A recent study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology confirms our experience here at Maine Laser Skin Care. The article demonstrates that radiofrequency micro needling treatments, which we use in the form of Secret™ RF, are a safe and effective method to improve the appearance of acne scars.
As we all know (and many times from personal experience), acne is an extremely common skin condition, especially in teenagers and young adults, that can leave behind longer-lasting scars. The psychosocial aspects of acne can cause embarrassment, self-consciousness, lack of self confidence, and depression among those who live with it.
Even after the active acne problem calms down, scarring can cause these psychosocial problems to persist into adulthood. Also, whereas acne is generally seen as temporary, scars tend to be more permanent.
The relatively new technique of radiofrequency micro needling helps to reduce the visibility of scars of all kinds, especially those caused by acne. It combines using miniature pins or needles to deliver radiofrequency energy into deeper levels of the skin.
This combination of mini-needles and readiofrequency results in controlled damage to the local tissue, which immediately activates your body's wound healing system. This localized and directed process remodels existing scar tissue, triggers the development of new collagen and elastin into that defined area, and renews skin over the surface.
A sterile microneedle tip is attached to Secret™ RF handpiece, and the treated area will receive 2 different passes at 2 different levels of microneedle penetrations. The protocol we follow is similar to this study in that we recommend 3 treatments about 1 month apart for maximal benefit.
Following the procedure, we place topical numbing cream over the treated area. Later, we clean and dry the area to achieve conditions as sterile as possible.
We also usually apply either a sterile hyaluronic acid (HA) solution or platelet rich plasma (PRP) to that same area after we clean it. Either of these formulas further stimulates the collagen stimulation process.
Getting back to the article published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, the researchers surveyed the study participants at 1, 3, and 6 months after their course of therapy. Over the course of 6 months, patients showed continued improvement in terms of their acne scars.
Based on a scale of acne scar classification, the average patient improved from moderate and deep to barely perceptible. Also, over the course of 6 months post-treatment, improvement progressed from slight change at 1 month to considerable change at 6 months.
Reassuringly, the study showed a very high safety profile with no unexpected or significant adverse events. As we tell all our patients, immediately after each of the treatment sessions, the skin will be mildly to moderate red with some swelling and mild pinpoint bleeding, which will be transient and usually resolving without any significant intervention.
Occasionally, in patients with ongoing acne, there may be an occasional acne flareup. However, it will be short-lived and easily treated.
There are some people who can not have this treatment, including people who have pacemakers or defibrillators, or any metal implants under the treated area. Patients who are pregnant, or have an active infection in the area should also pass on micro needling, or at least wait until a doctor clears them to undergo it.
For all those adults with embarrassing acne scars from their youth or younger folks with more recent but still self-conscious scars, Secret™ RF and radiofrequency microneedling have been proven to reduce the appearance of acne scars and show overall improvement in skin appearance. These improvements were also shown to be progressive over at least 6 months after the last treatment, probably due to ongoing regeneration of collagen and elastin, which helps with overall skin renewal.
These findings were just from one study. Other studies have shown that improvement following these treatments can last up to 3 years depending on the age and skin condition of the patient, but the average is at least 1 year.
For a combination of safety and success in the treatment of acne scars as well as skin looseness, Secret™ RF gets our highest recommendation. We book up fairly quickly, so give us a call in Scarborough at (207) 303-0125 and in Augusta at (207) 873-2158 to get a spot in our queue.
If you have any questions about this article or any other skin issues, please give us a call as well. We also urge all of you to continue to stay safe.