If you’re familiar with the aesthetic world, you’re likely no stranger to microneedling, the popular treatment for improving the skin through the creation of hundreds of tiny punctures to trigger wound-healing mechanisms. And you’ve probably also heard of different treatments that use radiofrequency (RF) energy to tighten the skin and stimulate increased collagen production.
Microneedling and RF energy skin tightening have historically been separate non-invasive skin treatments.
That’s changed with the introduction of Morpheus8™. Morpheus8™ is microneedling with concurrent delivery of radiofrequency energy, and we now offer it at Austin Cosmetic Medspa for our patients from across the Austin area.
What is Morpheus8™?
Morpheus8™ combines microneedling with radiofrequency energy delivery. It does so with superior efficiency, as well, delivering the RF energy when the microneedling pins are at their full depth. This means the RF energy doesn’t have to work to penetrate the outer epidermis; the pins allow the energy to be delivered directly into the dermis, where collagen production is triggered.
In this way, Morpheus8™ provides the superficial skin the improvements seen with traditional microneedling along with the deep tissue collagen boost of radiofrequency energy.
Who is a Candidate for Morpheus8™?
If you have loose or sagging skin on your face, neck, or body, Morpheus8™ is a good treatment to tighten these areas up. Both men and women with sun damaged skin, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and overall dull skin are also great candidates for Morpheus8™ treatments.
If you have an active skin condition, such as eczema, you should wait for the flare-up to resolve before having a Morpheus8™ treatment.
What Areas Can be Treated with Morpheus8™?
Sandy Lanier, PA-C performs our Morpheus8™ treatments. The microneedle penetration can be adjusted all the way up to 4mm of depth, allowing us to treat areas with thin skin, such as the forehead, by simply shortening the needle penetration. The extra depth is great for areas of thicker skin, such as the cheeks. Morpheus8™ can be used just about anywhere on the face, neck, and body. We can even treat areas you’d never think of treating with laser energy, such as the delicate tissues around the mouth and the upper and lower eyelids.
Here are specific areas we treat with Morpheus8™ at Austin Cosmetic Medspa:
- Entire face
- Areas with stretch marks
- Post-surgical scars
- Banana rolls under the buttocks
What is the Morpheus8™ Procedure Like?
For your Morpheus8™ treatment at our San Gabriel Street offices, we ask you to arrive about 30 minutes to one hour before we’ll start your treatment. We typically perform a nerve block and/or apply a topical numbing anesthetic to the treatment area(s). Once this has fully taken effect we get started.
The procedure is simple. The Morpheus8™ microneedles extend and penetrate your skin at a set depth of up to 4mm. When they reach their depth, the gold-plated tips of the microneedles deliver a pulse of radiofrequency energy deep into the dermis layer or fat layer (depending on the penetration depth). This energy heats the dermis. When the body senses heat in the dermis layer, it assumes there has been a wound, so it initiates a wound-healing response. This involves remodeling all existing collagen in the area, and then beginning the production of new collagen. Since collagen provides the skin’s structural support latticework, this instantly tightens the skin and then the increased collagen continues to build your results. The handpiece is moved in a coordinated path to ensure an even treatment.
Is a Morpheus8™ Treatment Painful?
As described above, we perform a nerve block and/or apply a topical numbing anesthetic when you arrive at our Austin offices. It takes about 30 minutes to one hour to fully numb the treatment areas. This ensures your treatment is comfortable.
How Many Morpheus8 Treatments are Recommended?
We’ve found that anywhere from one to four Morpheus8™ treatments can achieve the skin tightening our patients from Austin and the surrounding areas seek. We nearly always recommend a series of three treatments to start. Each of these treatments will be spaced four to six weeks apart. This separation of treatments allows your skin to fully heal and for the ramp-up in collagen production to fully take hold. After your series, occasional maintenance treatments will work to keep your collagen production at an elevated level. Collagen production declines as we age, so Morpheus8™ maintenance treatments are important.
What are the Risks of Using RF Energy for These Treatments?
Radiofrequency energy is measured in frequency or wavelengths per second. All forms of energy, from the sun’s ultraviolet rays to gamma rays, are classified according to their frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Radiofrequency energy is one category on this spectrum, along with radio and TV waves, WiFi signals, and even microwave ovens. The RF energy used in skin tightening is about 450 kilohertz, on the slow end of the RF range. This makes this form of energy at this wavelength quite calm.
An advantage of using RF energy to heat tissues and generate new collagen and elastin production, as opposed to lasers (which use higher-frequency light waves), is that lower frequency RF energy can safely penetrate to a deeper level without damaging the surface skin. Lasers generally work to improve the surface skin, as that is where the energy is absorbed. This is also why RF energy is safe for patients with darker skin tones, while laser treatments can cause hyperpigmentation in darker skin tones.
Bottom line? Radiofrequency energy has been studied extensively for its impact on humans and found to be safe. The main risk associated with the use of this form of energy is the potential for burns, but Morpheus8™ and other RF treatments involve highly controlled delivery of RF energy. These treatments and devices have been approved by the FDA for skin tightening.
How Long Will My Results from Morpheus8™ Last?
The increase in collagen production is a permanent change. Unfortunately, your body continues to reduce its collagen production by about one percentage point every year, so you must contend with that continuing decline when weighing your results. The improvements made with the Morpheus8™ RF energy generally continue to build for up to six months after your treatment. After you've completed your initial treatment series, we will discuss a plan for a maintenance schedule.
Schedule Your Morpheus8™ Consultation with Austin Cosmetic Medspa
To learn more about our Morpheus8™ procedure, or to determine if you are a candidate, please be in touch with us to arrange your complimentary, personalized consultation with Sandy Lanier, PA-C. Call (512) 815-0123 or fill out the consultation request form below, and our patient care staff will assist you with setting up your meeting. Our practice looks forward to serving you!