New Skin Rejuvenation Technology
Microneedling is a collagen induction therapy that has been around for years. It uses multiple (average 12-36) tiny sterile needles to repeatedly puncture the superficial layer of the skin. These micro-injuries can lead to increased collagen production by initiating the healing response in the surrounding cells. Since our bodies lose collagen over time with aging or injury, this induction of collagen growth can help reverse the signs of aging with improved tone and texture, erase fine lines, as well as repair scarring from acne or injury. This increased collagen production can also be used in a preventative measure to slow the development of aging.
Although microneedling has been in practice for a while, the recent addition of radio frequency to the needles themselves has created a synergistic effect that has greatly improved the results. Radio frequency has been used safely for years in the fight against aging or scarring to deliver thermal energy to the deeper layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissues (2.5-4 mm). This thermal energy causes collagen contraction and collagen production, which will help decrease wrinkling and tighten the skin. Radio frequency also has the added advantage of increasing the density of another important skin protein, elastin, which can aid in additional skin tightening. The microneedling allows deeper penetration of the energy improving the results.
These technologies seem made to work together, and current techniques allow for precision in treatment through the ability to control the intensity of the energy and the depth of delivery.
Who is a good candidate?
Really, anyone is a good candidate. My current patients who use it range from 17-75 years in age. Microneedling with radio frequency can be applied for wrinkle reduction, skin tightening, skin rejuvenation, pore reduction, acne reduction, acne scars, Rosacea, traumatic scars or even stretch marks.
The 17-year-old I treated had a childhood injury leaving a scar on her face. She underwent a series of three to help soften the scar and decrease the unevenness that it caused. I have a male patient in his early 60s who has suffered from acne scars almost all of his life. He has tried multiple treatments including lasers without the results for which he hoped. That changed almost overnight after undergoing microneedling with radio frequency paired with PRP. For my patients in their 20s fighting persistent acne, it’s a great option as well.
For those either in their 30-40s looking to prevent loose skin from developing or in their 50s and older looking for a reversal of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s an excellent option for people who want to delay surgical invention or are trying to avoid it altogether.
Is there any downtime?
Minimal. Insulated needles allow for sparing of the epidermis, and provides for its use in all skin types. The procedure itself takes about 20 minutes, and you leave the office looking pink, but by the next day, it has usually subsided. Prior to the procedure topical numbing cream is placed on the skin, and most patients say there is little to no pain.
I often pair this procedure with topical PRP (platelet rich plasma). I have written on it in the past, but PRP is your own body’s stem cells and growth factors. It helps the skin heal faster and stimulate collagen. These growth factors, stem cells and nutrients are separated out with specialized equipment from your own blood. Using PRP during microneedling alone can help the PRP penetrate deeper, and get better results. Pairing with the complimentary radio frequency technology improves the outcomes with increased tightening and tone.
Due to the minimal downtime, most results are seen over time and after a series of treatments. Most patients see the most significant benefit after three treatments, and due to the stimulation of your own cell and collagen growth, results continue to improve for upwards of two to three months after your last treatment.
Is it safe?
Microneedling with radio frequency is considered very safe in the hands of a trained practitioner. In my office, I personally perform all of the microneedling procedures. It is very important to do research not only on the procedures you plan to have done, but also the provider you choose. I always recommend finding a physician who is board-certified and specialized in the treatments you are seeking.
What does Dr. Pennington like most about microneedling with radio frequency?
My favorite thing about this procedure is that it has very big payoffs with very minimal downtime or discomfort. It can be performed on its own, or as an adjuvant before or after surgical procedures. It can be done in addition to a medical-grade skin-care routine as it can increase the penetration of those products when used at the time of the procedure.
Patients are very happy with this procedure and the results. When looking at www.realself.com, which is a community-driven website composed of reviews, popularity rankings and other general information about aesthetics medicine and cosmetic treatments, people around the country give a “Worth it Rating” of 100 percent for radio frequency microneedling. Despite this being a newer trend, the technology behind it has been around for years and is proven beneficial and safe. It’s well tolerated, non-invasive and can have large benefits with minimal downtime.
Dr. Lindsey Pennington is a Shreveport-based facial plastics and reconstructive surgeon specializing in cosmetic procedures. Her office is located on 6030 Line Ave., Suite 110. She offers complimentary cosmetic consultations (318) 216-5366. She has before and after photos available in office or on her Facebook or Instagram pages. @penningtonfacialplastics.