FRACTIONAL RF MICRONEEDLING – DOES IT REALLY WORK?
VIVACE | Raquel Mahidashti, DNP | Slate Medspa |
Radio Frequency (RF) technology has been used for years for aesthetic rejuvenation by improving skin laxity via production of collagen and elastin. The premise is that through heat energy, damage to existing collagen and elastin in the dermis would stimulate new growth and repair and tighten the skin. RF has been used by a multitude of devices over the years, but only recently has the technology been used to its potential.
OLDER ‘TRADITIONAL’’ RF DEVICES
The first to market device with FDA approval for skin tightening and wrinkles was Thermage back in 2002. Since then, scores of devices came to market with similar technology including Venus Freeze, Viora Reaction, Accent XL, Refirme, Sublime, eMatrix, TriPolar RF, Exilis, 3Deep RF, Accent XL, and eTwo. The “word on the street”, though was that multiple treatments were needed to even see minimal to no results. Here’s the reason why:
Clinical studies have shown that heating the dermis to 40-45 degrees Celsius creates enough heat for your body to start repairing the area by making new collagen. At higher temperatures of 65 degrees or more, collagen is denatured and contraction occurs. Herein lies the problem with all cutaneous RF devices like the ones mentioned above. Your skin starts to burn around 44 degrees Celsius. That is the temperature range in which collagen just starts to become stimulated. The optimal temperature for skin tightening and rejuvenation is in the range of 65 to 75 degrees. The problem is, the use of more energy would cause burns or hyperpigmentation to your skin. These traditional RF devices use a process called “bulk heating” to apply the energy to the surface of the skin, requiring it to deliver a lower than ideal level of heat to prevent burning, which will diffuse before reaching deeper layers of the dermis. Damage to the dermis is minimal and coagulation does not occur. Here is the bottom line:
- Since cutaneous devices rely on the tissues to carry the energy deep into the dermis, optimal results become practically impossible. Differences in skin thickness, hydration and composition of collagen and fat leads to imprecise transfer of heat to varied and unknown depths.
- Even if energy transfer reached optimal depths, these devices can’t actually reach the critical temperatures necessary to effectively stimulate of collagen and elastin remodeling. The highest theoretical temperature achieved is about 45 degrees, enough to minimally stimulate collagen.
THE NEW GENERATION OF FRACTIONAL RF MICRONEEDLING DEVICES
A new wave of devices have addressed the limitations of older ‘traditional’ RF treatments and heats deeper tissues to a much higher temperature. These include Infini, Vivace, Morpheus8, Intensif, Intracel & Profound. The advent of these RF microneedling devices is a game changer in aesthetics. Using insulated microneedles, RF energy is now able bypass the sensitive surface of the skin delivered to precise depths in the dermis. The deeper, fractional heating is able to be much higher than if placed on the skin surface. This allows temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Celsius, the optimal temperature range to denature collagen and cause coagulation. Maximum collagen stimulation and tissue contraction can now be safely achieved.
Fractional RF – The concept of treating skin fractionally has been the desired treatment method of most devices for over a decade. Because damage is caused only to a fraction of your tissue like a matrix, the surrounding healthy cells help you heal faster with much less downtime and risk of complications. This concept originated with fractional laser resurfacing, having shown for over ten years that results are fairly similar to treating the entire area, but with faster healing, less discomfort and much less risk.
Microneedling – The invisible microchannels in the skin created by an array of needles remain open for four to six hours allowing deep penetration of key nutrients and serums applied during the treatment. This would include growth factors, vitamins, antioxidants and other cosmeceuticals delivered to the skin in a way that no other treatment can, helping to rapidly rebuild new collagen and elastin. Going so deep into the skin allows for improvement in areas which had been poorly addressed in the past with RF devices including acne, scars and stretch marks.
Here are the key benefits of this revolutionary new technology:
- Reaches optimal temperature range of 65 to 80 degrees Celsius, creating tens of thousands of coagulation zones, resulting in maximum collagen and elastin remodeling for skin tightening and rejuvenation
- Energy is delivered at precise temperature to precise depths in the dermis, allowing for crucial damage at multiple depths
- Heat energy bypasses the superficial layer of skin, resulting in significantly less discomfort, downtime and risk of complications, allowing for all skin types, including darker skin to be safely treated
- Fractional penetration with microneedles and subsequent infusion of serums stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen and improve skin texture, tone, fine lines and wrinkles
Raquel Mahidashti DNP | Slate Medspa
We use the newest generation, best-in-class Vivace RF Microneedling device, designed for an incomparable, comfortable experience. Only Vivace boasts a precision robotic motor that brings discomfort to a virtual zero compared to any other device. The results are immediate and improve over time as well, giving you the best of both worlds. Our carefully developed recovery system ensures no one knows you just had a treatment.
Slate Medspa specializes in non-invasive, FDA approved body contouring and beauty treatments. We offer the latest technology in non-surgical aesthetic enhancements. Our location provides a zen like setting with each room equipped with an LED Television and access to WiFi to help you look great and feel great. State-of- the-art technology merges with luxury to offer a unique and unforgettable experience.