For years, microneedling and the application of radiofrequency energy have been used to tighten and rejuvenate the skin. But now we combine the two at Saltz Plastic Surgery/Spa Vitoria. It’s a new treatment called Scarlet SRF and we’re excited to offer it for our patients in Salt Lake City and Park City.
What is Scarlet SRF?
Scarlet SRF simply takes two established dermal anti-aging therapies — radiofrequency energy and microneedling — and combines them to increase the benefits. SRF stands for short-pulse radiofrequency energy. This energy is delivered through the tips of the system’s microneedling pins. That enables the RF energy to be delivered directly into the dermis layer of the skin, rather than having to first penetrate the epidermis.
Why is that important? Radiofrequency energy does nothing to improve the skin’s outer layer, the epidermis. It works its collagen-boosting effects in the dermis. But to penetrate the epidermis without damaging the outer skin, the RF energy level must be diminished. Because Scarlet SRF delivers the short-pulse RF energy directly into the dermis, bypassing the epidermis, higher energy pulses can be used, which means better rejuvenation and skin tightening.
Who is a good candidate for Scarlet SRF?
A better question would be “Who couldn’t benefit from Scarlet SRF?” As we age, every one of us deals with sagging, thinning skin that is more susceptible to the development of wrinkles, lines, creases, and areas of volume loss. The culprit is declining collagen production and the slackening of support tissues. Throw in sun damage, age spots, acne scarring, and other skin issues, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who couldn’t benefit from Scarlet SRF’s skin rejuvenation.
Scarlet SRF works with all skin types and doesn’t create problems with hyperpigmentation, as many laser treatments do.
Pregnant women, patients with metal implants or defibrillators, autoimmune disease, and active skin diseases are not candidates for Scarlet SRF.
What areas of the body can be treated with Scarlet SRF?
At Spa Vitoria, we’ve found the most success treating the face, neck, and decolletage, but Scarlet SRF can be used on other areas of the body with skin laxity, as well.
What skin issues can Scarlet SRF improve?
Because Scarlet SRF triggers a wound-healing response in the skin, it is great for skin tightening and lifting across the face, jowls, and neck. We use Scarlet SRF to improve acne scarring, rosacea, active acne, melasma, telangiectasia, and areas of sun damage. The combination of microneedling improves skin texture, pore size, scarring, and photoaging.
How is Scarlet SRF different from stand-alone microneedling?
At Spa Vitoria, we’ve offered traditional microneedling for a long time, but we’re excited to add short-pulse radiofrequency to the treatment. That’s what different about Scarlet SRF. When the microneedling tips penetrate through the epidermis into the dermis, the Scarlet handpiece delivers a short pulse of RF energy at the pin’s maximum depth. This delivers the energy directly into the dermis.
In a nutshell, Scarlet SRF takes all the benefits of stand-alone microneedling and it adds the skin tightening and rejuvenation effects of RF energy.
How does Scarlet SRF work?
As your Spa Vitoria aesthetician moves the Scarlet SRF handpiece across the treatment area, the microneedles oscillate up and down. When the needles are at their penetration depth, a short pulse of RF energy is delivered from the tips of the needles. The pulse is quite brief, but it is delivered directly into the dermis.
How does this improve the skin? When RF energy enters the dermis, it converts instantly into heat energy. That’s the key because when the body senses heat in the dermis it believes a wound has occurred and it responds with a wound-healing mechanism. This involves the immediate remodeling of existing collagen in the area. This immediately tightens the skin, breaks down texture problems, and works to shrink large pores. But more importantly, the new production of collagen is initiated to heal the perceived wounds. The reality is, however, that the microscopic punctures created by the microneedles heal in just a couple of hours. Still, the skin now has increased collagen production for a period of weeks. This thickens the skin, increases firmness, and tightens the treatment areas.
What happens during a Scarlet SRF session and how long does it take?
To begin your session, we apply topical numbing cream across your treatment areas. Then we move the Scarlet SRF handpiece across the treatment area, allowing the microneedles to penetrate the skin and deliver the RF energy. We typically make two passes across the treatment areas.
Sessions usually take about 30 minutes, but this varies depending upon the areas being treated.
Is Scarlet SRF painful?
We apply topical numbing cream prior to your Scarlet SRF session. You can feel a slight warming sensation as the RF energy enters the dermis, but patients don’t find it to be painful.
What are the risks involved with Scarlet SRF?
Scarlet SRF has been cleared by the FDA for skin tightening, scalp tightening, treatment of pores, scars, and photoaging. It is safe for all skin types. Your skin is slightly red after these treatments as if you have a mild sunburn. There can also be some slight swelling due to the microneedle punctures. Your skin may feel a little tight for a day or two, but that’s it. Patients don’t have any recovery or downtime; these are very low-risk treatments.
How long before I see results, and how long will they last?
Some visible tightening results show immediately, as the collagen remodels in response to the microneedles and RF energy. But the larger improvements come as the skin initiates the production of new collagen to send to the treatment areas in the classic wound-healing mechanism. Most patients feel they really begin to see improvement in their skin at about 4 weeks. These improvements continue to build for 6 months to a year.
Of course, as we age our bodies continue to produce less and less collagen (production drops by one additional percentage point every year after age 20), so these treatments, in effect, stem the decline. But when the new collagen production ceases, the decline will come again. That’s why we recommend a new session every 3 to 6 months.
How many Scarlet SRF sessions will I need?
As detailed above, our collagen production declines with age. That’s why our skin sags, loses volume and develops lines and creases. Scarlet SRF boosts collagen production for a period of around 6 months, and this counteracts the natural decline. To maintain the elevated collagen production, we recommend patients have a Scarlet SRF treatment every 3 to 6 months. That way collagen production will stay elevated.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re interested in learning more about Scarlet SRF please contact us for a consultation with Dr. Saltz. He will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.