Sponsored by Cutera
Combining bipolar RF energy with adjustable depth and RF intensity, as well as two needle types and tip sizes, the Secret RF from Cutera, Inc. (Brisbane, Calif.), provides comfortable, customizable microneedling skin treatments for fine lines, wrinkles, photodamage, acne scarring and striae. Secret RF is unique in that treatment parameters are adjustable on-the- fly without interruption, and actual treatment sessions typically last about 20 minutes.
One key component is in the handpiece. The device’s 64-pin handpiece is reportedly the largest in the industry, but it is the Secret RF’s 25-pin handpiece that is the workhorse for the face and neck, stated Ashish Bhatia, MD, of Oak Dermatology in Chicago, Ill. The choice of needle arrays includes semi-insulated (focusing energy to deeper treatment zones) or non-insulated (for simultaneous delivery of energy to both deep and superficial zones). “In addition to modulating RF energy, you can adjust needle penetration between 0.5 mm and 3.5 mm,” he stated.
The technique is simple. “Whether targeting acne scars or fine lines and wrinkles, we adjust depth accordingly and perform multiple passes, starting with the deepest zone and adjusting to treat shallower zones with each additional pass,” Dr. Bhatia explained.
As early adopters, Dr. Bhatia and his partner have used Secret RF extensively in their practice. “This is my go-to device for perioral smoker’s lines, tightening of the jawline and neck, and around the eyes,” he reported. “We also use Secret RF on acne scars successfully. Basic topical anesthetic, forced air cooling and acetaminophen is usually enough to maintain patient comfort, but as with many procedures, further analgesia may be helpful for very nervous or sensitive patients.”
In addition to its small footprint and quiet operation, Dr. Bhatia stated that the device is safe and easy to use, and in many states can be delegated to ancillary staff. “The smooth motor facilitates needle insertion, minimizing damage to the epidermis. The mechanism of action is twofold. Outcomes will stem partially from the collagen stimulation effect of needle insertion, which is relatively atraumatic, plus collagen denaturation and stimulation of neocollagenesis caused by emitted bipolar RF energy.”
“Users will also notice how safe Secret RF is for treating darker skin types,” Dr. Bhatia added. “You wouldn’t use the non-insulated needles for these patients; we want to avoid heat deposition at the dermal-epidermal junction, which might cause post-inflammatory hyper- pigmentation. The semi-insulated needles treat darker skin very well. We’ve treated skin types I through VI successfully with Secret RF. It’s remarkably versatile and customizable to every patient’s needs, so every practice has patients who’ll benefit from Secret RF.”
Tahl N. Humes, DO, medical director of VITAHL Medical Aesthetics (Denver, Colo. and Chicago, Ill.), enjoys the way Secret RF bridges the gap between lasers and microneedling. “What I love it for most is the neck. There is not a lot out there that truly addresses the neck well, and Secret RF gives us both the tightening and reduction in the crepiness often seen in that region,” she noted.
“It is also my go-to device for results-driven patients whom I’d normally treat with ablative lasers, but won’t tolerate ten days of downtime,” she continued. “With Secret RF, we’ll see 24 to 48 hours of redness, which is important given the long-standing trend away from downtime. With the results it pro- vides quickly and easily, the low downtime and minimal consumables cost, Secret RF will fit well in any practice.”