthful skin is characterized by most as smooth, plump, elastic, and glowing. Collagen is a structural component of the skin that provides support and gives youthful shape and contour. The radiance and glow of youth are the result of cell turnover and renewal. Increased blood flow also contributes to glowing skin by delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin, keeping it healthy and helping to eliminate damage.

With aging, cell turnover slows down and causes dead skin cells to accumulate, dulling the skin in the process. Environmental factors like smoking, pollution, stress, and sun damage break down collagen leading to uneven texture and wrinkles. Microneedling procedures stimulate the collagen and elastin production and increases blood flow which, in turn, reduces the signs of aging. Radiofrequency energy (RF) firms and tightens the skin. While microneedling can be performed alone, it can also be combined with radiofrequency heat to give synergistic skin benefits.

So you may be wondering, what is the difference between traditional microneedling and microneedling RF?

Microneedling is a procedure that uses very fine sterile needles that penetrate the skin causing micro-wounds that stimulate wound healing. As wound healing takes place, collagen and elastin are built, leading to improved skin texture, tightness, and appearance – in addition to softening acne scars. Whereas, microneedling RF combines microneedling with radiofrequency (RF) heat energy to truly amplify collagen and elastin production. Microneedles are inserted into the skin, and heat is delivered through the needles to achieve this.

You may also wonder what are the differences between at-home microneedling and microneedling by a professional?

For safety reasons, at-home microneedling tools tend to penetrate only the very superficial surface of the skin, creating temporary results. For example, you might see brightening effects from exfoliated skin, but the at-home kits typically do very little in actually stimulating collagen synthesis and promoting longer-lasting firming effects.

In addition, at-home devices may or may not have disposable tips or a mechanism for sterilization.

If needles aren’t clean, bacteria or other microbes could be transferred into the skin risking infection. In contrast, in-office devices have sterile single use disposable tips and have multiple depths of penetration allowing us the capability of a customizable treatment.

Furthermore, the needle depths done professionally deliver the needles into the areas of our skin that produce collagen, elastin, and that contain superficial blood vessels promoting tissue remodeling, which can tighten the skin, improve texture and minimize acne and other scars.

In my years of practice as a Medical Aesthetician, I’ve been asked if microneedling RF can achieve results similar to laser skin resurfacing such as Fractional Lasers or CO2.

Microneedling RF is designed to be a less invasive procedure that often times is done in a series of treatments to target fine lines and tighten skin. In general, results are more subtle than those that can be achieved with laser resurfacing. I often refer to microneedling as a longevity treatment for our skin.

Laser resurfacing, especially with the fractionated CO2 laser requires 7-10 days of healing, whereas microneedling RF treatments usually only require a few hours to one day of minimal erythema (redness to the skin, like a sunburn), which is very attractive to those with busy lifestyles. In addition, resurfacing cannot be safely used on darker skin while microneedling RF can serve as a safe alternative.

Contact me today for your complimentary consultation to find out if microneedling RF is right for you!

– Kimberly Gray, Medical Aesthetician

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