The Acne Free RF program is the newest acne and acne scar management program developed by Dr Davin Lim, Consultant Laser Specialist. Dr Lim has presented this method of acne and acne scar treatment in several International meetings.
The current way of acne management is to treat acne, then worry about scars later, whilst the Acne Free RF Program challenges this concept.
This program places equal emphasis on the treatment of acne, as well as treating and preventing scars with new RadioFrequency (RF) technology.
Specialist Perspective on Acne Solutions
The current method of acne management is less than ideal for many patients, especially those who exhibit scarring and active acne. Mainstream management is to treat acne, then revise scars or ignore them. Very suboptimal for patients! With the event of RF, or radiofrequency, the current method of acne management has been revolutionised. We now have a safe, effective, painless method to treat acne scars, and we can safely combine this very treatment with acne treatments. RF is not laser energy, it works by targeting the dermal matrix (Collagen and scars) whilst preserving the top layer of skin. It does not use light energy, but radiowaves to heat up the collagen, breaking down scarring and encourages scar remodelling. Treatments are quick, painless and not associated with any significant downtime. Most importantly RF can be combined with all forms of acne therapy. Patients will see results within a few weeks of treatment. In severe cases of scarring, patients will often need other acne scar treatments such as fractional laser, or TCA cross methods to achieve maximal scar improvements, never the less, the Acne Free RF method can reduce future scarring EARLY in the course of acne treatment.
This unique program treats acne and treats scarring at the same time. This approach is unique! Why wait for acne scar treatments when effective scar revision can be carried out at the same time as treatment?
Research has shown that early scar remodelling has a higher improvement rate than later scar remodelling, however it is only with the latest technology that enables specialists to undertake scar remodelling early. In the past, treating acne and scars together was tricky, as scars lie deep in the skin layer (dermis), and treatments such as laser needed to penetrate the outer surface of the skin ( the epidermis). RF or Radiofrequency targets dermal scarring with minimal damage to the outer layers.
Your specialist will guide you if you are a suitable candidate for this program. Remember, if your acne is non-scarring you may not benefit from RF Acne Scar Treatments!
Candidates who will benefit from treatment include those who exhibit acne and early scarring or potentially scarring active acne.
Here are some examples of good candidates for the Acne Free RF Program.
RF or RadioFrequency has been used for decades as a heating method to target deeper tissues. Bipolar RF came into play in 2009, and the first papers on acne scar revision appeared shortly thereafter.
RF works by passing electrical current from electrodes or pins back to the return plate. This flow of electrical current/ radiowaves, is most in areas of least resistance- namely the dermal layers. This resistance of current flow generates heat, and this heat denatures or breaks down collagen. Scars are essentially mats of collagen that form abnormal structures (scars). Denaturing of abnormal collagen encourages breakdown of acne scars.
Unlike Laser treatment of acne scars, RF is a much gentler process of collagen remodelling as no laser- light – tissue interaction is seen. This means that downtime for acne scar patients are minimal, and RF can be combined with a myriad of acne treatments.
Yes. Radiofrequency uses radiowave energy to heat up the deep dermal layers of the skin, where acne scars lie. Laser treatments, including fractional devices such as Profractional, Fraxel, Pearl and Fractional CO2 first treat the upper layers of the skin (epidermis) to reach the deeper layers or dermal scars. This collateral damage of the epidermis is associated with longer healing times, and tissue damage. RF energy flows in areas of low resistance- the dermal layers of skin. RF gently heats collagen whilst lasers ablate collagen.
Note that RF used in the setting of treating early scars with active acne is a different process compared to treating established acne scars. If acne scarring is severe, other methods of scar revision such as lasers/ TCA cross and subscision maybe a better process.
Bottom line - RF does not replace laser, but can be useful in the correct setting.
Our Dermatologist will use various methods to treat your acne, depending on the severity of your acne, your past and present treatment success and failures, your skin type, and your medical history.
Most cases of acne can be treated with antibiotics, Vitamin A creams, and simple washes. Female patients who experience flare-ups with their period cycle can benefit from hormonal control such as the oral contraceptive pill.
In cases of comedomal acne (white heads and blackheads), a simple chemical peel programme can be used.
Severe cases of acne can be effectively treated with a tablet known as Roaccutane or Oratane.
Your Dermatologist at the Acne Specialist Clinics can tailor a program based upon your acne type.
Yes, however patients will need to be on a low dose of Roaccutane. Dr Davin Lim has presented several talks and research in regards to the safety of Roaccutane and RF. The Radio Frequency setting on patients who are on roaccutane is different, as lower energy is delivered over a longer period of time, in addition the dose of isotretinoin is lower. Current management of acne favours low dose Roaccutane over high doses, as side effects are reduced.
RF is one of the safest methods to treat acne scars- no laser - light interaction is involved. The treatment targets the deeper layers of the skin where acne scars lie, whilst sparring the epidermal or upper layers. We use new technology called fractional RF, this only treats 5-12% of the epidermal layers. RF can be used on all skin types, including darker skin / Asian patients.
As this technology is not laser based, epidermal (top layer of skin) heating and pain is minimal.
4-5 treatments are ideally needed. As this treatment is gentle and works by gradually remodelling scar tissue and collagen, several treatments are needed. Acne scar remodelling works over weeks to months and not days.
This program provides 5 treatments spaced between 2-4 weeks apart.
Most patients will see results within 4-6 weeks on this program. Scar remodelling takes time, however follow up photographs will show an improvement. Acne activity will decrease over this time period as well.
As protocol we take photographs of all patients, and follow up these photographs during each visit- this way you can see your progress over time!
Remember with this program there are two issues we are dealing with- acne and the acne scarring. Active acne can be effectively treated in over 98% of cases. Depending on acne severity our specialists will employ different methods to treat your condition, minimise scars and keep your acne in remission.
RF (RadioFrequency) treatments should improve scarring between 50-70% after 4-5 treatments. How much your acne scars improve depends on many factors including the type of scar your exhibit, your medical history, your skin type (skin colour) but most importantly your own ability to respond to treatments.
RF acne scar treatment is super quick and easy to perform. In fact RF is one of the easiest and least invasive acne scar treatments. Once the treatment parameters have been set by your Specialist Dermatologist, each treatment takes approximately 5 minutes to complete. As this is not a laser, there are minimal skin changes, as the treatment targets scars under your skin.
Pain is minimal and in the majority of cases patients do not need local anaesthetic.
Price ranges from $1200 to $1500 for 5 treatments depending on number and size of areas treated
Treatments are conducted in our laser suites, and spaced between 2-4 weeks apart.
This treatment is not covered under Medicare/ Private Health Insurance.
Note some treatments such as full laser ablation are partially covered under Medicare, discuss with your dermatologist which treatments are best for your scars.
Our acne scar clinic runs from Monday to Saturday. An initial consultation with a Specialist Dermatologist is required before any patients undergo laser- RF treatments. This consultation ensures that all treatments are tailored to the client’s acne and acne scar type. This ensures optimal results.
For more information on booking times and the referral process call 07 3871 34 37. Saturday appointments will require a booking deposit, as spaces are limited.