From fine lines and photo-aging, to stretch marks and scars, the Secret RF by Cutera (Brisbane, Calif.) offers something for just about everyone. By combining radiofrequency (RF) energy, semi- and non-insultated microneedles, and adjustable depths of needle penetration, physicians can customize treatments based on each patient’s individual concern, skin type, and/or body area.
“I’ve used most of the RF microneedling (RFMN) devices on the market,” said Arash Moradzadeh, M.D., a facial plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I chose Secret RF because it is the most versatile – you can adjust your settings to treat a variety of conditions.”
In Dr. Moradzadeh’s experience, the typical RFMN device is very good at treating acne scars or deep wrinkles. But with
Secret RF, “Due to the dialable penetration, we now have one machine that can treat a very broad range of issues, from acne scars in a 20-year-old to crepey skin or wrinkles in a 70-year-old,” he expressed.
The thin skin of the forehead and eyelids requires shallow penetration, versus the thicker skin of the cheeks and body, Dr. Moradzadeh pointed out. “Flexibility is critical in treating acne scarring as pitting requires deep penetration, followed by a shallow application to smooth the skin’s surface.”
Treatment begins with topical anesthetic cream applied for 30 to 40 minutes. For acne scars, “I deliver two passes at various depths, depending on the severity, to ensure that the energy is being delivered where it is most effective,” Dr. Moradzadeh shared. “With Secret RF, you’re producing a layered approach. Each patient will receive a customized treatment that is very specific to their needs, skin and goals.”
Additionally, adjusting energy levels allows Dr. Moradzadeh to provide more significant results in one session, if that is what the patient desires. “Or you can choose a gentler setting for light rejuvenation, fine lines or pores. I am able to dial down the energy level, making it a very comfortable treatment with very rapid recovery,” he advised.
Dr. Moradzadeh typically uses the 25-pin non-insulated applicator for general rejuvenation on lighter skin types. “The 25-pin semi-insulated needle will work on all skin colors as the insulation protects the surface of the skin, allowing more energy to be delivered at the tip of the needle,” he explained. In addition, the 64-pin semi-insulated applicator covers a larger surface area for body treatments.
“These smooth microneedles, which are controlled by a motorized handpiece, gently penetrate into the skin, delivering RF or heat into the epidermal and dermal layers, depending on the depth you determine,” Dr. Moradzadeh indicated. This causes a calculated injury to the tissues, eliciting a healing reaction that returns elastin, hyaluronic acid and collagen – key components of youthful skin – to the treated area.
A typical course of treatment includes three to four applications delivered every four to six weeks. Patients start seeing better, brighter skin in about two weeks, while collagen building takes six months. “Most patients are very happy with their results about two months after their second treatment. They see very significant changes,” Dr. Moradzadeh reported.