Microneedling and Fractional RF Needling are both used to promote collagen and elastin in the skin and to reduce scar tissue for a smoother, more youthful-looking complexion. The procedures involve a number of small percutaneous punctures to the skin. In less technical terms, they’re like poking your face full of nearly-microscopic little holes using very tiny little needles. The needles stimulate a micro wound healing response throughout your skin without creating an actual wound. The healing response causes your body to release growth factors (the hormones that stimulate cell repair) as new blood vessels form and the collagen fibres begin to rebuild and regenerate themselves. As a result, fine lines and textural concerns are reduced, and your skin looks strengthened and more youthful.
Although the treatments are similar, the tools are very different and we tend to get stronger results from RF needling with fewer treatments. Read on to find out how and why.
Microneedling treats surface texture and tone, fine lines and ageing, and mild surface scarring. It’s done with a dermaroller or a dermapen, although we much prefer to use a pen.
The dermaroller, true to its name, has a handle and a roller with tiny needles on it. The needles are about 0.25 – 0.5 mm in diameter and usually 1.5 – 2 mm long. It’s rolled over the skin to make the little pin pricks that stimulate a healing response in your skin.
You can purchase dermarollers for at-home use, but they come with high risks. If you don’t keep them properly sterilised, or if you don’t cleanse your skin properly, they can lead to infections and breakouts. If you use the wrong depth or too much pressure, you can also risk causing microdamages and tears to the skin, which can result in scar tissue.
Instead of the roller, some clinics (including Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia) will use a microneedling pen, a slightly more advanced, hand-held device with microneedles on the tip.
Don’t get it confused with the more opulently named diamond-tipped dermapen, which has diamond-shaped needle tips. The diamond-tipped dermapen is used for microdermabrasion, which is a very different treatment. Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin for cell turnover while microneedling stimulates skin repair for textural concerns and anti-ageing results.
The needle tips on a microneedling pen move speedily in and out of the pen as it’s moved across the skin. The quick movement and retraction of the needles make the microneedling pen much less likely to cause damage and microtears than the dermaroller.
As mentioned above, microneedling stimulates a micro wound healing response without creating a wound. Your skin responds by rebuilding collagen and repairing itself for a healthy, youthful appearance.
During a microneedling treatment, we also apply a collagen growth factor serum. Collagen growth factors are natural proteins that stimulate tissue growth and repair. They help boost results, particularly with acne scarring, as they encourage the tissues to close over. Rebuilding collagen will help with textual concerns on the surface of your skin, such as large pores and mild surface scarring.
Fractional RF Needling, short for Radiofrequency Needling, is a major advancement on microneedling. Like microneedling, it treats ageing and textural concerns, but it can treat deeper scarring, some skin sagging and more stubborn textural concerns because it can safely reach deeper layers of the skin.
RF needling comes with a hand-held device with 25 micro needles that create tiny punctures into the deeper layers of the skin that create a wound response in the tissue and as part of that healing response your skin cells and collagen fibres regenerate themselves. By rebuilding collagen we are going to help make your acne scars less visible and shrink your pores.
It uses a gentle stamping technique which further reduces any risks of microtears and gives your Clinician greater accuracy. The needles can also be adjusted to a greater range of depths for areas with thinner skin (such as the forehead) and areas with thicker skin (like the cheeks).
Another advancement with RF Needling is the addition of radiofrequency energy. The radiofrequency energy creates controlled heat in the deeper tissues of the skin to give your collagen an additional boost and increase the healing response created by the micro needles. Radiofrequency is often used on its own for skin-tightening treatments, sometimes known as non-surgical facelifts.
Essentially, microneedling treats the surface layer of the skin for fine lines and mild scarring but in our clinic, RF needling has become more favourable because it treats both the surface and the deeper layers of the skin for deeper acne scarring, stubborn textural concerns, ageing, and to promote collagen in the foundations of the skin for youthful strength, elasticity and lift.
There are many brands of RF machines in Australia, such as Vivace by CynoSure Australia, Secret RF by Cutera and Morpheus8 by In mode. All require a knowledgeable and experienced operator.
Scalp Needling for Hair Loss
Microneedling, without the radiofrequency energy, can also be used on the scalp to promote hair growth for thinning hair. Like facial needling treatments, microneedling can be used on the scalp to promote a wound healing response. The the micro wound healing response helps to nourish and strengthen the follicles.
At Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia we find that you get much more powerful results when needling is combined with PRP (platelet rich plasma), especially when it comes to hereditary hair loss.
PRP is derived from your own blood. One of our doctors or nurses will take a small blood sample in clinic and process it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma, which is full of growth factors and nourishing platelets that help repair the hair follicles.
With PRP for hair loss, we use a highly specialised medical injection gun that has multiple fine needlepoints. The main benefit is that you get the wound healing response that comes from microneedling at the same time that PRP helps to nourish and repair the follicles for a much more effective treatment. The depths and injection amounts can also be carefully controlled for even distribution of the PRP.
If you want to find out more about needling for the skin or the scalp, get in touch. We offer free consultations so you can be sure it’s the right treatment for you!