Common skin conditions like pimples, an unwanted acne scar, pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles can be a major obstacle in our quest for perfectly smooth and flawless skin—but what if we told you there’s a way to undo the damage?
Introducing: microneedling—a popular aesthetic procedure that works to treat a variety of skin conditions and stimulate your skin’s natural healing process to get you on your way to clearer, more radiant skin!
Here is the lowdown you need to know about microneedling and what happens when you add powerful radiofrequency energy into the mix!
First things first: what is microneedling?
Widely known as Collagen Induction Therapy, microneedling is a safe, minimally-invasive and virtually pain-free procedure that involves using a pen-like tool fitted with small needles to create controlled, micro-injuries to the skin.
The injuries are so tiny that you won’t even notice them, but what is actually happening is that your skin is triggered to stimulate collagen and elastin—two important elements that are the foundation to firmer, smoother skin!
To quickly summarize, the benefits of microneedling include:
- Improving the appearance of acne scars
- Tightening of the skin to treat skin laxity and fine lines and wrinkles
- Reducing pigmentation
- Treating enlarged pores
- Improving skin texture and uneven skin tone
- Reducing the appearance of unsightly stretch marks
The tiny punctures created on the skin also act as channels for enhanced delivery of topical products to boost your skincare regime!
While there are plenty of at-home microneedling tools and kits that claim to provide all these benefits, the difference between doing it at home and getting the procedure done with a professional aesthetic doctor is that the latter provides safer, more consistent and reliable results.
In fact, microneedling is often combined with radiofrequency (RF) energy in aesthetic clinics to help you achieve optimal results!
Radiofrequency + microneedling = better results?
Radiofrequency microneedling is essentially microneedling with the addition of powerful RF energy to effectively treat the deeper layers of the skin that cannot be achieved with traditional microneedling alone.
Using a specialized device and “energized” needles to cause more precise and controlled damage to the skin, RF microneedling enhances the effects of standard microneedling to provide greater collagen remodelling without causing any harm to the surrounding healthy skin.
A popular treatment is fractional RF microneedling that is similar to fractional lasers in that it heats a fraction of the skin at a time to create a safer treatment faster healing and downtime.
Because RF technology is color-blind, most of the potential side effects seen with aggressive lasers such as hyperpigmentation and burns can also be avoided for those with darker skin. In fact, the the most common side effects are mild skin irritation and redness of the skin.
There are also plenty of studies that back up the power of RF microneedling. For example, a 2014 study showed a moderate improvement in acne scars in 58% of participants, and a recent 2020 case report concluded that microneedling combined with radiofrequency effectively treats a variety of skin ageing signs with minimal risk and downtime.
An interesting study published in the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine showed patients who had four radiofrequency microneedling treatments one month apart had up to a 400% increase in both collagen and elastin!
Results can be seen as little as a few days when your body begins to produce collagen, and the final results appear gradually over the next six months as your skin takes time to fully rebuild and heal itself.
Which is better?
In short: both microneedling and radiofrequency microneedling are effective for providing a slew of skin benefits when used appropriately.
However, the introduction of RF energy produces far better results than traditional microneedling and is capable of treating a more diverse range of conditions to achieve total facial rejuvenation.
This is due to the RF energy being able to reach the deeper layers of the skin where issues such as acne scars lie while increasing the efficiency of each session.
In addition, the advanced technology of RF microneedling devices is also customizable, which means that doctors can personalize your treatment to target specific problem areas to achieve your goals!
There are also other factors to consider such as the needle depth, type and number of needles used, frequency and amount of energy used, your skin type and the doctor that is executing the treatment.
Radiofrequency microneedling treatments @ The Clifford Clinic
There are several RF microneedling devices in the market today, but at The Clifford Clinic, we offer a range of micro-needling treatments such as:
Our doctors like to employ AGNES for treating stubborn, recurrent acne.
A 2-in-1 fractional radiofrequency system that provides doctors complete control over the treatment parameters, AGNES works by selectively targeting damaged and overactive follicles on the skin and delivering an intense yet gentle current into the pore to destroy the oil-producing glands.
This essentially reduces the gland’s size to control excessive sebum production so that your pores don’t get clogged up and get inflamed. One session typically takes just 30 minutes to an hour to complete and patients usually see a decrease of 50-70% of their acne breakouts after the first treatment!
After the third session, the majority of patients should see a 90% clearance of acne, and maintenance treatments are only required to ensure longer-lasting results.
- INFINI RF
INFINI RF is an FDA-approved fractional radiofrequency microneedling treatment that is considered to be the gold-standard for overall facial rejuvenation.
Using the patented microneedle system, the insulated needles releases RF energy only at the tip of the needle to reduce any damage to the epidermis while stimulating collagen production.
Our doctors like to use INFINI RF for acne scar removal as the needles are able to reach up to 3.5mm below the skin. In fact, we believe that INFINI goes beyond fractional lasers to produce equally excellent results with the added benefit of faster healing and recovery period.
The procedure can be uncomfortable for some patients, but don’t worry—topical anaesthesia is applied prior to starting your treatment. Some slight redness, bruising and swelling may be present post-treatment which should subside within a couple of days.
Patients generally need 3-5 sessions at an interval of 4-6 weeks to see the best results, and you can expect to see improvements as soon as the first week after your initial treatment. These improvements will continue to increase over the next six months as your body continues to produce new collagen.
- SECRET RF
Secret RF is another radiofrequency microneedling treatment that helps deliver RF energy to the deeper layers of the skin using very fine, non-insulated needles to effectively rebuild and revitalize the skin.
What makes SECRET RF unique is the microcannula that can also be used to target and lift small and delicate areas such as jowl fats, eye bag fats and double chin fats.
At our clinic, we like to employ SECRET RF to treat depressed acne scars. The gold-plated needles help to deliver precise RF energy directly into the deeper layers of the skin while avoiding surrounding healthy skin.
Each session takes about an hour to complete and 3-4 treatments spaced over 3-4 weeks are recommended for best results. Some slight redness and scabbing is expected but is completely normal and will go away naturally.
The Key Takeaway
Even if microneedling isn’t for you, we also offer a plethora of head-to-toe treatments that are clinically-proven and customized to fit your specific needs and skin type. This includes laser treatment for acne scars, FUE hair transplant and the best stretch mark removal in Singapore!
Our priority is to ensure that you feel comfortable with your choices and feel well taken of throughout the process—if you are ready to take the next step, contact us to book your first appointment today!