If you’re looking to achieve a more youthful-looking complexion, you’ll first want to start searching for skin-care options that will boost your collagen production. While topical options can certainly help, it’s the in-office procedures that really make a difference. At the top of our list? Microneedling with radiofrequency (RF)—specifically, the Potenza device.
As not everyone is familiar with this game-changing procedure, we tapped two experts to reveal everything there is to know about microneedling with radiofrequency, from exactly what it is to how your skin will ultimately benefit from it.
First, what is microneedling with RF?
Microneedling works by placing a handheld device that contains tiny needles against the skin to create micro-injuries. This triggers the body’s healing process, which in turn helps to generate collagen and elastin. In order to boost the benefits of microneedling, the treatment can now be paired with radiofrequency (RF) energy in a singular, handheld device called Potenza.
“With this minimally-invasive treatment, RF energy is delivered via small needles to the dermis, the deepest layer of skin,” says West Hollywood, CA plastic surgeon Jason Litner, MD. “This energy causes micro-injuries in the dermis which, in turn, leads to skin tightening through the [body’s] natural healing response.” Specifically, this energy causes soft tissue coagulation, heating, and tightening of existing collagen in the skin while also stimulating the production of new collagen and elastin.
Not only does the RF technology boost the collagen-building benefits that are already occurring with microneedling alone, it also helps minimize downtime. (When microneedling is done without RF, bleeding is much more common.)
What are the benefits of microneedling with RF?
The Potenza device is useful for improving the appearance and texture of the skin, making it appear brighter, firmer*, younger, and healthier-looking. “It best treats early-to-moderate signs of skin aging for the face and body,” says Dr. Litner. “It also effectively treats blemishes.”
Are there any side effects or downtime?
According to Dr. Litner, patients usually see some redness and mild swelling that lasts a day or two post-treatment. “Although pigmentation is a risk with any procedure, those prone to post-procedure pigmentation tend to do better with Potenza than with other lasers and devices that deliver energy to the skin’s surface,” he adds.
Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
This treatment is generally well-tolerated by all skin tones and textures, but experts agree that it’s most beneficial for younger patients with early-to-moderate signs of aging. “It very neatly fills this so-called ‘treatment gap’ for patients who have early loss of elasticity and want to maximize their appearance without surgery,” explains Dr. Litner. Patients with advanced aging may not benefit as much and may need more invasive anti-aging procedures.
It’s also important to note that the Potenza device should not be used in patients with pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices.
How fast do you see results from Potenza?
“We typically recommend starting with three treatments delivered every four weeks or so,” says Dr. Litner. While skin will be brighter about two weeks after treatment, it takes around two to four months to see the deeper effects of collagen tightening* and deposition, so patients should expect to see more drastic results after the first few treatments.
How does Potenza differ from other microneedling with RF options?
The Potenza device isn’t the only microneedling and radiofrequency hybrid option available to patients, but there are a few key differences between the Potenza device and the other picks. “Unlike previous microneedling with radiofrequency devices, Potenza has both monopolar and bipolar settings along with a much larger array of treatment heads that allows us to tailor and individualize the treatments much more specifically to our patients,” says Dr. Solieman.
*through soft tissue coagulation.
Dr. Solieman and Dr. Litner are paid consultants of Cynosure, LLC.
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