How does radiofrequency work?
Radiofrequency energy heats the dermis, to stimulate new collagen and elastin formation

What is radiofrequency useful for?
Fine lines and wrinkles
Sagging skin
Stretch marks
Enlarged pores

What’s involved with treatment?
Numbing cream prior
Mild redness and swelling for 1-3 days
Multiple treatments required

Radiofrequency is a treatment that has become very popular lately, and can be a very effective and safe way to rejuvenate the skin and treat scarring and stretch marks. Read on to learn how it works, and how it differs from laser.

What exactly is radiofrequency treatment?

Radiofrequency treatments involve using radiofrequency energy to heat the dermis, the second layer of the skin. The heating of the dermis stimulates collagen contraction, and new collagen and elastin formation. This promotes skin tightening and rejuvenation, and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, enlarged pores, scarring and stretch marks. 

Many radiofrequency devices use microneedling to more effectively deliver the heat to the desired depth in the skin. The depth of skin targeted can be adjusted, depending on the condition and area of skin being treated. 

What conditions can radiofrequency be used for?

Radiofrequency is used for skin tightening and rejuvenation, and to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, scarring and stretch marks.

What does treatment involve?

A numbing cream is usually applied prior to treatment. Multiple treatments are usually required, several weeks apart. Redness and swelling for 1 to 3 days after treatment is expected, depending on the treatment settings. 

What’s the difference between radiofrequency treatment and laser?

A key difference when comparing radiofrequency with laser treatments is that electrical energy is used, rather than light energy. When compared to laser resurfacing of the face, the recovery time tends to be shorter with radiofrequency. 

Elawar A, Dahan S. Non-insulated Fractional Microneedle Radiofrequency Treatment with Smooth Motor Insertion for Reduction of Depressed Acne Scars, Pore Size, and Skin Texture Improvement: A Preliminary Study. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(8):41-44.

Kleidona IA, Karypidis D, Lowe N, Myers S, Ghanem A. Fractional radiofrequency in the treatment of skin aging: an evidence-based treatment protocol. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2020;22(1):9-25. 

Weiner SF. Radiofrequency Microneedling: Overview of Technology, Advantages, Differences in Devices, Studies, and Indications. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2019 Aug;27(3):291-303.

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Spotlight on Skin was created by award-winning Melbourne-based dermatologist, Dr Julia Rhodes.

Julia knows first-hand how overwhelming the skincare world can be, and that’s with over 10 years of experience practicing dermatology. Given that even she gets overwhelmed, she appreciates how hard it can be for those of you without a scientific background to make sense of all the information available, and choose products that are right for your skin…