I did the Infini-RF treatment 5 days ago to see if...
I did the Infini-RF treatment 5 days ago to see if I could get further improvement from my prior laser treatments, plus DIY microneedling.
I want to share my real-time progress because I noticed most of the Infini-RF posts are after the fact with multiple people seeing the same doctor. This typically means that the doctors asked their happy patients to post. That self-filtering distorts the overall 'it works' percentage.
My goal is to improve my remaining acne scarring.
- I did laser multiple times and did see a lot improvement.
- I did my own microneedling and never noticed much improvement in scarring, but then it's really hard to go deep without a strong topical anesthetic.
-I also did Exilis RF treatment on my face and ended up with a major loss of fat in one area that I've spent years trying to repair. I only did this one because this doctor says the RF placement is precise, so fat loss in the face isn't a risk.
This doctor did 3 rounds in 1 session. 2.5 mm, 1.5 mm and 1 mm. He put on human growth factor afterward.
Way too early to tell results. My biggest thing to share is that my face swelled up like a red balloon (even though he gave me 2 days of prednisone, which I took reluctantly!). Counting the treatment on day 1, today is day 6 and its the first day I'm presentable in public - just a red face.
I will only share the doctor's name if I like the results, because he's a great doctor, I'm more assessing the value of the actual treatment honestly without worrying about his personal reputation.
And sorry, no pics - I'm very private about these things.
Day 10 update - today is 1st day my skin looks 'normal'
Not quite my normal dewy complexion just yet, but no one would know I had a treatment - even without makeup. Yesterday was the first day I could put any makeup or creams on without stinging.
I want folks to get a sense of true downtime potential. Again, the doctor did 3 rounds, I know it would be less downtime for less aggressive treatment. I don't personally mind downtime as long as I can plan for it - and it brings results.
Ok, so I can't see improvement on acne yet, but I know from fractional laser that it can take 2 months.
I read a good pubmed.com study on Infini-RF and acne scars, but they had no prior treatment,
You can search for microneedling fractional radiofrequency to find it.
This was for 'virgin scars' and my situation is different as I had prior successful laser treatments to help reduce them. I do know I stopped seeing scarring improvement from additional fractional laser - so my fingers are crossed.
I also did under my chin and I *think* I see a little tightening... not sure if it's just because it's still a little swollen, but am hopeful - will keep you posted.
I'm attached a photo of my hands on day 10. I'm posting that because a woman asked via the doctor Q&A about a similar appearance on her face a few weeks later and the doctor Steven Weiner immediately posted that it must not have really been Infini-rf because it couldn't look like that. My 'grid' looks a lot like hers.
Doctors that post here should know do a disservice here and hurt their own credibility when they blindly defend a technology and say the patient must be wrong. In any case, I am confident this will heal with time and proper care (no sun!) - this same delay happened with normal needling with PRP and I actually saw improvement in both tightening and texture. No PRP this time -just Infini-RF.
>3 week update: Hands slowly improving, facial skin texture improving
Note I'm taking the photos under identical lighting and background.
The texture and redness are slowly improving. I'm now using copper peptides to accelerate the healing and reduction of hyperpigmentation.
I do believe I'm seeing improved *tightness* - my main goal. I'm confident the redness will resolve - it always does. As long as the texture returns to normal, I will be happy. (of course I'd love to see improvement in texture, but will be happy with same texture, tighter, not red)
I definitely now have hollows under the eye area, and fat loss in the same spot where Exilis RF caused a dent on my cheek and I had a fat injection to repair it. Such a bummer - fat injections mean they must extract it from somewhere (I'm very trim), and I don't know if you can do it under the eyes *above* the tear trough area (vs surgically grafting fat).
It's been >3 weeks and
- The redness is mostly gone, and the sensitivity has been gone for a week. So I've started back on my routine of copper peptides and retinA. Hoping that will plump out my skin again to it's normal healthy texture. It's still subpar, but it is slowing improving.
- I've seen zero improvement in scarring. Again, the studies for Infini-RF were on scars that hadn't previously been treated. Since Coolaser and CoolFrax (in Beverly Hills) already did wonders for my scars, I may not be a candidate.
- I've seen no tightening. But I didn't get that from the laser either. I have noticed it from normal DIY needling at home - I will likely return to that.
I would recommend Sciton BBL on the face - improved my glow and texture, even though I had no dark spots before or during treatment.
I would recommend Coolaser/CoolFrax. I saw results much sooner on my scarring - by 2 weeks - and it kept improving for months. Plus definitely improved texture and glow. (did not tighten for me)
I am still waiting this out for skin improvement - will wait for my next update.
Again, I respect this doctor - he did Sciton BBL for me on my face, and Microneedling/PRP on my hands, both with great results.
I'm not posting his name, because my review is on the Infini-RF and I want to separate my concerns with that from the good name he has built over the years. He has been supportive and I know that Infini-fractional RF claims fat loss is not possible due to the depth, just as Exilis-RF claimed it wasn't with the skin only setting and handpiece for the face, due to it's temperature control and depth. (different doctor)
The reality is that RF can go much deeper, depending on the energy setting. I did skin setting only on the tops of hands for Exilis and both sides of my hands got numb - we had to stop. The nurse found the same thing with her hands.
Bottom line: Looking back I should have waited for more RealSelf reviews. With greater use, you get a true sampling.
3.5 week update
My doctor said hands take longer to heal and I've found that to be true for fractional laser and normal needling also.
For anyone that needs to deal with redness in public, a green makeup concealer will help once your skin is past the raw/tender stage. I fortunately don't need it - for my hands I just tell folks what I tried if asked.
Good news is that my skin on my hands is tighter around the knuckles, and when I pinch the skin it pulls back faster, ie it's more elastic too.
The redness should pass with time, I just need the texture to improve now...texture is so important to looking healthy/youthful.
I'm starting to see some of my normal dewiness/plumpness again. I know my ability to use my copper peptides and retinA again has been a factor here. My face does still look a bit thinner, and the eye hollows are unchanged.
BTW, decades of using RetinA and no sunbathing, plus almost a decade of using copper peptides, and a gently exfoliating washcloth, (plus living healthy - exercise and food) has resulted in my easily looking 15 years younger than my age.
The main reason I wanted Infini on my face was that my newer doctor thought it was a different mode that could address the remaining scars that laser and subcision didn't completely remove. Tightening in a couple of areas was secondary to this - except for my hands, where it was the primary goal.
I feel I'm watching a pot ready to boil, ie so slow, so my goal is to wait a bit to post an update - want to have a meaningful result.
4+ week update
At 4 weeks and 1 day.
HANDS. My hand redness and texture continues to improve. Still think they are a bit tighter at the knuckles. The rest of my hand, just can't tell - the red/raw interferes with the gestalt. If no improvement at month 2, I may try BBL there.
FACE. My face texture and dewy/plumpness is improving further - I do think my topicals help there - more apples to apples. I don't see any scar or other skin improvement at this time. And I'm very tuned to minor improvements - I had good luck with other treatments.
My face still looks a little thinner, especially in the cheeks, and most importantly my eye hollows are definitely there. As I mentioned in a side reply thread, I got comments I looked tired when I was rested and in full makeup. Will look into fat injections there in a couple of months, when fully healed.
Saw a plastic surgeon today about the hollows under my eyes
I was going to wait for an update, but I have new news.
I met with a plastic surgeon who agreed my under eye hollows definitely merited getting fat transplants. Said it should make a big improvement.
After never even needing concealer under my eyes, lately I've found myself searching youtube videos on how to camouflage hollows. It just doesn't work for top down lighting - just as makeup camouflage doesn't help for acne scar dents in top down lighting.
Now I'm so encouraged ! He said I'd need 2 rounds since only 50% of the extracted fat survives. And I pay for the fat extraction too of course, so not cheap. But over the long run, should be cheaper than filler and since I tend to bruise with injections, avoids that downtime every 6-12 months. (filler never last on me, even the 'long lasting' stuff)
After 4.5 weeks, which is a looong time when I compare to laser, I can say my face looked better before Infini RF. (Even aside from the eye hollows and the one dent).
My skin just isn't as 'tight' looking and my face looks subtly thinner/more gaunt. Think of a friend over 40 who lost a lot of weight, and their face shows it. Their face probably looked better 'before'. And for anyone with acne scars, a little fat 'stretches' them out, and fat loss makes the dents more obvious, plus it just ages you.
So the plastic surgeon said he will fill out my cheeks again with fat just a touch also. When done I hope to look like my normal self again.
I blame myself for doing anything with RF as I was actually happy with my face when I went to this doctor!
I wanted microneedling/PRP to tighten my thighs and hands (since it worked on my hands). But he was so excited about Infini-RF that I let him talk me into it.
He wasn't doing it for any extra money, he was genuinely excited. As I've moved towns, every new dermatologist always sees my residual scarring and wants to 'fix it'. I try to tell them that it's already likely improved as much as it is likely to improve (after multiple rounds of laser) and I'm okay with my face! But I know they want to help.
I think it will be months before I know results. Need to set the appointment, allow for the swelling and bruising to resolve. Plus we all know that you get 50% fat loss over time, think it's 2 months, then you do it again. So maybe 4 months?
Fingers crossed for this next step - wish me luck!
5 week update - saw the doctor today
After 5 weeks, my doctor's office took after pics for my face and we put them side by side, then they emailed them to me.
As you can see, my after photo was definitely worse than my before photo. The photos looked backwards, very discouraging. :( Their input was to give it more time...
If you look at the top of each you can see my lashes. They had a front flash camera which makes it harder to see the the shadowed hollow under my eyes to the degree you can in normal indoor top down lighting, but you can still see it's there.
It is worse than it looks in the photos, the doctor and his assistant absolutely AGREED that I now have HOLLOWS under my eyes. (first time we've met in person), as we met in normal lighting to discuss this.
Additionally, the assistant that looked at the both photo sets with me commented on the cheek dent I have now. It's in the after photo here, but far easier to spot in full context of my full face pic. Plus again, it's washed out a bit by the front flash, as I expected it to be, vs normal top down lighting.
As you can see, I still have some redness. And I literally never go in the sun. Even for trips to the doctor I wear the special zinc sunblock, then wash it off when I return.
The doctor showed me Infini's recommended settings that he used *exactly* for 3 rounds for scarring.
His assistant showed me my picture right after treatment as well as photos of others - all were swollen. Not one of us had an infection. The doctor couldn't understand how Regenica repair could be anything but good. Again, it's used to accelerate healing from fractional laser, which also creates channels.
Given Dr. Weiner's claims that he never has a patient swollen right after treatment and 100% of 1000 treatments looked normal in 48 hours, they called their Lutronics rep to see if they have a way of measuring the energy output of their machine.
However, they said the idea that all machines have identical energy is not realistic. They have another vendor with 2 machines that they LOVE the results from and they say one absolutely runs hotter than the other.
So they are hoping that Lutronic can actually measure the differential. Especially since Lutronic says only a topical is needed, and my doctor's patients all require topical and nerve blocks to tolerate it!
My doctor never called Dr. Weiner. But if Dr. Weiner truly has that different of results, then it is most likely it's the energy level differential. Especially now that I know my doctor used the standard Lutronic settings.
BTW, he say that Lutronic says these are starting point 'safe' settings and that you can even go higher !!
The doctor commented that my hands look dry (and still red). That is accurate, it's like the skin doesn't hold moisture as it used to. And I have awesome creams - usually they are moist.
I'm closing my review out with a big thumbs down for me - unless someone has a question, or my doctor learns from Lutronic that they can actually measure the energy output of an individual machine and if yes what the energy difference is.
Good luck to you all !
6+ wk update. Got the repair fat graft, doctor's office says Lutronic didn't respond
I just did separate RealSelf post on fat grafting, think it takes a couple of days to go live. Still swollen of course, but optimistic, and I will keep that conversation thread there. So no more updates on my face. BTW, my plastic surgeon said that fat grafting often helps skin texture.
As promised, I spoke with my derm's office a couple of days ago on whether Lutronic ever replied to their request.
They told me no response. Seems very odd that Lutronic would not reply. I only assume it's because I'm publicly posting, but I will never know. Now I know how reporter's feel when they say 'I tried to reach the company, but no one returned my call". Maybe Dr. Weiner has pull with Lutronic to get them to reply to the general San Jose area derm's office that requested they test their machine.
Otherwise, I'm just moving on. Given the fat grafting changes everything, I can't post anymore on this thread on my face results. BTW, my surgeon says fat grafting frequently improves skin texture too. I looked it up, some folks think it's the fat stem cells. I'll take it!
I am sorry to say that I think I had fat loss on my hands also. Hard to tell on this hand - I purposely picked the hand with the loosest skin as I expected to have the tightening more visible.
And it *did* do some tightening on the knuckles - I can't pinch as much skin. But they still look worse than before. It's not like laser, where the skin is injured to just the right level to stimulate collagen. It's more than it was over done and the skin was actually damaged and now is just healing.
But my right hand was always better looking than my left because it was fuller (tendons not visible). Now, beyond the remaining redness & worse texture, I'm seeing the tendons on my right far more. (could already seen them on the left hand, as you can tell)
I just wish I had before pics of my hands - my derm's office only had the set immediately after treatment.
For the record, Lutronic does not suggest Infini-RF for your hands. This was my own experiment. It just never occurred to me that fat loss was possible, given the assurances about my face.
I asked my new doctor (plastic surgeon) about minimal fat grafting for the hands (no way I'm doing filler every year, too $$$), and he said it was very challenging with mixed results.
I am still a fan of needling + PRP for hands. And I'm not giving up on fat loss repair - it may be just that you need someone that has cracked the code and does it enough to be a hand fat grafting expert.
I will of course wait the full healing time, so that I would time it for if I need a 2nd round of fat grafting under my eyes. Though maybe this round will be good enough.
Ok, so I'm done with this thread, since no more face reports or Lutronic report.
And hands are not a normal use anyway.
Good luck to all of you.
My fat grafting review is live now - here is RealSelf link
Also, below I have a photo from my own phone which shows the under eye hollow in normal diffused light (ie no flash). This is post Infini-RF and before the grafting. The cheek dent is on the bottom right of the photo - you can see part of it.
Below is the link to my grafting progress. So far so good.
Hand 2+ months post - texture still not normal
14 Feb 2016
2 months post
It's better and livable, but still not as good as 'before'.