The INTRAcel Fractional Radiofrequency (RF) Micro-Needling device was invented to offer a solution for a variety of cosmetic problems that include acne scarring, wrinkles, aging skin texture, as well as the tightening of the neck and jowls. INTRAcel was first introduced in the UK in 2011and was recently cleared by the FDA for use in the U.S. INTRAcel combines three effective treatments: radiofrequency, micro-needling and fractional treatment to deliver RF heat energy into the middle layer of skin known as the dermis. In essence, the heat energy causes controlled damage in the area of application, eventually triggering a repair response from the body. Simply put, INTRAcel stimulates collagen and elastin production (the proteins that make your skin firm and strong); it means you can achieve thicker, firmer, tighter and rejuvenated skin.
The device makes use of specially designed micro-needles that are insulated except for 0.3 mm at the end of the tips where it emits the RF energy. The insulation means that the surrounding skin is not damaged by RF energy because it is delivered and targeted only at the tip, thus protecting the superficial layers of the skin. The needles are quite thin – thinner than a 32 Gauge needle that is popularly used with cosmetic procedures. They are arranged in an array of 49. The INTRAcel RF micro-needling device can be used to rejuvenate skin in almost all areas of your body including:
- Loose jowls and sagging skin under the chin
- Fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth and forehead
- Flabby tummy
- Sagging skin on the arms, buttocks, knees, and legs
- Unwanted bulges after weight loss or pregnancy
- Stretch marks
- Acne scarring and scars
- Open pores, skin texture, and fine lines
- Excess skin found on the upper part of the eyelid
- Wrinkles around the eyes
INTRAcel device has three different modes of treatment for different areas of the body and different problems. A treatment session takes around 30–45 minutes. Firstly, the hand-piece is placed over your skin. Secondly, the micro-needles project from the hand-piece and penetrate into the top layer of your skin. Thirdly, the radiofrequency is then transmitted through the insulated needles. And finally, the needles withdraw from your skin after the emission and the handpiece is moved along to repeat the process, (see the illustration). You will feel a prickling sensation as well as a feeling of heat during treatment. A topical anesthetic is applied 45-60 minutes prior to the procedure to minimize discomfort. The intensity levels of the device can also be adjusted. Generally, treatment is considered to be tolerable. You will feel like you have a mild sunburn for a few hours and the skin will stay red for up to a day. During this time the skin is starting to heal. There may be swelling, particularly if you are treated around the eye area; this may take up to 3 days to disappear. Small bruises are also possible. Tiny scabs will form at the entry points of the micro-needles. This will make your skin dry and flaky for a few days as the area heals. Improvement in skin tone and texture will happen after about 2 weeks. You will be advised to wear an SPF 30+ sunscreen product after treatment. Make-up should be avoided for at least 24 hours after treatment.
Although the results will vary according to the skin type and the area of application, results last up to 2 years for most people. Normally, you will require between 1–5 sessions, 3 is most commonly recommended, but this all depends on your skin type and the area in which the procedure is to be applied. Treatment sessions are usually spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart to allow healing in between. Skin aging will of course still continue in all individuals so you may be advised to consider top-up or maintenance treatments every couple of years.
INTRAcel should not be used if you are pregnant or lactating, use anticoagulants, suffer from keloid scarring, have active skin infections, or bleeding disorders. It also contraindicated for patients with skin malignancy or pacemakers. Call us to arrange your complimentary consultation and find out if INTRAcel RF Micro-Needling is the right treatment for you.