Radiofrequency Microneedling: Procedure, Aftercare, Side Effects, Cost
Radiofrequency microneedling is a cosmetic procedure. It uses tiny needles and radiofrequency waves to rejuvenate facial skin.
The treatment is a form of controlled skin injury. The damage stimulates the growth of healthy new skin, which can benefit common skin issues like acne scars and wrinkles.
Compared with treatments like chemical peels and dermabrasion, radiofrequency microneedling is minimally invasive. Read on to learn about the procedure, side effects, and benefits.
Microneedling uses a fine needle to create microwounds, or channels, in the skin. This triggers the production of capillaries, elastin, and collagen. It's also called skin needling or collagen induction therapy.
If the procedure also uses radiofrequency waves, it's called radiofrequency microneedling. The needle releases radiofrequency into the channels, causing additional damage. This enhances the effects of standard microneedling.
The skin that grows back is thicker and smoother. This can target:
You can also get radiofrequency microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
In this procedure, your provider draws blood from your arm and uses a machine to separate the platelets.
After a microneedling session, your provider injects or applies the platelets to the treated area. This may maximize the results of your treatment.
Radiofrequency microneedling is considered safe, but it isn't appropriate for everyone.
You may be an ideal candidate if you:
Alternatively, you should avoid the treatment if you:
If you’re interested in the procedure, you’ll need to meet with a healthcare provider, such as a cosmetic surgeon.
At your initial appointment, your provider will ask questions about your medical history and expectations. They’ll also take photos of your face to determine the best technique for your condition, as well as provide instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.
If you have active acne breakouts, you may be asked to take oral antibiotics. If you have a history of cold sores, you might need to take oral antiviral medication.
Your actual procedure will take place in your healthcare provider's office. Generally, here's what you can expect:
You can go home after the treatment and return to your normal activities.
After your procedure, your doctor will explain how to care for your skin. This will include the following aftercare tips:
According to research, radiofrequency microneedling is effective for many skin conditions.
In a 2014 study of 31 people, radiofrequency microneedling moderately improved acne scars in 58 percent of the participants. A small 2017 study found similar results.
Microneedling with radiofrequency waves can also improve the look of your skin. In a 2013 study, for example, the procedure reduced wrinkles around the eyes. The effects lasted longer than Botox injections.
A 2020 case report also shares that the treatment can reduce loose facial skin.
Additionally, in a 2018 study, radiofrequency microneedling improved skin texture and pore size.
According to a 2019 study, the procedure can permanently treat hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. A 2013 study found that the treatment helps by reducing the number and size of sweat glands.
You’ll see results after 3 to 6 months. The exact time frame depends on the type and severity of your condition.
In most cases, you’ll need at least four sessions. This also depends on what you’re treating. For example, if you have moderate acne scars, you’ll need about three or four treatments. Bigger scars might need five treatments.
These sessions will be done every 3 to 8 weeks. This lets your skin heal between treatments.
After the initial set of treatments, the results will last about 1 year. It's recommended to have a touch-up session once a year to maintain your desired results.
Typically, radiofrequency microneedling is well tolerated. But like all cosmetic treatments, it may cause some side effects.
Possible side effects include:
These side effects might last for a few hours or days.
Some complications need medical attention. If you experience any of the following, contact your doctor:
Since radiofrequency microneedling is a cosmetic procedure, it's not covered by insurance. You’ll need to pay for it out of pocket.
The average cost of standard microneedling ranges from $100 to $700 per session. Radiofrequency can be added for an additional fee. The final cost depends on your geographical location, practitioner, and skin condition.
Since you’ll need at least four sessions, you can expect to spend at least $400 to $2,800.
If you’d like to try radiofrequency microneedling, be sure to work with a qualified healthcare provider, such as a reputable cosmetic surgeon. This will ensure your procedure is done safely and properly.
An experienced provider can also provide realistic expectations for your situation.
To find a qualified provider in your area, search the database at the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
Radiofrequency microneedling is used to rejuvenate the skin. It can target acne scars and early signs of aging, like fine lines and sagging. It's also effective for hyperhidrosis.
Generally, the procedure only takes 10 to 20 minutes. There's no downtime, but you’ll need to wear SPF as your skin heals.
You’ll likely need at least four treatments to get the results you want. To maintain the full effect, it's recommended to repeat the session once a year.