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Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedling vs. Traditional Microneedling

By Josh Sim, Aesthetic and Non-Surgical Facelift Specialist


RF Microneedling in London

Microneedling and Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedling are popular treatments for skin rejuvenation, addressing various concerns from acne scars to fine lines and wrinkles. While both procedures involve using tiny needles to stimulate the skin’s natural healing process, RF Microneedling adds the power of radiofrequency energy to enhance the results. This blog will delve into the differences between Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedling vs. Traditional Microneedling, exploring their mechanisms, benefits, and the amplified effects and results of RF Microneedling.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. These micro-injuries trigger the body’s natural healing process, leading to increased collagen and elastin production.

How It Works
  1. Procedure: A device with fine needles is used to create controlled punctures in the skin.

  2. Healing Response: The micro-injuries stimulate the skin’s repair process, producing new collagen and elastin.

  3. Results: Over time, this results in improved skin texture, reduced appearance of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles, and overall skin rejuvenation.

  • Improves Skin Texture: Enhances the smoothness and firmness of the skin.

  • Reduces Scars: Effective in treating acne scars and other forms of scarring.

  • Minimises Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Promotes collagen production to reduce signs of aging.

  • Enhances Product Absorption: Increases the effectiveness of topical skincare products.

What is Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedling?

RF Microneedling combines traditional microneedling with radiofrequency energy to enhance the effects of the treatment. The addition of RF energy allows for deeper and more effective skin rejuvenation.

How It Works
  1. Procedure: Similar to microneedling, a device with ultra fine microneedles creates controlled punctures in the skin. However, RF energy is delivered through the needles.

  2. Enhanced Healing Response: The RF energy heats the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating more collagen and elastin production.

  3. Results: This combination leads to more significant skin tightening, reduction in wrinkles, and overall improved skin texture and tone.

  • Deeper Skin Rejuvenation: The RF energy reaches deeper layers of the skin, promoting more substantial collagen production.

  • Enhanced Skin Tightening: RF energy helps to tighten the skin more effectively than traditional microneedling.

  • Effective for Various Skin Concerns: Addresses not only fine lines and wrinkles but also sagging skin and deeper scars.

  • Minimal Downtime: Offers the benefits of more invasive procedures with less recovery time.

Comparing Mechanisms of Action

Needle Penetration
  • Microneedling: Involves creating micro-injuries with fine needles that penetrate the epidermis and dermis.

  • RF Microneedling: Uses ultra fine microneedles that deliver RF energy to the deeper layers of the skin, enhancing the healing process and collagen production.

Energy Delivery
  • Microneedling: Relies solely on mechanical injury to stimulate collagen production.

  • RF Microneedling: Combines mechanical injury with thermal energy from RF, amplifying collagen production and skin tightening effects.

Treatment Experience

Comfort Levels
  • Microneedling: Generally well-tolerated with minimal discomfort. Topical numbing cream is often used to enhance comfort.

  • RF Microneedling: May involve slightly more discomfort due to the added RF energy, but numbing cream and advanced devices help manage pain.

Procedure Duration
  • Microneedling: Typically takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the treatment area.

  • RF Microneedling: Similar in duration to microneedling but may take slightly longer due to the added RF energy.

Downtime and Recovery
  • Microneedling: Minimal downtime with mild redness and swelling for a few days.

  • RF Microneedling: Slightly longer downtime with mild redness, swelling, and potential pinpoint bleeding, typically resolving within a week.

Effectiveness and Results

Collagen Stimulation
  • Microneedling: Effective in stimulating collagen and elastin production, improving skin texture and reducing scars.

  • RF Microneedling: More effective in stimulating deeper collagen production, resulting in enhanced skin tightening and rejuvenation.

Longevity of Results
  • Microneedling: Results typically last several months, with continued improvement over time with multiple sessions.

  • RF Microneedling: Longer-lasting results due to deeper collagen stimulation, often requiring fewer sessions to maintain effects.

Targeted Skin Concerns
  • Microneedling: Best for treating superficial skin concerns like fine lines, minor scars, and overall texture improvement.

  • RF Microneedling: Ideal for addressing deeper wrinkles, significant skin laxity, and more pronounced scars.

Safety and Side Effects

Common Side Effects
  • Microneedling: Redness, swelling, and mild discomfort are common, typically resolving within a few days.

  • RF Microneedling: Similar side effects to microneedling but may include additional warmth and slight pinpoint bleeding due to RF energy.

Choosing the Right Treatment

Skin Type and Concerns
  • Microneedling: Suitable for individuals with mild to moderate skin concerns looking for a non-invasive treatment.

  • RF Microneedling: Ideal for those with more significant skin issues, including deeper wrinkles and skin laxity.

Desired Results
  • Microneedling: Provides gradual improvement in skin texture and tone, ideal for maintenance and minor corrections.

  • RF Microneedling: Offers more dramatic results with fewer sessions, suitable for those seeking significant skin tightening and rejuvenation.

Treatment Outcomes

Case Studies
  • Microneedling: Patients typically report smoother skin texture, reduced acne scars, and improved skin tone after several sessions.

  • RF Microneedling: Patients often see more significant improvements in skin tightness, reduction in deeper wrinkles, and enhanced overall skin quality after fewer sessions.

Cost Considerations

Price Range
  • Microneedling: Generally ranges from £200 to £300 per session, depending on the treatment area and type of skin booster used.

  • RF Microneedling: Typically ranges from £500 to £750 per session, reflecting the enhanced technology and results.

Long-Term Investment
  • Microneedling: Cost-effective for maintaining overall skin health and addressing minor concerns with regular sessions.

  • RF Microneedling: Offers more dramatic results with potentially fewer sessions, making it a worthwhile investment for significant skin rejuvenation.

Preparing for Treatment

Pre-Treatment Tips
  • Microneedling: Avoid sun exposure and potent skincare products a few days before treatment. Ensure the skin is clean and free of makeup on the day of the procedure.

  • RF Microneedling: Similar pre-treatment care as microneedling, with added emphasis on ensuring the skin is well-hydrated and free of irritants.

What to Expect During the Procedure
  • Microneedling: The practitioner will use a device with fine needles to create controlled micro-injuries in the skin. You may feel a slight prickling sensation.

  • RF Microneedling: Similar to microneedling, but with the addition of RF energy delivered through the needles. You may feel a warming sensation as the RF energy is applied.


Microneedling and RF Microneedling are both effective treatments for skin rejuvenation, each with its unique benefits and applications. While microneedling is excellent for improving skin texture and minor concerns, RF Microneedling offers enhanced results with deeper collagen stimulation and skin tightening. Consulting with a qualified professional can help you determine the best treatment for your skin type and aesthetic goals, ensuring you achieve the best possible results.


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