Dr Monica Li Explains Efficacy, Safety Differences Between Different Microneedling Techniques

Monica Li, MD, medical and cosmetic dermatologist, explained the efficacy and safety differences between radiofrequency microneedling and traditional microneedling.

This content was produced independently by The American Journal of Managed Care® and is not endorsed by the American Academy of Dermatology.

In an interview with The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®), Monica Li, MD, explained the differences and similarities between traditional microneedling and radiofrequency (RF) microneedling, particularly in terms of their efficacy and safety.

Li is a medical and cosmetic dermatologist and a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. She co-directed "Advances in Microneedling Techniques Around the World" at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting 2024.

Most notably, she said that, overall, there can be comparable results in patients when using either traditional or RF microneedling depending on the tool being used to deliver the treatment.


Can you discuss the efficacy and safety between traditional microneedling and radiofrequency microneedling techniques?

This is a question that often we, as colleagues, ponder about. I have patients, many of them asking me this, as well, to distinguish between radiofrequency microneedling, or RF microneedling, versus mechanical microneedling that I alluded to earlier, where we're using an electric power pen to deliver those passes and microneedles into the skin.

Now, the jury is still out, because it depends on which study or publication you're looking at, but, overall, it appears that there can be comparable results depending on how that treatment is being delivered for the patient with regards to the tool that is being used.

They both, RF microneedling and mechanical microneedling, require a series of treatments. Mechanical microneedling is considered relatively colorblind, though, in contrast to radiofrequency microneedling because there's no thermal energy that's actually being delivered when those micro channels are being created. So, some argue that this allows for treatment truly of the full skin spectrum, and the risk of postprocedure dyspigmentation is less, as a result.

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