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Everything You Need to Know About Radiofrequency Microneedling

Last updated: June 2, 2022

If you stay on top of what's going on in the world of skincare, you probably already know that everyone is abuzz about a procedure called radiofrequency microneedling (abbreviated as RF microneedling). What is this procedure that has taken the skincare world by storm?

Let's learn all about RF microneedling, a procedure that helps your skin stimulate new growth and tackles issues such as wrinkles and acne scars.

What Exactly Is Radiofrequency Microneedling?

In microneedling, a tiny fine needle is used to create small channels, or micro-wounds, in your skin. These tiny wounds serve to trigger the skin's production of elastin, capillaries, and collagen. You will sometimes see microneedling called collagen induction therapy or skin needling.

With RF microneedling, radiofrequency is released into the micro-wounds (channels), which causes additional damage. Because of this, the effects are increased more than with standard microneedling that's done without the radiofrequency.

What Can Radiofrequency Microneeling Fix?

A 2013 study determined that RF microneedling results lasted longer than Botox injections to reduce wrinkles that form around the eyes. Moreover, a case report from 2020 shared that RF microneedling reduces facial skin that is loose.

When your skin grows back after RF microneedling, the skin is smoother and thicker. This procedure can help with any of the following skin issues.

  • Stretch marks
  • Forehead wrinkles
  • Wrinkles
  • Fine lines
  • Arm skin tightening
  • Acne scars
  • Large pores
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Sagging, loose skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the underarms)
  • Cellulite

Skin rejuvenation

A 2013 study determined that RF microneedling results lasted longer than Botox injections to reduce wrinkles that form around the eyes. Moreover, a case report from 2020 shared that RF microneedling reduces facial skin that is loose.

Another study showed that RF microneedling can improve pore size and skin texture.

Acne scars

In 2014, 31 people were studied after receiving radiofrequency microneedling for acne scars. The results of this study matched another study (from 2017) that showed that RF microneedling reduces the appearance of acne scars.


For people who suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), RF microneedling can provide much-needed relief. This has been verified by a 2019 study as well as a 2013 study.

Who Is a Good Candidate for RF Microneedling?

A good candidate for RF microneedling should have signs of early aging, realistic expectations, and be in good health.

In some situations, you should avoid RF microneedling.

  • Current using (or recently used) Accutane
  • Skin infection
  • Active breakout of a cold sore
  • Receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Have psoriasis or another skin disease
  • Taking anticoagulants
  • Pregnancy
  • A history of hypertrophic scarring, keloids, or poor wound healing

What Happens During the Radiofrequency Microneedling Procedure?

There are three phases to the RF microneedling procedure: before, during, and after.

A few things to note:

  • Some people will see results within a few days. However, most people will begin to see full results after three to six months.
  • Most people will need minimally four sessions, depending on what is being treated.
  • Treatments are done every three to eight weeks to allow your skin to heal between treatments.
  • Results will last about a year without yearly touch-up treatments.

Before the procedure

At your first appointment, your skincare medical provider will ask a series of questions about your expectations, along with your medical history. At this time, they will take photos of your face to make a determination on which technique is best for you. You can also expect them to discuss with you the best RF microneedling device.

If you are currently having an acne breakout, the provider may require you to take oral antibiotics first. Additionally, if you have a history of getting cold sores, they might require you to take medication for that.

During the RF microneedling procedure

For your procedure, you will go to your skincare provider's office. Below, we have outlined what to expect from most healthcare providers.

  1. Technicians will clean your skin to prevent infection. They use alcohol to do this.
  2. One hour before your procedure, the staff will apply topical anesthetics to the area that will be treated. In other cases, the technicians may apply a local anesthetic via an injection. The anesthetics numb the treatment area so that you don't feel pain.
  3. While the exact duration of the procedure can vary, it will usually take between 10 and 20 minutes.
  4. After the microneedling, your provider will apply a growth solution to the treated area. This solution will help support the regeneration of your skin cells.
  5. Last, the provider will apply a soothing solution to your skin. This solution will help to minimize your discomfort.

After the RF microneedling procedure

The best thing about RF microneedling is that you can go home when the provider is done and immediately resume your regular activities.

Here are some tips for the best aftercare following RF microneedling.

  • Wear sunscreen for several weeks following your treatment because your skin will be more sensitive than usual.
  • Apply ice packs as needed to reduce discomfort and swelling.
  • If your doctor prescribed emollients or antibiotic creams, be sure you use them.
  • When cleaning your skin, be sure to use a cleanser that is gentle.
  • Don't wear makeup on the same day as your procedure. After about 24 hours, it's OK to start wearing makeup again and resuming your normal skincare routine.

Microneedling RF Side Effects

Like most procedures, radiofrequency microneedling has some side effects, which can last from a few hours to days. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and it's rare for someone to experience all of them.

  • Skin redness
  • Dryness
  • Itching
  • Scaling
  • A flare-up of mild acne
  • Swelling
  • Cold sore breakout


Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about radiofrequency microneedling.

Does microneedling with RF really work?

The RF microneedling procedure stimulates the new growth of healthy skin. This can benefit common skin problems, including wrinkles and acne scars.

Is RF microneedling safer than dermabrasion and chemical peels?

Because radiofrequency microneedling is minimally invasive, it is considered to be easier on the skin than other treatments such as dermabrasion and chemical peels.

How long does RF microneedling last?

RF microneedling can last for between two and three years. Receiving maintenance treatments every year will help your collagen production to continue to produce at higher levels.

How much does RF microneedling cost?

Because RF microneedling is a procedure that is cosmetic, insurance doesn't cover it. Radiofrequency microneedling can cost between $100 and $700 per session.

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