What Is The Difference Between Microneedling And RF Microneedling?

Skin care. Beautiful young woman applying moisturizer on face.

When it comes to non-surgical skin tightening, microneedling has been making waves in the world of aesthetic dermatology. With the latest advancements in the cosmetic market, microneedling only gets better by offering RF microneedling that creates micro-wounds in the skin (the same as traditional microneedling). The only difference is that RF microneedling administers bi-polar radiofrequency energy that generates gentle heat under the skin’s surface. 

In both options, they use collagen induction therapy by piercing the skin and generating micro-wounds, which can jumpstart the skin’s collagen production and improve concerns like texture and appearance. However, the conventional microneedling stops there. RF microneedling, on the other hand, is simply a more advanced version of the traditional method. 

What Does Microneedling Do?

In general, microneedling is a non-surgical treatment for skin rejuvenation that improves the skin’s health and appearance by boosting collagen production and encouraging new cell growth. In a microneedling session, tiny punctures are created on the skin’s surface. This is because micro-injuries can help trigger the body’s natural healing and cell regeneration processes, which can result in a healthy, vibrant new layer of skin and firmer, more youthful collagen fibers. 

In addition, both Microneedling and RF Microneedling spark these processes overtime to provide results, which include:

  • Helps in evening out skin tone and diminishing age spots, dark marks, or brown spots
  • Tightens and lifts the skin on the face, jowls, eyebrows, under eyes, chin, and neck
  • Heals cystic acne
  • Smoothes wrinkles, creases, and furrows
  • Minimizes textural changes to the skin, such as stretch marks, burns, and/or scarring
  • Restores mild to moderate skin laxity on the face and body

What Are Their Differences?

Below is a comparison between a traditional microneedling and RF microneedling:

Traditional Microneedling

In the conventional way of microneedling, a specialized device is rolled over the skin to create controlled micro-injuries in the form of tiny microscopic punctures along the skin. This process will stimulate the skin’s natural healing process resulting in the production of skin-firming proteins like collagen and elastin. 

Moreover, the newly developed growth factors will work to thicken the skin and help reduce the appearance of acne scarring, sun damage, stretch marks, and wrinkles. In addition, the tiny punctures from microneedling can also provide channels for enhanced delivery of topical skincare treatments like hyaluronic acid.

RF Microneedling

The new advancement of microneedling now adds radio frequency (RF) energy to the traditional microneedling technique to further stimulate growth factors. With the help of radiofrequency, it utilizes specialized “energized” needles to create micro-punctures into the skin, while the radiofrequency energy is being delivered through these punctures. 

Simultaneously, radiofrequency energy deep into the dermis amplifies the production of skin-improving proteins and enzymes like elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid than traditional microneedling alone. With the addition of RF energy, it also heats the underlayers of the skin, further enhancing skin tightening. 

What Advantages Does RF Microneedling Offer Over The Traditional Microneedling?

In both cases, RF and traditional microneedling can treat various issues, but RF microneedling is the more known and more effective form of this treatment. Below are the benefits that RF microneedling offers in contrast to the traditional way:

  • Fewer Sessions Required. Patients who opt for RF microneedling often require fewer sessions on average to achieve optimal results than patients who choose the conventional way. This is because radiofrequency microneedling penetrates deeper into the skin and then uses heat for effective skin-tightening, which can provide better results in fewer sessions. 
  • Treats a Wider Range of Cosmetic Concerns. RF microneedling is better for addressing more significant cosmetic concerns than the traditional one. Moreover, this effectively treats acne scars, fine lines, large pores, wrinkles, sun damage, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
  • Safer and Requires No Downtime. The traditional microneedling causes much more superficial trauma since it is more abrasive to the skin’s top layer. After the treatment, a patient may experience red and sandpaper-like textured skin. With RF microneedling, it is not harmful to the skin and offers no downtime. 
  • Customizable Treatment. Every skin is unique, and the treatment. Unlike traditional microneedling, RF microneedling is entirely customizable, which means it can provide more significant results with more precision while addressing specific cosmetic concerns.
  • Produces Greater Collagen. Most cosmetic physicians prefer RF microneedling over the traditional one since it more effectively stimulates collagen production. While traditional microneedling only damages the surface layer of the skin to activate healing, RF microneedling utilizes radiofrequency waves and heat to boost collagen levels without harming the skin. 

What To Expect During The RF Microneedling?

During this treatment, patients will relax in a private room, which typically lasts about 30 – 60 minutes. The treatment will begin with applying a topical anesthetic to numb the skin and minimize any discomfort experienced throughout the procedure. The aesthetician will then utilize the device to create tiny micro-injuries over the skin’s surface while simultaneously delivering radiofrequency energy to the skin’s deeper layer. 

After the treatment, patients can resume their daily routines. For about 3 – 4 weeks, the complexion will become firmer, brighter, and more youthful-looking. On average, RF microneedling results can last for about one year.

How Many Treatments Are Needed?

To achieve optimal results, Most people will need three to five microneedling treatments or three to six RF microneedling treatments. However, the estimated number of treatments required will vary based on the skin condition and specific goals. While many people with minor concerns may only need three treatments, those with moderate to severe concerns may require more than five to achieve maximum results.

How Long Does RF Microneedling Last?

Most clients can see an immediate brightening of the skin. However, following a few post-treatment instructions is essential to ensure getting the most out of the treatment and that the skin heals properly. First, avoid direct sun exposure, including tanning beds, for two weeks, as the skin becomes sensitive to the sun, so it’s best to wear sunscreen when outside.

As a general rule, the longevity of the results would be dependent on the duration of the collagen produced and how long it can remain in the skin. Most people can expect traditional microneedling to last for 6 to 12 months. On the other hand, the results of RF microneedling can last for 12 to 18 months.

The Bottom Line

Both microneedling and RF Microneedling are great ways to transform the skin from within and help reverse the signs of aging. Fresh Aesthetics Medical Spa offers Virtue RF microneedling, a quick, non-invasive treatment that provides the benefits of regular treatment and enhances them with radiofrequency energy. This may be your treatment if you’re looking for an FDA-cleared, non-surgical option to brighten and tighten your face, neck, and body.


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