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RF Microneedling for Acne Scars

Acne, formally known as acne vulgaris, is something that affects almost every human at one phase of life or another. It’s one of the most common skin conditions in the world and, unfortunately, painful acne can often leave a mark both physically and emotionally after it subsides. Acne scars can affect patients from the teenage years and last throughout adulthood.  For many acne patients, it can be difficult later to minimize the appearance of acne scarring.

The field of dermatology has developed a variety of different treatment options for removing acne scars in recent years, and one of the most popular methods to reduce the appearance of textured acne scars is that of microneedling. Microneedling uses tiny pinpricks to the skin in order to stimulate the wound healing processes of the body, boosting elastin and collagen production and often rewiring the skin’s natural memory of scarring. Microneedling devices are excellent for reducing the appearance of the most common types of acne scars, known as ice-pick, rolling, and boxcar scars.

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25-34 year old woman treated with VBeam and Ematrix for Acne Scars

Recently, microneedling devices have been combined with the power of radiofrequency energy in order to stimulate new collagen deep within the layers of the dermis. Radiofrequency (RF) energy treatments, such as Thermage, are commonly used for skin tightening, as well as to reduce the appearance of fine lines and skin laxity. When RF energy is combined with microneedling, an incredible skin rejuvenation treatment is created. RF microneedling can be used to tighten skin, improve skin texture, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks, acne scars, and fine lines and wrinkles.

If you’re frustrated by the appearance of acne scars, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Dr. Green is an expert in acne and acne scar treating. With over 25 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology in her discreet, boutique NYC office, Dr. Green can help you reclaim your best skin with the latest lasers and technology. From chemical peels, dermal fillers, to subcision, TCA cross, Fraxel laser, microneedling, and radiofrequency lasers, Dr. Green will help create new collagen in your skin and smooth away unwanted acne scars.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is an skin rejuvenation treatment that relies on tiny microneedles that prick the skin surface. These tiny pinpricks activate the wound-healing properties of the skin, which in turn activates new collagen production. Collagen is the body’s natural tool to create healthy, glowing skin, and a boost in collagen can often reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve skin texture. Additionally, microneedling can be an excellent tool when it comes to disrupting scar memory or hyperpigmentation on the surface of the skin, including spots created by acne or sun damage.

When microneedling treatment occurs, tiny micro channels are created within the layers of the skin that can be complemented by the use of restorative serums. Many patients opt to couple microneedling treatments with nourishing serums, or with platelet-rich-plasma (PRP). PRP microneedling takes advantage of your body’s own growth factors in order to accelerate the skin’s recovery processes, which in turn can vastly help improve the look of acne scars or uneven skin tone. Through the use of revitalizing serums, such as PRP, patients can see transformative results within the treatment area that amplify the wonderful effects of traditional microneedling. Some patients even rely on microneedling to supply other rejuvenating treatments, such as micro-Botox or dermal fillers.

What is Radiofrequency Microneedling?

Radiofrequency microneedling uses innovative radiofrequency energy in order to heat the deeper layers of the dermis, thus increasing elastin and collagen production. This in turn is able to tighten and rejuvenate the skin, which can help to even skin tone and reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, and stretch marks. RF microneedling combines microneedling with the power of fractional radiofrequency and is safe to use on patients with both fairer and darker skin, as well as those dealing with rosacea, melasma, or active acne lesions.

There are many different RF microneedling devices, including the Infini and Factora devices, but few that successfully combine the flexibility of radiofrequency and microneedling treatments using a wide variety of modalities. Dr. Green relies on the power of the Vivace RF microneedling device, which can be tailored to a variety of needle lengths, and is the only device of its kind to contain both monopolar and bipolar capabilities. Vivace RF microneedling also includes an LED light therapy function which can help to further reduce redness or inflammation on the surface of the skin. Vivace is an innovative, FDA-approved device for skin rejuvenation that is ideal for treating acne scars.

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Vivace RF Microneedling

Vivace is a unique RF Microneedling device that is FDA-approved for skin rejuvenation and the reduction of acne scars. Vivace’s intelligent design allows for patients to benefit from microneedling, RF energy, and LED light therapy all in a single treatment. It uses a precision robotic motor which helps to provide pain-free treatments that require zero downtime. Additionally, Vivace can be combined with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and other restorative serums and post-treatment skin care plans to create long-lasting skin rejuvenation

How Does RF Microneedling Help with Acne Scars?

The process for RF Microneedling treatment of acne scars is simple and painless. First, you’ll meet with Dr. Green to discuss your medical history, current skin condition, and goals. Then, Dr. Green will develop a curated treatment plan to reduce the appearance of your acne scars.

When you come in for RF Microneedling treatment, a topical numbing cream (anesthetic) will be applied to the treatment area. From there, Dr. Green will use the Vivace RF Microneedling device to carefully rejuvenate the skin, improving skin tone and texture. After your appointment, you’ll be able to resume your normal daily activity. Side effects to treatment may include mild swelling or redness, but this should subside rather quickly after your treatment session.

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Can RF Microneedling be used for Skin Resurfacing?

RF Microneedling is an ideal option for patients seeking skin resurfacing, and has become a competitive alternative to laser resurfacing due to its unique complementary nature. When radiofrequency energy is combined with microneedling, patients are able to firm and rejuvenate the epidermis–the top layer of the skin–which helps to reduce skin laxity, fine lines, and skin imperfections along the surface.

Is there any downtime required?

As RF Microneedling is a non-invasive procedure, it requires virtually no downtime. Once you leave the office, you can go back to your normal schedule, although you may experience some minor redness or inflammation immediately post-treatment.

Will Microneedling Help with Acne Scars?

RF Microneedling helps to restore elastin and collagen production along the surface of the skin, and can help to erase the skin’s natural memory of acne scars in order to improve skin tone and texture. Through fractional radiofrequency microneedling, patients can essentially eliminate the appearance of acne scars over a short series of treatments, without any need for downtime. This simple and easy treatment process has become a popular option for many patients looking to reduce the appearance of acne scars and help to restore their skin.

Does Microneedling Help Deep Acne Scars?

Microneedling devices, such as Vivace, are able to tailor needle depth to better treat varying levels of acne scarring. Both traditional microneedling and RF microneedling can be effective in treating mild, moderate, and severe acne scarring, and RF microneedling can help to smooth out skin tone, creating firmer, younger-looking skin where a scar once was.

Fractional RF for Acne Scars vs. Traditional Microneedling

The process for traditional microneedling and RF microneedling is essentially the same, as both involve tiny pinpricks to the skin that help to stimulate new collagen in the dermis. However, RF microneedling has the added benefit of radiofrequency energy which is proven to tighten and firm the skin, activating elastin and collagen production even further than traditional microneedling. Additionally, RF microneedling can only be performed by an expert medical professional. It’s also good to note that, though traditional microneedling can be performed by an aesthetician, deeper needles that are typically required for acne scar reduction can only be used in a medical office. Dr. Green is an expert in reducing the appearance of acne scars, as well as treating hyperpigmentation due to acne and active acne breakouts. When you work with Dr. Green, she’ll be able to analyze your skin type and current skin condition to determine which treatment is right for you.

How many sessions of RF Microneedling do I need for Acne Scars?

Hoe many microneedling treatments for acne scars largely depends of the size and severity of the acne scars being treated. However, in general, patients do need multiple sessions in order to see optimal scar reduction. Typically, Dr. Green recommends that patients wait at least four weeks in-between RF microneedling treatment sessions, as the skin needs time in order to fully rebuilt its foundational matrix, as well as work through the wound-healing processes that activate collagen production. Between RF microneedling sessions, Dr. Green will likely recommend a custom-tailored skin care routine that will help to support the skin as it naturally rebuilds itself.

Most patients will see improvements after a single session, but typically patients benefit from three sessions spaced four weeks apart in order to truly disrupt the skin’s memory of acne scarring. Additionally, RF microneedling can also be combined with other treatments and used as essentially a “finishing touch” on a patient’s personalized treatment plan. As Dr. Green is an expert in the treatment of acne scars, she’ll be able to curate a treatment plan that will create the best possible results.

How many microneedling sessions for deep acne scars are needed?

For patients with deep acne scars, typically patients will require 3-5 RF microneedling treatments spaced four weeks apart, as a treatment area with deeper acne scars may take more time to regenerate healthy skin. Additionally, for those with severe acne scars, Dr. Green might recommend a combination treatment plan with other acne scar removal treatments, such as non-ablative laser treatments or chemical peels, in order to quickly and fully remove any scars. Dr. Green has a mastery of a wide variety of skin resurfacing lasers that can help to reduce the appearance of active acne lesions and acne scars, as well as other issues, such as sun damage or hyperpigmentation.

How Much is RF Microneedling for Acne Scars?

The cost of RF microneedling treatments varies depending on the number of sessions needed, as well as the combination treatments that may be used, such as the application of nourishing serums or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).

PRP is a widely popular non-invasive serum that uses the body’s own growth factors and restorative systems in order to even out skin tone and rejuvenate the skin. When combined with microneedling, PRP can boost the body’s wound-healing processes with growth factors and cytokines in order to firm and restore the surface of the skin. PRP microneedling is an exciting way to stimulate collagen and elastin production, provide restorative growth factors, and thus reduce the appearance of acne scars, sun damage, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines.

An RF microneedling plan can vary in cost anywhere between $800-1500, depending on which serums are incorporated and if PRP is utilized for your treatment. When you work with Dr. Green, she can work with you to balance your treatment needs, time, and budget in order to create the best possible treatment plan for you.

Other Treatment Options for Acne Scarring

Dr. Green is well versed in a variety of different acne scarring treatment options, including traditional microneedling, PRP microneedling, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, chemical peels and the TCA Cross.

Laser Treatments

When it comes to laser treatments, Dr. Green offers a variety of options. The eMatrix laser is an innovative laser that can treat acne scars on any skin type, and is safe to use on darker skin tones that are often at greater risk of hyperpigmentation. The eMatrix laser works on all skin types and also relies on radiofrequency technology to boost new collagen in the skin. The Fraxel Dual laser is also frequently used to reduce the appearance of acne scars, as its fractionated technology can pinpoint skin resurfacing within the treatment area to reduce the appearance of acne scars without the need for any downtime. Lastly, the V-Beam laser is a cut above the rest when it comes to treating redness and red acne scars. As it can help to reduce not only acne scars, but also inflammatory and noninflammatory acne, it’s a popular option for those suffering from both acne scarring and active acne breakouts.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are also a popular choice for those suffering from mild acne scarring. Different strengths of chemical peels can be tailored to an individual patient in order to boost cell turnover and expose layers of new, healthy skin. Typically, patients who suffer from active acne breakouts and acne scarring benefit form the use of trichloroacetic acid peels, which both promotes new cell growth and clears out dead and damaged cells along the surface of the skin, reducing active breakouts and acne scars.

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TCA Cross

An additional treatment that Dr. Green often recommends for ice-pick acne scars is that of the TCA Cross Hatch. TCA Cross Hatch treatment applies concentrated trichloroacetic acid directly unto ice-pick scars, which, over time, vastly reduces the size of the scar.

Dermal Fillers

When it comes to dealing with widespread acne scars, dermal fillers can often help to restore collagen to the treatment area, restoring volume and thereby reducing the presence of the scar. Dermal fillers can also be used as a skin rejuvenation tool, helping to restore age-related volume loss in the face and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

If you’re frustrated by the appearance of acne scars, there are solutions that can make a world of difference. Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renown expert in treating acne scars, for over two decades, in her private New York City office. Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in NYC by Castle Connolly, The New York Times, and New York Magazine Best Doctors.  Contact our office online today or call 212-535-3088 to develop your custom treatment plan with Dr. Green.

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