RF Microneedling vs Fractional CO2 Laser
So how do these two treatments stack up, and what are the key differences and similarities? To understand the difference in how the fractional CO2 laser works compared to RF microneedling, you must understand how the different technologies work. Both CO2 and RF microneedling work on the premise of creating a controlled injury to your skin – breaking down scar collagen and damaged areas.
In making this injury, they activate your skin’s healing function, releasing factors in the skin which result in healthy new collagen being laid down. However, while CO2 Lasers works on the total thickness of the skin (epidermis and dermis), RF microneedling works primarily in the dermis. So you would think that CO2 lasers are superior? Not necessarily, and let us explain why.
RF Microneedling vs CO2 Laser Depth of Treatment
CO2 lasers affect epidermis and dermis: When applied to the skin, the CO2 laser creates controlled injury in a thin column through the full thickness of the skin. This is beneficial because it establishes collagen contraction and skin tightening. But it is the effect on the dermis that stimulates your skin to mount the repair response and lay down healthy collagen.
RF Microneedling creates a more selective dermal response: With RF microneedling treatments, on the other hand, needles are inserted into the skin before radiofrequency energy is discharged. Consequently, the surface of the skin (epidermis) only receives microneedle pricks. The injury to break down scars or damaged tissue occurs at the needle tip in the dermis. Thus, the radiofrequency creates a cone of injury, with the broadest part deeper in the dermis required.
However, it is often more beneficial to use combinations of fractional CO2 and RF microneedling except in people with darker skin types. Though the RF microneedling is safe to use in all skin types (fair to dark), CO2 laser should not be used in dark skin types because of the risk of hypo or hyperpigmentation after treatment.
RF Microneedling vs CO2 Laser Therapeutic Action
Though both create their therapeutic effects through heat, the heat is created in different ways. CO2 laser works by converting light into heat energy, whereas RF microneedling works by inserting small pins into the skin and discharging radiofrequency energy. Both are fractionated treatments. So what is meant by this, and where does the Fraxel laser fit in?
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