Every scar has a story; some are more emotional or traumatic than others. Certain scars don’t bother us, and others mar our skin. It’s the bothersome ones we work hard to erase, no matter what it takes and what’s involved. If there’s a scar, or two, or more that you want to improve, there’s an effective way to do so. RF Microneedling for scar removal is a popular and effective option for treatment.
Of all the ‘fixable’ scars, acne scars tend to sit high at the top of the list. That’s because the effects of acne can linger on the skin as dark spots or textural scars, making the complexion look unclear and dull—even if there are no active breakouts. Plus, the emotional effects of post-acne scarring can be distressing. Deeper acne scars, which are an effect of inflammatory acne, affect the healthy collagen in the skin and degrade it. Once that happens, and there’s a lack of healthy collagen in the area, the skin takes on a depressed or pitted look that used to be extremely difficult, painful, and time-consuming to correct.
Thanks to the advance of RF microneedling, acne scars can now be managed and corrected in a few treatments by stimulating new, healthy collagen. So, if clear, hyperpigmentation-and spot-free skin is an important skin goal, RF microneedling for scar removal is hands down the best way to do it.
How RF Microneedling Works
Collagen is the cornerstone of healthy skin, and RF microneedling aims to create new healthy collagen. A handheld device stamps tiny needles into the skin during the procedure, which takes 30 minutes or more. A microscopic wound is created as the needles pierce the skin in small squares. As these wounds heal, the skin makes new collagen bundles as part of the recovery process. The damaged collagen is then replaced with fresh, new collagen to reduce the look of scars and damaged skin.
Some patients believe that RF microneedling can create additional darkness in the skin, which is not the case. Instead, the tiny punctures made in the skin are not deep in the dermis where damage occurs. Instead, there’s no cutting, incisions, or scar tissue creation in the dermis, so no additional scarring or discoloration is created.
RF energy is delivered deep into the skin to stimulate elastin and collagen production in the skin. This helps to rejuvenate the skin and tighten it so that acne scars are less apparent. Plus, the RF aspect of RF microneedling acts as a skin smoother of sorts and is even safe to use on all skin tones and types.
No type of acne scar is off limits with RF microneedling, and even some of the harder-to-correct kinds of acne scars, like ice-pick, rolling, ad boxcar ones, can be dramatically improved with RF microneedling.
The Pain Factor
RF microneedling for scar removal can be uncomfortable if topical numbing cream is not used. Applying a layer of numbing cream to the face about 30 minutes before the treatment will remove any discomfort or ‘spicy’ feeling during the procedure. However, once the treatment is complete, you should feel no pain in the skin since it’s a virtually downtime-free treatment. There may be some minor redness or swelling, which subsides rather quickly.
Most patients need a series of treatments, which your provider will determine during your consultation. However, on average, it’s recommended to wait about four weeks between sessions so that the skin can rebuild its foundation, activate collagen production, and aid in wound healing.
What to Expect
Everyone’s skin and scars are different, and while some patients see results after the first treatment, others benefit most from a series of treatments. Regardless, you can expect smoother and firmer skin that’s more even in tone and fewer acne scars after the entire course of recommended treatment. The results are permanent but must be maintained with proper skin care and sun avoidance. You may also want to continue maintenance treatments to keep the skin clear and healthy.
Depending on the extent of your acne scars and their coloration, you may benefit from additional procedures commonly combined with RF microneedling, like medical-grade skincare or using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as an add-on. PRP contains your platelets, rich in growth factors, to accelerate the recovery and further improve the look of textured skin or an uneven tone.