Radio frequency (RF) microneedling uses a mechanical stimulation that emits heat waves through the needles. Basically, RF uses heat instead of micro injuries unlike traditional pen microneedling which creates micro punctures to trigger the skin’s natural collagen and elastin production.
But aside from that, listed below are important differences that should be considered before deciding which treatment to use:
1. Needle Depth
Now, in areas of the face, let’s say the forehead, we might only get up to 0.5 mm depth when we do regular microneedling. Whereas with RF microneedling, we will be able to go at 1.5 mm depth.
RF microneedling is going to be the best thing to use on scars (both surgical and acne), stretch marks, and really crepey skin. Treatments for these skin problems are going to be better with radio frequency because there is less trauma to the tissue at t
hose deeper depths. When the radio frequency microneedling device basically emits heat, it is in turn stimulating collagen at the dermal layer.
Our MDPen microneedling device creates 15,500 microchannels per square inch while radio frequency microneedling produces 100 microchannels per square inch on a single pulse. By that, we do multiple c
ross hatch sections and stamping with regular microneedling while RF microneedling only calls for a single pass. Thus in a procedure, there may be about a 20% overlap in most instances with RF microneedling and a usually good 50 % overlap with the regular microneedling.
3. Needle Cartridge
Now, some differences between the devices obviously is that the RF device is going to be more costly than a regular microneedling pen. In particular, the cartridge or needles on the Intensif from Endymed are gold plated tapered needles while MDPen have those surgical steel 12 needle cartridge on the restore. With this range of needles, an RF device is from 0.5 mm all the way up to 5 mm that will allow us to work on a scar, stretch marks, etcetera. On the other hand, MDPen works from 0 to 3 mm depth on different areas.
From a cost or pricing standpoint for our patients, a typical standard microneedling treatment without PRP may range from 300 to 600 dollars whereas RF microneedling is going to be more from about 800, 900 up to about 1,200 dollars. Radio frequency microneedling is indeed a more costly treatment.
5. No. of Treatments
Regular microneedling needs more treatment than a radio frequency microneedling. So, if a regular needs a series of four microneedling sessions, it may only be a two with RF. This is because the mechanical stimulation in RF Microneedling accelerates the wound healing process. In turn, this gives a faster effect with the results and so, typically, less treatments are needed when we do RF microneedling.
RF Microneedling Does NOT Need Serums During the Procedure
There are no serums, nothing wet or damp on the skin, that can be used during an RF microneedling procedure. It is best if we treat the skin dry. So, what we need to do is just cleanse it, prep it with alcohol, and then let it dry prior to going in and doing the treatment. All of the serums, PRP, growth factors, and others should be applied after the treatment when the microchannels are open. Because of that radio frequency heat, we do not want any type of wet or damp surface on the skin.