Secret RF – The Advantages of Fractional vs. Traditional Microneedling

with a decrease in collagen levels resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, tone and texture changes. Treatment of photoaged skin is based on inflicting damage to the dermis, resulting in neocollagenesis. Damage to the dermis results in the upregulation of the activity of various enzymes, such as metalloproteinases and collagenase that are responsible for the removal of old tissue and deposition of new dermal tissue1. Traditionally, laser-based technologies are used to resurface the skin. However, these treatments vary in their efficacy, adverse effects and downtime after treatment.

Recently, fractional radiofrequency (RF) microneedling has emerged as a treatment option. Rather than impacting the entire surface, microneedling causes thermal damage to the dermis in microscopic zones. The intact surrounding tissue accelerates the wound healing process, reducing recovery time and resulting in minimal adverse effects.

RF Microneedling

Fractional RF microneedling is a minimally invasive technology that involves the use of an array of very fine sterilized needles to create microscopic wounds at various predetermined depths in the dermis, without affecting the epidermis. The delivery of energy leads to the creation of an array of microscopic wounds in the dermis, interspersed between intact tissue. The direct thermal heating of the dermis results in new collagen production and subsequent dermal thickening. The presence of the intact epidermis and the surrounding dermal tissue results in rapid re-epithelialization and thus minimal downtime and risks. Studies also show that fractional radiofrequency microneedling is effective in the treatment of acne scars2,3,4and wrinkles5.

The pain associated with fractional radiofrequency microneedling may be more than traditional microneedling but is very manageable using standard pain management techniques. Topical anesthetics like lidocaine, applied at least 30 minutes before treatment, are generally adequate to minimize discomfort during treatment. Cutera’s Secret™ RF is a microneedle fractional radiofrequency device optimized for skin revitalization therapy. It uses precisely delivered bipolar radiofrequency energy to provide fractional radiofrequency microneedling for the treatment of photodamage, rhytides, acne scars, striae and other forms of scarring.

Secret RF is notably effective in the treatment of scars and wrinkles and is suitable for treating all skin types with minimal risk of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.

Secret RF is versatile and features a 64 pin and a 25 pin handpiece with adjustable needle penetration from 0.5mm to 3.5mm. The 64 pin handpiece features semi-insulated needles and is useful for efficient treatment of larger areas, whereas the 25 pin handpiece can be used with either semi-insulated or non-insulated needles for the treatment of smaller areas. The 25 pin non-insulated handpiece is recommended for skin types I-III.

Secret RF is reliable and well-tolerated technique for skin revitalization with little to no downtime. The treatment generally takes only 15-20 minutes and requires as few as three treatments for best results.

What I appreciate about Secret RF is that I can customize each treatment to the individual patient I am treating, and because we have two needle types, the treatments can be performed on all skin types and all year round.

Manu Aggarwal, M.D.

  1. Hantash BM, Ubeid AA, Chang H, Kafi R, Renton B. Bipolar fractional radiofrequency treatment induces neoelastogenesis and neocollagenesis. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine: The Official Journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. 2009 Jan;41(1):1-9.
  2. Singh A, Yadav S. Microneedling: advances and widening horizons. Indian dermatology online journal. 2016 Jul;7(4):244.
  3. Chandrashekar BS, Sriram R, Mysore R, Bhaskar S, Shetty A. Evaluation of microneedling fractional radiofrequency device for treatment of acne scars. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery. 2014 Apr;7(2):93.
  4. Cho SI, Chung BY, Choi MG, Baek JH, Cho HJ, Park CW, Lee CH, Kim HO. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy of fractional radiofrequency microneedle treatment in acne scars and large facial pores. Dermatologic Surgery. 2012 Jul;38(7pt1):1017-24.
  5. Kim JK, Roh MR, PARK GH, Kim YJ, Jeon IK, Chang SE. Fractionated microneedle radiofrequency for the treatment of periorbital wrinkles. The Journal of dermatology. 2013 Mar;40(3):172-6.