Microneedling vs. RF Microneedling: Which Is Right for You?

Microneedling vs. RF Microneedling: Which Is Right for You? | The Wellspring Medical Spa

At The Wellspring Medical Spa in Dixon, IL, we specialize in skin rejuvenation treatments that can help revitalize your appearance. Microneedling and RF microneedling are two techniques we offer that aid in improving skin texture and reducing signs of aging by promoting collagen production.

Choosing the right treatment depends on your specific skin concerns and the desired outcomes. We provide both options at our facility because they can have beneficial effects on different types of skin and address a variety of skin issues effectively. We can help you determine which is right for you. 

What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a technique that uses a device equipped with small needles to create microchannels, or tiny holes, on the skin’s surface. These perforations stimulate the body’s natural wound-healing processes, resulting in the production of collagen and elastin. The outcome is smoother, firmer, and more youthful skin.

What Is RF Microneedling?

Microneedling with RF introduces the addition of radiofrequency energy to the traditional microneedling process. As the microneedling device penetrates the skin, it emits RF energy deep into the dermal layers, enhancing the natural collagen-producing response. This combination not only tightens the skin but also helps improve texture and tone.

Our Microneedling Devices

Sylfirm X® RF Microneedling

The Sylfirm X device uses radiofrequency microneedling to treat various skin concerns effectively. This device uses dual wave settings to address different concerns. The Pulsed Wave Mode is perfect for treating small, visible blood vessels and diffused redness while also treating hyperpigmentation. Continuous Wave Mode is used to reach the dermis and provide skin tightening and firming. The precision of Sylfirm X® allows it to address wrinkles, laxity, rosacea, and more to enhance skin elasticity and clarity.


The SkinPen is a microneedling tool that uses sterile, precisely spaced needles to create small punctures in the skin. It is effective at promoting collagen production without causing tissue damage. This device can reduce acne scars, tighten the skin, minimize sun damage, and reduce signs of aging, all with comfortable treatments and short downtime.

Comparing Treatments

Precision and Control in Application

Traditional microneedling offers the benefit of straightforward application that targets the upper layer of the skin to enhance texture and elasticity. RF microneedling adds precision and depth by using radiofrequency energy. Both treatments are designed to improve skin appearance, but RF microneedling provides an additional level of refinement that can address specific skin concerns.

Depth of Needle Penetration

The depth of needle penetration in traditional microneedling with the SkinPen can be adjusted according to the treatment area and the specific skin issues being addressed. This allows for customized microneedling treatment that can rejuvenate outer skin layers effectively. Sylfirm X offers the most customizability of any RF microneedling system, allowing for deeper or shallower treatments as needed.

Treatment Length

A standard microneedling session typically lasts about 30 minutes, depending on the area being treated. Sylfirm X can take as little as 10 minutes for smaller areas or longer for larger areas. Both types of treatments are fast and convenient, easily fitting into a lunch break. 

Comfort During Treatment

Microneedling is generally well-tolerated with the use of topical anesthetics to minimize discomfort. RF microneedling introduces heat through radiofrequency, which can cause a sensation of warmth, but it is similarly managed with numbing creams to ensure patient comfort. SkinPen treatments will not have the warmth but may feel like scratching or prickling on the skin.

Duration of Results

The results of traditional microneedling can last for several months and can be maintained with regular sessions. The addition of RF energy in RF microneedling typically extends the durability of the results, enhancing skin quality for a longer period. Patients often notice improvements in skin tightness and smoothness that persist longer due to the deeper collagen stimulation.

Recovery Time

Recovery from traditional microneedling is swift, with minor redness and sensitivity resolving within a few days. RF microneedling may lead to a slightly longer sensitivity due to the deeper skin penetration and the thermal effect of RF energy. However, both treatments allow for a quick return to normal life, and there are very few restrictions on activities after either treatment.  

Your Treatment Process

Pre-Treatment Preparations

Before undergoing microneedling or RF microneedling, it’s important to avoid any skin treatments that may irritate the skin for at least one week prior. This includes foregoing chemical peels and avoiding prolonged sun exposure. Patients should also hydrate well and discuss any current skincare products with their provider to ensure there are no adverse reactions to the treatment.

What to Expect During the Treatment

During an RF microneedling session, we can apply a topical numbing cream, which takes around 30 minutes to take effect. Then we will use the device on the area section by section to ensure comprehensive coverage. Once the entire area is treated, we can apply exosomes to soothe the skin and boost healing. We can also add red light therapy to soothe irritation and boost the effects of the treatment. Once we are done, you can return to your day right away. 

Post-Treatment Care

After a microneedling treatment, it’s crucial to protect the newly sensitive skin from potential irritants. This includes applying gentle skincare products approved by your provider and strictly avoiding direct sunlight. A high-SPF sunscreen should be used diligently, and makeup should be avoided for at least 24 hours to allow the skin to recover.

Frequency of Treatments

The frequency of microneedling sessions depends on the specific skin condition being treated and the initial outcomes. Typically, treatments are spaced about four to six weeks apart. Over this period, the skin heals and produces new collagen, with visible improvements often noticed after a couple of sessions.

Long-Term Care and Maintenance

Maintaining the results of microneedling can be achieved through a balanced skincare routine that supports skin health and prolongs the effects of your treatment. Regular follow-up sessions may be recommended to encourage your body to continue producing collagen. Integrating antioxidant-rich serums and maintaining hydration can help enhance and extend the rejuvenating effects of microneedling.

Which Treatment Is Right for You? Find Out With a Consultation

The decision between traditional microneedling and RF microneedling depends on your specific skin goals. At The Wellspring Medical Spa in Dixon, IL, we can help assess your skin’s condition and recommend the most effective treatment to revitalize your appearance. To start your skin renewal process, please contact us through our online form or call us at (815) 249-1025 to schedule a consultation.