RF Technology – The science behind micro-needling
Basically, the needles are used to pass the head in between skin’s layers to facilitate the regeneration of elastic cells. In addition, the heat transmutes collage in addition to stimulating this protein for added structural support to the skin. As a result, the skin becomes smoother. The mechanical effects of microneedles on the skin also promote secretion of growth factors to stimulate migration and proliferation of adjacent keratinocytes and fibroblast for skin remodeling.
Collagen fibres in the skin consist of triple helix strands of protein with strong hydrogen bonds that deteriorate over the course of several years. The application of thermal energy over a period of time contracts, compresses, and thickens the collagen fibres.
Primarily, the heat disrupts hydrogen bonds, altering the molecular structure of the triple-helix collagen molecule, resulting in collagen contraction. Secondarily, a more gradual contraction due to wound healing is predicted to take place as collagen regenerates. This takes 2 to 6 months to develop and leads to a thicker remodelled dermis. By adjusting the depth of the needles in a few different passes, a 3-dimensional skin tightening can occur without damaging fat.
The depth of micro-needles can be adjusted from 0.5 mm to 3.5 mm as per patient’s skin type, the treatment area and the severity of damage. There is hardly any downtime associated with this procedure which makes it one of the most viable skin tightening treatments available. Its hemostasis and tissue coagulation abilities are great when it comes to reducing acne scars or striae or simply firming the skin.
The various uses of RF microneedling are as:
- Skin rejuvenation – Skin ageing is a complex biological process that results in an increase in the amount of skin laxity, fine wrinkles called rhytides, irregular pigmentation or dyschromia, and roughness. Radiofrequency microneedling stimulates growth of basic skin proteins (neocollagenesis and neo elastogenesis) resulting in improved skin tightening, reduced roughness, pore reduction, wrinkle reduction and more uniform pigmentation
- Acne scars – Radiofrequency microneedling can be used as a therapeutic intervention for acne scars, especially in patients with atrophic acne scars.
- Acne vulgaris – Radiofrequency microneedling is believed to destroy sebaceous glands to reduce its activity and stimulate remodelling of follicular epithelium and dermis, thus helping with acne.
- Axillary hyperhidrosis – Axillary hyperhidrosis is a distressing disorder of excessive perspiration. Radiofrequency microneedling delivers RF to the reticular dermis to destroy eccrine sweat glands and reduce hyperhidrosis.
- Striae or Stretch marks – Striae or Stretch marks are linear dermal scars caused by progressive stretching of the skin’s underlying connective tissue. They first present as erythematous linear patches (striae rubra), then atrophic white patches (striae alba) in later stages, with the latter being more resistant to treatment. Studies have shown that RF microneedling is effective and safe for treating striae.
- Rosacea – Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands that presents as persistent facial erythema, flushing, and occasionally, papulopustular lesions. The improvements from RF microneedling in rosacea are believed to result from the anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, and antimicrobial effects of RF microneedling.
Benefits of RF Micro-needling
- Because RF energy produces an electrical current instead of a light source, it does not damage epidermal melanin. Therefore, patients of all skin types can be treated with extensive RFs, allowing deeper penetration within tissue layers to allow for contraction and production of new collagen.
- The micro-needles are evenly spaced out to ensure the RF energy is applied uniformly. This allows for even coagulation of the skin without the risk of overlapping spats of energy.
The procedure is quite short and with minimal downtime due to its precision especially with regards to needle depth and energy transmission.
- The procedure is minimally painful when done with the use of topical anaesthetic cream. The penetration mechanism utilised is effective and gentle on the skin, allowing the skin to heal fast.