microneedling vs radiofrequency vs laser resurfacing
We’ve been in aesthetic medicine for a long time (23 years to be exact), and we’ve seen a lot come and go. But every so often, a technology really wows us in how well it works to help patients improve their skin with minimal risks or downtime. Two such technologies have recently taken the facial rejuvenation world by storm: microneedling and radiofrequency.

What’s so great about microneedling?

Microneedling uses a grid of super-fine needles to create microscopic injuries in the skin. Your skin reacts by pumping out new collagen and elastin and making new cells to heal these injuries. This healing cycle helps to reduce blemishes (fine lines, acne scars, large pores, etc.), resulting in firmer, smoother skin. It’s chemical free and doesn’t heat the skin like lasers, so microneedling is safe for almost any skin type without risk of pigment changes. The results can be impressive.

What’s so great about radiofrequency?

Radiofrequency (RF) treatments send specific energy wavelengths through the skin to safely and gently heat its deeper layers, even for darker skin. This also boosts collagen and elastin production, to an even greater degree than microneedling. A quality RF treatment can firm and lift mildly sagging skin without any surgery, needles, or incisions.

Put them together, and what have you got? RF Microneedling

We love both microneedling and RF, so you can bet we were very interested in the newest treatments that combine these two rockstar technologies: Fractora RF and INFINIskin. At first glance, the two seem very similar—they’re both microneedling devices that send RF energy through the needles to deliver the benefits of both in one treatment. So what’s the difference? Which will get better results for your skin? Let’s compare and contrast.

Fractora RF vs. INFINI

Both Fractora and INFINI are classified as “fractional RF devices.” This means they remove (or ablate) a fraction of skin cells in the treatment area (via the microneedling).

Fractora has greater adjustability than INFINI

Fractora gives the provider the option to use tips with 24, 60 or 126 microneedles, each of which can be adjusted to reach a specific depth. There are also options for insulated or non-insulated needles; insulated needles emit RF only through the very tip, which makes it safer for darker skin or deeper treatment. Non-insulated needles emit RF from the entire needle, which allows for more dramatic results when used appropriately.

INFINI has one tip option of 49 insulated needles, which can be adjusted for depth—sufficient to achieve good results for the bulk of patients, but harder to dial in for very specific improvements.

What skin concerns can be treated

Fractora and INFINI can treat many of the same concerns on the face and neck, such as:

  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Acne scars & other scars
  • Large pore size
  • Crepey or lax skin

Fractora is additionally effective at treating:

  • Pigmentation irregularities
  • Cystic acne (it can even be used with active acne!)
  • Loose skin on the belly, thighs and other areas of body

Comfort, side effects and downtime

Most patients find any RF microneedling treatment tolerable with a topical anesthetic. Some patients may benefit from lidocaine injections for deeper or more intensive RF treatments.

Because all INFINI treatments use insulated needles, downtime tends to be less compared to deeper or more intensive Fractora treatments—but about the same as more superficial Fractora treatments. On average, patients need 1 to 2 days of social downtime after INFINI and 1 to 4 days of social downtime after Fractora. Both require much less downtime than laser treatments, but offer similar results.

Both INFINI and Fractora are associated with mild, temporary redness, increased sun sensitivity for several days after treatment, and a faintly visible “grid” pattern on the skin that disappears after a couple of days. Fractora’s technology helps coagulate tissue very quickly, resulting in less post-treatment bleeding than older microneedling technologies.

How many treatments are needed

According to a study conducted by INFINI’s manufacturer, patients on average receive 2 to 5 treatments to achieve optimal results. Depending on the nature of their skin concerns, patients usually undergo 1 to 3 Fractora treatments to achieve satisfying results.

Why we chose Fractora for our patients

While both are good products and both have been shown to work well for many skin issues, Fractora’s combination of superb quality, proven safety, and the ability to dial in treatment to lean more toward skin tightening or pigmentation problems or scars or fine lines—while still achieving improvements in all of these areas—make it a winner in our professional opinion. More importantly, our Hampton Roads Fractora patients who’ve tried it love it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Fractora and all of your Hampton Roads skin tightening and rejuvenation options, all it takes is a moment to schedule a consultation with our experienced skincare staff. Call 757-873-3500 or contact us online.

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