Thermal Microneedling treatment decreases the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, and pigmentation that afflict so many people by promoting new collagen and elastin in the deep layers of the skin, while bypassing the most superficial layer which is the most susceptible to side effects and prolonged downtime. Prior to Thermal Microneedling, many treatments required aggressive lasers or deep chemical peels that patients found challenging, given their busy lifestyle. Additionally, most of these devices were not safe for patients with darker skin.
How Thermal Microneedling works
Thermal Microneedling employs extremely tiny microneedles (smaller than the diameter of a hair) to distribute safe radio frequency energy into the deeper layer of the skin where collagen and elastin fibers form support structures. A division of released energy produces arcs of energy between the microneedles, delivering energy below the skin’s surface to remodel the skin without the visible top-layer downtime of previous technologies. The Lutronic® Infini™ provides several settings for depth, intensity, and number of microneedles, which enables each system to deliver various treatments that can be custom-tailored for each patient.
By transferring most of the energy to the mid-level dermis, Thermal Microneedling targets the skin’s underlying support system of collagen fibers and restructures any damaged areas caused by acne scarring. Reconstructing the skin’s support system enables the epidermis, the top-most layer of the skin, to become smooth and strong. The process is comparable to rebuilding a cracked foundation in a house, enabling all of the layers above that foundation to become stronger, stabilized, and properly positioned. In the skin, this typically means replacing the support “holes” in the dermis, which triggers the formation of sunken-in scars, like ice pick and box car scars.
Frequently Asked Questions about Thermal Microneedling
How much downtime/recovery should I expect with Thermal Microneedling?
Many patients feel comfortable to return to normal social activities no more than 24-48 hours after treatment; makeup can be applied the day after treatment.
Thermal Microneedling reduces your downtime and maximize the speed at which you achieve results in 2 ways:
- Thermal energy treatments transfer energy to a portion of the skin. The percentage of skin treated during Thermal Microneedling can be adjusted during each treatment. Treating the entire skin during one treatment session would result in a very long recovery with high risk for infection and complications, akin to intense chemical peels and fully ablative laser therapy. Treating a portion of the skin means the skin recovers faster while minimizing risks and complications. Using a series of treatments, thermal energy treats each cell at least once during the session. This way you can achieve the same effectiveness as an invasive treatment, with less risks and briefer downtime.
- Diminished damage to the skin surface: Thermal Microneedling transfers the energy where it’s needed most, in the lower dermis, while decreasing the damage to the skin’s surface. This means you will experience the absolute minimum in visible downtime, without sacrificing results.
Thermal Microneedling does have the capability to create bleeding, because the microneedles. We have seen this vary from patient-to-patient. Bleeding is typically minimal and resolves immediately without any additional side effects or necessary action.
Many patients opt to take the evening off from social activities. You should feel comfortable to return to normal social activities no later than 48 hours post-treatment, without the possibility of anyone knowing you’ve had a procedure.
Does Thermal Microneedling hurt?
Thermal Microneedling treatments with Infini™ and Intensif™ are well tolerated. To ensure your treatment is comfortable, we use a topical numbing cream (Lidocaine), and can offer additional numbing with injection upon request.
When will I begin to see results from a Thermal Microneedling treatment?
Thermal Microneedling treatments initiating your skin to rebuild old and damaged cells, consequently the results are not immediate and depend on how quickly your body reacts. Patients usually see improvements 6-8 weeks after a session. Each patient usually wants to have 3 or more sessions to notice sizable results; however, the number of sessions recommended for your acne scars will be incorporated into your customized treatment plan, provided during your consultation.
Is Thermal Microneedling safe? Can Thermal Microneedling be dangerous?
Thermal Microneedling is extremely safe. Since the energy protects the most superficial layer of the skin, most of the risks of side effects seen with aggressive lasers or deep chemical peels can be minimized or completely avoided. The 2 devices we use most often are the Intensif™ manufactured by Endymed 3Deep and the Infini™ manufactured by Lutronic. Both have been FDA-approved due to their safety and effectiveness. Infini™ is exceptional because insulates the tiny microneedles. This is an added safety precaution to protect the very top layer of the skin, which is the area most susceptible to damage with laser treatments, especially in patients with darker skin. (epidemis not treated)
Is Thermal Microneedling safe for my skin tone or type?
The range of treatment settings in these 2 devices enable our physicians to create design treatments that are safe for all skin types, including darker skin tones and skin that is susceptible to hyperpigmentation. This makes Thermal Microneedling a superior alternative to laser skin resurfacing for many patients with dark skin or skin which is prone to scarring or pigmentation. This also means those with lighter skin tones no longer require post-pone laser therapies during the Summer—Thermal Microneedling doesn’t need to be postponed until your tan fades.
Infini™ is clinically proven, with studies that endorse the technology. The histology images below depict the discrete coagulative injury zones in the dermis while protecting the epidermis. The natural healing process, following the skin rejuvenation treatment, replaces the damaged zones with new collagen and elastin.