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RF Micro-needling is a relatively new type of skin rejuvenation treatment. It is also referred to as Fractional Radio-Frequency Micro Needling; this type of treatment combines the benefits of Micro-needling with the collagen boosting effects for the thermal effects of Radio Frequency energy. The treatment consists in inserting micro needles into the skin distanced a few mm between each other and delivering Radio Frequency energy into the skin for a few milliseconds.
- The duration and intensity of the radio frequency energy can be varied by the aesthetic practitioner by changing the settings of the device.
- Also the depth of the needles insertion inside the skin is varied by the aesthetic practitioner according to the type of treatment and the area treated.
- The micro needles which usually gold plated.
Results vary from person to person. Each person is unique, and their treatment plan will be tailored to their individual requirements according to skin type, lifestyle, and other factors to create an individualised plan that will provide the best aesthetic treatment results possible.
How RF Micro-needling Works.
RF Micro-needling uses very tiny micro-needles to deliver safe radio frequency energy into the deep layers of the skin where collagen and elastin fibres support the skin structure. The polarity of the energy emitted creates arcs of energy between the micro-needles and around them , delivering energy inside the skin.
What does Radio Frequency mean and why is it used?
Radio frequency is a term used to make you aware that the needling has a thermal effect. Radio frequency (in the region of MHz) has a thermal effect inside the skin. Namely most devices have an output frequency at the needle of 5 MHz. Therefore given the fact that 5 MHz is in the spectrum of the radio frequency the technology is referred to as micro-needling with Radio frequency.
The two types of RF Micro-needling. Gold Plated and Semi Insulated.
There are two types of RF Micro-needling:
- One is the conventional micro-needling where the whole surface of the needles are conductors.
- The second are the partial insulated needles. These have the conductive part only at the tip of the needles whereas the rest of the needle is insulated.
In case of the normal whole conductive gold plated needles, the thermal effect is distributed along side the whole depth of the individual needles.
In case the RFenergy is required to be distributed inside the deeper layers of the skin only, partially insulated needles are used instead. This is done in order to deliver the RF Frequency energy into the deeper layer only.
This allows the energy to be propagated inside area where the needles are inserted an with minimal thermal effect alongside the insulated part of the needles and the This is shown in the picture above. Then there are other type of micro needles where only the tip of the needs are made of conductive material whereas the rest is a insulated
There are claims of better efficacy of the partially insulated needles . No studies corroborating the better efficacy of the partially insulated needles could be easily found. However the
RF Micro-Needling works to smooth out the acne scars that plague so many people by stimulating new collagen and elastin in the deep layers of the skin. This type of treatment generally promotes collagen regeneration and therefore it has a the following applications in Aesthetics:
- Improving the appearance of atrophic scars. Like acne and Chickenpox scars. Pick scars may not resolve completely using this technique.
- Generally it has a smoothing and a brightening skin rejuvenation effect.
- General Skin tightening effects.Firms up the skin and tightens loose or sagging skin.
- Improves the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. Fine Lines & Small Thin Wrinkles (e.g., on upper lip, crows feet).
- Stretch mark removal.
- Treat sun damage. Correct pigmentation by promoting collagen regeneration.
- Improves the appearance of red veins due to the thermal/coagulation effect of the radio frequency.
- Improves the appearance of enlarged pores.
Advantages versus normal micro needling.
- No or minimal bleeding. due to the thermal coagulation effect of the RF frequency.
- Enhanced effects compared to normal micro-needling due to the RF frequency which boosts collagen stimulation.
- Extra firming sn s collagen regeneration than standard micro-needling due to the thermal effect of the Radio frequency current.
- Double micro needling effect and thermal skin rejuvenation effect.
How is RF micro-needing applied?
Numbing the area before the procedure.
Numbing product is usually EMLA or similar applied with or without occlusion. The numbing product is applied on the overall area to be treated usually the whole face. The product is left for a 45 minutes to allow to take effect.
In case the treatment is carried out by medical practitioners a stronger topical numbing product can be used which has a stronger and faster action than normal over the counter numbing products in Europe. These are medical grade numbing products which can be made for medical practitioners. for more information about these stronger products please click here.
Depth of the RF Micro Needling.
The depth of the micro-needling treatment is determined by a number of factors. The main factor which determines the depth of the RF micro needling treatment is the area of the body treated.
The depth of the needling can vary from 0.5 mm to 3.5 mm and certain devices allow even more depth of penetration. The depth of penetratioin determines also the layer of the skin being treated.
The following are general charts showing the normal depths used in different parts of the body. Certain devices can also help you in choosing the most appropriate depth for each particular type of treatment.