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RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser Vs Pico Fractional Laser: Which one should you choose? 

March 13, 2024
March 31, 2024

Which treatment is suitable for you depends on your skin conditions and goal. Schedule an appointment for a thorough skin assessment.

RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser Vs Pico Fractional Laser: Which one should you choose? 

Table of Contents

Common skin concerns that affect everyone at any age are acne, scars, pigmentation and photoaging. Acne and hyperpigmentation are two separate conditions, but they can be related — hyperpigmentation can develop from acne! 

Millions of men and women suffer from acne and hyperpigmentation at least once in their lifetime. Some acne conditions go away after puberty and just with topical acne or pigmentation cream application. Some stubborn ones, especially deep and painful cystic acne (which can cause deep acne scars if not treated early) or acne-related hyperpigmentation and photoageing, need professional dermatological intervention.

Fine lines and wrinkles are also inevitable – those with wrinkles look older and angry, but we get crow’s feet even when we smile our brightest, and it even takes more facial muscles to smile than to frown!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Understanding the difference between RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser, and Pico Fractional Laser is essential for effectively treating our skin concerns and for achieving clear, healthy skin. 

What is RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser?

RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser
Left is Erbium Glass Laser (Non-ablative fractional resurfacing) and right is RF Microneedling (Radiofrequency microneedle fractional resurfacing)

RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser is a progressive FDA-approved dual treatment for facial resurfacing and skin remodelling. These combined modalities result in deeper skin remodelling with shortened downtime and minimised side effects. 

How does it work?

Collagen accounts for 30% of our body's protein. When we age, our collagen depletes, but when the skin is injured, the protein fibres mesh up and form a scar to close the wound and protect our body. 

RF microneedling can penetrate deeper but safely into the skin to activate the fibroblasts and induce collagen growth and regeneration. The more collagen we have, the more taut our skin is and the more youthful we look because of the soft, bouncy skin. RF needling treatment helps to improve facial pigmentation such as melasma, enlarged facial pores, acne scars and facial skin tightening.

Erbium Glass Laser is a fractional non-ablative laser treatment that can erase photoageing, reduce fine lines and improve skin texture, resulting in skin clarity and radiance. This laser treatment can "stimulate collagen reorganisation and fibroblast activation in photoaged skin [1]," it can also target deep lines and wrinkles, acne scars or injury scars, facial puffiness reduction, and facial lifting.

When combined, RF Microneedling and Erbium Glass Laser provide a total skin aesthetics solution. While improvements are noticeable after the first treatment, the skin will continue to improve over six months with subsequent sessions.

This dual skin tightening and remodelling treatment can also be combined with cosmetic injectables, thread lifting, and facial fat grafting to achieve optimal results. 

Benefits of RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser

Not limited to facial skin, RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser is a versatile skin treatment for patients who are seeking:

  • Eye bag reduction
  • Hyperhidrosis treatment
  • Non-surgical facelift
  • Normalisation of skin structure and texture involvement of both legs and/or arms
  • Mild to moderate skin tightening
  • Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Minimisation of pores
  • Treatment of acne scars and improvement of scars
  • Promotion of collagen formation
  • Improvement of stretch marks appearance
  • Reduction of fine lines and large pores
  • Treatment of acne scarring and active acne
  • Skin remodelling and rejuvenation
  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Non-ablative skin resurfacing
  • Treatment of atrophic scars
  • Hair regrowth in androgenetic alopecia [2]

What is Pico Fractional Laser?

Pico Fractional Laser

Pico Fractional Laser is a non-invasive skin treatment that treats a multitude of specific skin conditions and textures, such as dull skin, wrinkles, acne and acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. It is also used for general skin rejuvenation and even to effectively remove tattoos. Compared to other types of lasers, fewer sessions are required to see noticeable results.

How Does Pico Fractional Laser Work?

A fractional picosecond laser – delivering pulses in one trillionth of a second (picosecond) – can produce "laser-induced optical breakdown (LIOB) and laser-induced cavitation (LIC) in the epidermis and dermis respectively, and can encourage skin regeneration and dermal remodelling" [3]. The picosecond laser can reach deep into the skin layers faster and more efficiently than nanosecond lasers. Using ultra-short laser pulse (not heat) also shortens recovery time.

In the treatment of skin remodelling, it delivers pulses that cause tiny air globules to be filled with collagen. The collagen-filled bubbles raise indentations of enlarged pores, pitted acne scars, and wrinkles, causing smooth and flat skin in the treated areas.

Pico Fractional Laser

Benefits of Pico Fractional Laser

Fractional picosecond lasers have been proven to positively affect facial photoaging, enlarged facial pores, atrophic scars, wrinkles, and pigmentation [2]. The broken-down hyperpigmentation is safely and naturally removed by the body. Its multiple treatment wavelength capabilities and LIOB technology make Pico Fractional Laser a gentle skin laser treatment. 

Post-session, the risk of harming the surrounding skin areas or skin sensitivity is minimised. The skin heals faster, and the recovery period is smoother. Complications like scarring and burning are also much less likely to occur. Pico Fractional Laser takes between 15 and 30 minutes tops, making it a no-fuss, no-muss skin rejuvenation laser treatment!

RF Microneedling & Erbium Glass Laser VS Pico Fractional Laser: Which one should you choose? 

All skin conditions on any skin tone — Pico Fractional Laser is a versatile skin laser treatment that can effectively and safely treat a variety of skin conditions and textures on any skin tone, even darker skin tones that tend to carry a high probability of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is able to do so as the picosecond laser minimises heat transfer while only focusing on delivering strong energy to the treated area.

RF Microneedling and Erbium Glass Laser work well in combination but can also be used individually to create tailored treatments based on the patient's skin type and concerns. The RF microneedling promotes collagen growth, while the Erbium Glass Laser targets the deep within the skin to enhance the treatment effects.

Erbium Glass Laser RF Microneedling
Non-ablative skin resurfacing Non-surgical face lifting
Active acne Skin tightening
Atrophic scar Wrinkle reduction
Wrinkle reduction Pore reduction
Skin lifting and tightening Acne scars
Tone and texture improvement Spider veins
Stretch marks
Facial pigmentation such as melasma

Which treatment is good for you depends on your skin conditions and goal. Schedule an appointment with Dr Ivan Puah for a thorough skin assessment and to ascertain which treatment suits you best!


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