The Pros And Cons Of RF Microneedling For Acne Scar Treatment

Long after acne is gone, the scars it creates can remain. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce their appearance or get rid of them, from topical creams to in-office dermatology treatments. One such in-office treatment is RF microneedling, which uses radio frequencies to mildly re-injure the skin and perpetuate healing. RF microneedling is generally safe and works well for many patients with acne scars, but it is not for everyone. Here are the pros and cons you need to consider prior to scheduling this procedure.

Pro: There's no downtime after the treatment.

After RF microneedling, you may have a little puffiness and soreness in the area that was treated, but this can be managed with ice packs and over-the-counter NSAIDs. Some patients don't even need to use these remedies. You should be able to return to work, school, or your daily life immediately after treatment. 

Con: You may need to take antibiotics before treatment.

Because the needles used in RF microneedling do pierce the skin, there is some associated risk of infection. If you are someone who still has active acne, you may need to take antibiotics prior to the procedure in order to prevent the acne bacteria from spreading to the treatment site. This can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you're someone whose stomach is sensitive to antibiotics.

Pro: You can get additional treatments as needed.

Some patients find that their acne scars are sufficiently diminished after one RF microneedling treatment. The results tend to develop in the two or three months post-treatment. But if your scars are still a little more visible than you'd like, you can arrange for a second treatment and even a third. Each procedure is pretty simple, taking about 20 to 30 minutes, so RF microneedling is not a huge time commitment.

Con: RF microneedling is not usually covered by insurance.

Since it is generally considered a cosmetic procedure, RF microneedling is not usually covered by health insurance. It can be a little costly, too, so you'll want to get a quote from your doctor before you proceed. If you were to treat your acne scars with a prescription cream, that is more likely to be covered by your insurance plan since most insurance plans do cover all prescribed medications, minus a copay.

If you can afford it and don't mind taking antibiotics prior to your session, RF microneedling is a really safe and convenient way of getting rid of acne scars.