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Microneedles and Fractional Radio Frequency

As we age, our skin might require a bit of help to restore its youthful vitality. Microneedling, fractional radiofrequency and platelet-rich plasma therapy treatments are designed to act as catalysts that stimulate the healing response of the dermal structure, refreshing and rejuvenating the complexion from the inside out. Also known as collagen induction therapy, these procedures feature minimal discomfort and downtime, allowing you to enjoy long-lasting results without significant disruption to your daily routine.

The Maas Clinic offers these three treatments, which can be combined, so our professional staff can tailor your procedure to your unique needs and aesthetic goals. For fresh, natural, beautiful skin, request a consultation at The Maas Clinic today.

What Is Collagen Induction Therapy?

Collagen is a vital protein produced by the body to support the dermal structure and give skin its smooth, supple look and feel. Once we hit our 20s, we also begin to produce less collagen, which leaves our skin looking dull and tired. Collagen depletion also leads to skin laxity and the formation of fine lines and deeper facial creases. Collagen induction therapy creates controlled micro-injuries in the skin that trigger collagen production. These small pinpricks are so tiny that it may be difficult to see them with the naked eye, but their effect can be remarkable.

The body responds to the micro-injuries by engaging its wound-healing response. Collagen production increases and new skin cells proliferate, remodeling the surface of the skin from the inside out. Collagen induction therapy reverses the effects of aging and produces a youthful, radiant appearance. The new skin tissue is more even in tone and texture, and blemishes like fine lines and small acne scars can be minimized or erased.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling uses a pen-like device equipped with fine needles to create micro-channels in the skin. The depth of penetration is adjustable so that you receive the precise amount of correction you need to achieve your desired results. In areas such as the forehead, the micro-channels are typically shallower. For the cheeks, where there is more “padding” between skin and bone, the channels can be deeper.

The microneedling device is run evenly across the treatment area to ensure consistent results. Patients may opt to have a serum applied before the microneedling process. This works critical ingredients like hyaluronic acid into the deeper dermal layers where they can have the most significant effect.

Microneedling can address the following skin concerns:

  • Fine lines
  • Mild skin laxity
  • Enlarged pores
  • Stretch marks
  • Shallow scarring
  • Irregular skin texture
  • Uneven skin tone

The procedure is frequently performed on the face and can also be used on the neck, chest, back, arms, legs and backs of the hands. Microneedling can be used on nearly any skin type and tone. Dr. Maas will assess your skin’s current condition and your specific needs to determine whether microneedling is the best way to achieve your cosmetic goals.

What Is Fractional RF?

Fractional RF takes microneedling to the next level. RF stands for radiofrequency, or electrical energy that heats the dermis to produce rejuvenating effects. The RF energy is delivered as the micro-needles penetrate the skin, allowing the heat into the deepest parts of the structure to provide the most significant benefit. The electrical energy used for fractional RF is precisely controlled to ensure the procedure’s safety. Fractional RF is particularly useful in skin tightening and clearing away lines and facial creases as it smooths and firms the surface of the skin.

Like microneedling, fractional RF can be performed on any skin type and tone. Even darker skin tones that might not respond well to laser rejuvenation can get positive results from this procedure. Tanned skin can also be addressed with this process. In addition to treating skin laxity and wrinkles, the method offers improvement in shallow scarring and produces a more even, radiant skin tone overall. Fractional RF is a safe and effective treatment that can be combined with microneedling to deliver the ultimate rejuvenating effect.

Combining Treatments – Microneedling and Fractional RF

Like traditional microneedling, RF microneedling uses minuscule medical-grade needles to create controlled injuries in the skin and stimulate its natural healing processes. The key difference between RF microneedling and standard microneedling is the radiofrequency energy emitted from the needles. This highly controlled application of energy gently heats the deeper layers of your skin, prompting it to produce even more collagen than traditional microneedling.

Thanks to this dual approach to treatment, RF microneedling can provide more significant improvements with minimal downtime. Results may include improvement of skin texture, tissue tightening and improvement of scars or stretch marks. RF microneedling is safe for all skin types and may be combined with other treatments to enhance your results.

What Device Is Used for Fractional RF Microneedling?

At The Maas Clinic, the newest and most advanced cosmetic technology is used to perform fractional RF microneedling. The Stellar M22™ by Lumenis, a global leader in minimally-invasive aesthetic technologies, offers three different solutions for rejuvenation with radiofrequency: VoluDerm™, TriFractional™ and Legend M²™.

VoluDerm™ is a unique treatment that’s unlike anything else on the market. Instead of delivering RF energy via tiny needles, VoluDerm™ utilizes ultra-thin electrodes to create micro-channels, ablate the skin surface and reach the deep dermis. The electrodes are the thinnest available at only 0.15 millimeters, which means reduced pain and less downtime after treatment. VoluDerm™ comes with several tip configurations, allowing for customizable treatments and making it suitable for all skin types.

The TriFractional™ applicator delivers pinpoint ablation with controlled volumetric heating. This applicator’s RF electrode pins are ideal for superficial skin resurfacing and regeneration. Although it causes more sensations and requires a little more downtime, it is highly effective in refining the complexion.

Legend M²™ combines the volumetric heating of the TriFractional™ applicator with the precisely targeted heating of the VoluDerm™ applicator. Fusing these two technologies targets different skin layers individually and synergistically in a single, powerful treatment.

The Maas Clinic is proud to include the Stellar M22™ system as one of our many solutions for skin resurfacing, wrinkle reduction, tissue tightening and overall rejuvenation.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a unique treatment that can be combined with microneedling to further results. PRP therapy is done by drawing a patient’s blood and processing it in a centrifuge so that only nutrient-rich cells remain. The resulting preparation is known as platelet-rich plasma. Plasma consists of red and white blood cells and thrombocytes, also known as platelets, which are vital for growth functions and the general healing process. When these platelets are reintroduced to the bloodstream through an injury, they enhance the body’s reparative processes. Essentially, PRP therapy acts much like collagen induction therapy, because they both promote the body’s natural healing response to rejuvenate and revive the skin.

The use of a patient’s blood for treating cosmetic concerns or injuries is nothing new. For decades, PRP has been used by elite athletes recovering from surgery to heal their wounds more quickly. To prepare the PRP serum for microneedling, Dr. Maas will remove a small amount of blood and put it into a vial. This vial is then put into a centrifuge machine that repeatedly spins in circles, which gradually separates the nutrient-rich plasma from other components of the blood. Dr. Maas will then apply the PRP serum as an injection or topically to the areas where microneedling will be performed.

Combining Treatments – Microneedling and PRP

Sometimes called a ‘vampire facial’ because it involves spreading nutrient-rich blood on the face, microneedling with PRP is a unique treatment that revives damaged skin. Adding PRP to a microneedling treatment can improve the healing process and decrease unwanted post-treatment effects like swelling and redness. The PRP acts as a completely organic serum derived from your own body, while the microneedling device functions as an advanced delivery system that ensures the PRP penetrates deep into your skin where it will be most effective in stimulating the production of new collagen.

The unique healing properties of PRP make it a strong complement to microneedling. When combined, these treatments achieve more significant and longer-lasting benefits. Microneedling with PRP is the ultimate way to improve your appearance through natural healing.

Additional Treatment Combination Options

While both microneedling, fractional RF and PRP offer stellar results as stand-alone treatments, you can combine them with additional procedures to further enhance your results. Injectable treatments are particularly popular, as both wrinkle relaxers and dermal fillers can target lines and volume loss that might not be eliminated with collagen induction therapies alone. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is another good option to combine with microneedling since IPL treatments are useful in removing brown spots and other pigmentation irregularities. In contrast, microneedling focuses more on rejuvenating the skin and reversing other symptoms of sun damage and aging.

Dr. Maas recommends scheduling separate treatment sessions for these procedures to prevent potential complications. You may need to schedule your treatments a few weeks apart to give your skin ample time to heal from one procedure before undergoing a second one. At your consultation, he will advise you on the best treatment schedule for your comprehensive rejuvenation program.

What to Expect From Your Procedure

Dr. Maas performs microneedling, fractional RF and PRP treatments in his offices at The Maas Clinic. We will begin your procedure with the application of a topical numbing cream across the treatment area to ensure you are comfortable throughout your session. After about 30 minutes, Dr. Maas will cleanse the area and prepare it for the process.

A new cartridge of needles will be applied to the microneedling device to ensure sterility. The new cartridge can have anywhere from a dozen to 160 needles, depending on what’s being treated. The device will then be moved across your skin in an even, consistent fashion. Each area will be passed over approximately two to six times with varying degrees of pressure. After treatment, an additional serum or cooling mask may be applied to speed up the healing process.

If you decide to have your microneedling treatment combined with fractional RF, you’ll undergo a very similar process to the standard microneedling procedure. The handpiece will deliver both the needles and the radiofrequency energy for the RF treatment as it passes across the surface of your skin. The needles are insulated to ensure the surrounding tissues are not harmed by the RF energy.

If you choose to combine microneedling with PRP, Dr. Maas will puncture your skin with the tiny micro-needles and then massage the platelet-rich plasma into the treated area. A serum may be applied after the microneedling with PRP treatment to help soothe any irritation.

Most microneedling treatment sessions take just a few minutes to complete once the numbing cream takes effect. The length of your treatment will ultimately depend on the number of areas being treated and any additional therapies you choose to combine with microneedling.

After Your Microneedling Treatment

After the microneedling process, your skin may be slightly red and tender to the touch, much like it feels when it is sunburned. Neither side effect should persist for much longer than 24 hours. Some patients choose to remain home for the first night after their procedure until they can apply makeup and hide the telltale signs of their cosmetic procedure. However, there should not be any discomfort or other symptoms that keep you from performing your daily tasks right away. Keep your skin moisturized with an allergen-free lotion during the recovery process and protect your skin from the sun.

To achieve an optimal outcome, Dr. Maas may recommend you commit to a series of treatment sessions. Most patients require three to four appointments, spaced about one month apart, to see the best possible results. In the months following your last session, you will begin to see improvements in the overall look and feel of your skin and visible reduction in imperfections like fine lines, enlarged pores and shallow scars. Once those results are apparent, an occasional touch-up session should be all that is necessary to maintain your healthy glow.

Revive Your Skin’s Health at The Maas Clinic in San Francisco

Healthy skin is essential for having a strong sense of self and acting confidently in the world. Unfortunately, it’s natural for our skin to lose its vibrant glow over time. The sun takes a toll in the form of wrinkles and dark pigmentation, while the natural aging process can result in prominent pores, stretch marks and lax tissues. These changes are exacerbated by collagen depletion within the dermal structure. If you’re looking for a natural, nonsurgical way to reverse the clock, microneedling can give your skin a smoother, softer and more youthful lease on life.

Collagen induction therapy is an effective way to rejuvenate your skin from the inside out, stimulating your body’s restorative processes for a decidedly natural, beautiful and more youthful look. Fractional RF and PRP treatments can be combined with microneedling to enhance your results. If you would like to learn more about these treatments, Dr. Maas would be happy to talk with you and answer all your questions. Contact The Maas Clinic today at 415-567-7000 or contact us by email to schedule your consultation.

The information about microneedles, fractional radiofrequency and PRP was reviewed by Dr. Corey Maas. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form.

It is never too late, To be what you might have been.- George Eliot