Is radiofrequency microneedling the next best thing in non-invasive aesthetic procedures? As some of you know, I work as an Aesthetic Registered Nurse specializing in non-invasive aesthetic procedures such as laser, radiofrequency, body sculpting, tattoo removal, among others. I am extremely thankful to be able to combine both fields I am extremely passionate about, medical and beauty. I feel doubly happy when I see my patients ecstatic and pleased with their results. I am very meticulous and methodical when it comes to my work, something that my patients appreciate. Because each skin is different, I practice critical thinking each procedure while ensuring utmost safety and efficacy. Needless to say, I subject myself to these treatments so I can better relate to patients, level their expectations and most importantly, being able to adjust the settings if need be.
One of my favorite treatments to-date is radiofrequency microneedling. It is NOT the same as at-home microneedling devices you are seeing in the internet. In fact, medical professionals discourage the use of these DIY gadgets or tools because of the increased incidence of scarring and cellulitis (bacterial infection of the skin) which can be life-threatening without proper medical treatment. For the most part, these at-home microneedling tools were made for better penetration of skincare products but not to treat textural issues.
Radiofrequency microneedling like the machine we have at our clinic (Voluderm) utilizes a combined clinically-proven approach: (1) radiofrequency which heats the fibroblasts which then pulls the collagen strands together. This action stimulates the body to produce collagen and elastin renewal resulting to a more rejuvenated look. (2) this heat is delivered via micro-pins (depth 2 mm) which creates microscopic injury to the skin which then triggers our body’s own natural healing mechanism. This treatment is particularly indicated for textural issues such as acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, surgical scars or in certain conditions where laser is not the first choice of treatment. If a patient is prone or has history of hyperpigmentation or has darker skin, radiofrequency microneedling is my preferred method of treatment. Voluderm in particular is a bloodless procedure, this is important for me to note because there are different brands and methods of microneedling. Your face may look red for few hours, it feels warm during the procedure but generally it is well-tolerated. For peace of mind, I suggest patients to come 30 minutes before the actual procedure for topical numbing cream application which takes away about 70-80% of the sensation. Personally, I would rate it 2/10 without numbing. You may see very tiny red/brown marks a day or two after but don’t prick, they will flake off in a few days. You can resume your skincare and makeup the day after so overall, there is really no downtime associated with Voluderm. There is no overnight solution to anything so frequency of treatment is dependent on the area and nature; in general I start my patients with 5-6 treatments, it can be combined with any treatment, again depending on the nature and severity of the area.
Other things to remember in case your interest is piqued: avoid anything abrasive (exfoliants, scrubs), salicylic acid, retinols, even glycolic or lactic acid at least 3 days before the procedure (each clinic has its own protocol). Do not resume until redness subsides. Avoid applying anything occlusive to the skin especially if you are prone to breakouts. In the event of breakout (sometimes it happens because of the “break” in the skin), don’t attempt to prick. Spot-treat with salicylic acid or follow the advice of your treating provider. Although isolated, if you have history of cold sores/ fever blisters, ask your doctor to have you pre-medicated with antiviral; otherwise, you can apply over the counter Abreva in case you develop cold sores. I am very thorough when it comes to expected and unexpected outcomes. If somebody promises you moon and the stars, run. If it sounds too good to be true, probably it isn’t. Make sure there is a doctor on-site and check out the credentials of whoever is treating you.
Here’s one of our success stories. This patient was treated with Voluderm radiofrequency microneedling on the forehead. You can see noticeably diminished lines after four treatments.
True story. I had a cystic acne which was injected with steroid. While the acne resolved in 24 hours, I noticed atrophy on the area of injection after one month. The indentation it left was so obvious that even my husband who isn’t keen with little things I complain (you know we can be so self-critical) noticed it! While atrophy (cells degenerate) is reversible in steroid injection, it may take several months to see complete resolution, you know I couldn’t wait that long! So in high hopes, I treated myself with Voluderm and after 3 treatments, I did see a huge improvement. No one can tell I had one unsightly crater few months ago!
Here’s a video of myself treating myself with Voluderm radiofrequency microneedling. The purpose is to show you how this machine looks, how I feel during the procedure, how I look right after, after few hours and the following day.
Have you tried this procedure yet? what topic do you want me to cover next?