Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
What is Infini and how does it work?
Infini combines two modalities, micro-needling and radiofrequency (RF) energy to tighten skin and improve fine lines, wrinkles, skin elasticity, thinning skin, and facial acne scarring. Skin needling or micro-needling and radiofrequency are both well established treatments that are normally performed individually to induce new collagen to improve the skin. Infini combines both together in a single treatment to synergise their effects on the skin.
Skin needling or micro-needling is used to create thousands of micro-injuries to the skin. This mechanically induces the production of new collagen in the skin by creating a small injury to the skin that the skin repairs by producing more collagen.
Conversely, radiofrequency (RF) treatments generate heat in the skin to produce new collagen. Research has shown that heating the skin can cause collagen fibres to shrink and tighten immediately. At 40-48 degrees celsius, the bonds between the collagen fibres denature. Collagen is like a spring with its coils held apart by these bonds, and when these bonds are denatured by heat, collagen recoils together leading to tightening of the skin. At 55 to 70 degrees celsius, the skin’s collagen is coagulated, which causes immediate collagen shrinkage and commences the body’s wound healing process to further generate more collagen and elastin.
External RF machines deliver energy through the surface of the skin through skin contact with an electrode. The Pelleve is an example of such a machine. These machines heat the skin from the superficial layers to the deep layers. The limitation of external RF machines is that the superficial skin layer (epidermis) are over-heated before an adequate degree of heating can occur in deeper layers. A skin surface temperature of about 40 degrees celsius can be achieved before pain or over-heating of the epidermis occurs.
Infini overcomes this limitation by delivering the RF energy internally through the tips of the multiple needles inserted into the skin. The Infini has 49 micro-needles in its handpiece arranged in a 7 X 7 grid. These needles are retracted until triggered and sequentially fired into the skin. They can be adjusted by the operator to penetrate from 0.5mm to 3.5mm deep into the skin depending on the skin concern to be treated. Once inside the skin, the tips of the needles transmit focused radiofrequency energy which cause dermal coagulation and induce new collagen formation and remodelling. The temperature that is achieved, between 55 to 70 degrees celsius, is the ideal temperature for producing collagen remodelling and stimulation. Furthermore, the base of the needles are insulated, so that RF energy is only delivered at the tips of the needles, and does not affect the superficial layers of the skin. Each stamp of the handpiece fires the 49 needles into the small gridded square area on the skin. The treatment area is systematically stamped with the handpiece to deliver thousands of micro-injuries to the skin in. The Infini delivers radiofrequency energy to the skin in a fractional manner through the 49 needles. The advantage of fractional devices is that not all parts of the skin are treated, which allows for faster healing times .Unlike external RF devices which pass RF energy through the surface of the skin, the fractional nature of the Infini treatment has less chance of bulk heating and burning the skin.
Overall, the effect of Infini is therefore two-fold; collagen production is induced both by the mechanical effects of micro-needling, and the radiofrequency energy delivered through the tips of the needles.
It is important to note the Infini RF needling can have some advantages to laser treatments which must go through all layers of the skin to reach the deeper layers. Lasers can be viewed as an ‘outside to inside’ treatment. The laser must penetrate through all layers of the skin to reach its target. Whereas Infini is able to treat the skin from the ‘inside-out’. The needles penetrate the skin and the energy is delivered only at the tips of the needles. This has a distinct advantage in the treatment of skin of colour. Laser can often induce pigment changes in skin of colour (ie cause darkening or lightening of the skin after treatment). Because Infini delivers energy from ‘inside’ the skin, and also because radiofrequency is not attracted to melanin or the pigment in the skin (like some lasers are), the incidence of pigment changes in the skin is significantly less.
Advantages of Infini:
- Treatment is not dependent on skin type allowing treatment of fair to dark skin tones
- It can be selectively delivered to the deep dermal layer avoiding thermal disturbances to the skin’s surface
- The electrothermal energy easily reaches the target temperatures of (55 degrees – 70 degrees) which is the prime temperature for collagen remodeling and therefore skin tightening
- Infini can treat the skin from the ‘inside out’ as opposed to laser which must pass through the superficial layers to get to the deep.
What can be treated?
Infini RF is an effective treatment for many concerns including:
- Skin laxity in the neck and face, and also skin on any part of the body
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Thinning and ageing skin
- Acne scarring
- Potentially it can help to treat active acne (by heating sebaceous glands in the skin)
- Potentially it can be used to treat excess sweating or hyperhidrosis (by heating sweat glands in the skin)
Infini RF is particularly suited to the treatment of olive or darker skin types. Unlike laser treatments, there is minimal risk of causing hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation post treatment, as the energy is delivered from the inside of the skin, and not from the outside in like in laser treatments.
What to expect during and after an Infini RF treatment
How many treatments are required?
There can be variation between each individual and the number of Infini RF sessions they require to achieve their desired results. Whilst there is a variation in treatments required we recommend a minimum of 3 sessions.
After your first treatment you will begin to see the results at the 8 week mark. A positive effect can be seen immediately post treatment due to the lifting and tightening from the temporary collagen shrinkage lasting approximately 1 week. The temporary collagen shrinkage is then replaced by collagen tightening associated with the reparative and remodeling phases of wound healing. From here you will experience continued improvement to the treated area between 3 to 6 months or longer post treatment.
The effect is Infini RF treatment can last several years, depending on each individual’s collagen regeneration and remodelling time.
What results can be achieved?
As mentioned above Infini RF is an effective treatment for skin laxity and acne scarring. These results are achieved through the lifting, tightening, firming and scar untethering properties of the treatment.
The lifting, tightening and firming comes from the combination of control micro wounds from the needling and electrothermal heating of the collagen from the RF element. The principles of Infini RF are discussed in the drop down below.
Untethering of scars is an important aspect to treating acne scarring. The needles slowly break the bonds inside the scars pulling the surface of the skin downward into a dip, hollow or dent. Once the tethering is reduced it allows the collagen remodelling below the scar to lift the skin. Over the course of treatments and the lead time period of remodelling the appearance of the scar is reduced and the skin’s surface tightens, lifts and smooths.
Principles of Skin needling and RF:
Principles of Skin needling:
The fractional micro delivery provides unparalleled delivery of needles micro injuries into the epidermis and dermis. These micro injuries to the skin encourage and harness the power of the body’s innate ability to re-grow and repair the skin through the normal physiology of skin.
The first phase begins with the release of the body’s growth factors and the further cascade of new epidermal growth, fibroblast and matrix production. This proliferation of the body’s tissue continues to release growth factors from fibroblasts, keratinocytes and monocytes. The second phase of wound healing involves deposition of collagen, elastin, proteoglycans, and GAG’s. The last phase results in tissue remodeling where the skins vascular matrix matures and skin tightening as well as new collagen can be seen. The body’s ability to remodel and heal itself is at the heart of this amazing process.
Principles of RF:
RF treatment involves delivering an electric current at a very high frequencies such as those used in broadcasting (hence radio frequency or RF, e.g., 1 MHz) to target tissues through electrodes in contact with the skin. Living tissues conduct electricity, but offers resistance to the current. When an electric current meets resistance it generates heat, so RF energy safely generates a controlled and local electrothermal effect in the tissues.
This electrothermal heating specifically targets the collagen at the tip of the Infini’s needles.
Advantages of Infini RF Needling
Infini RF Needling and traditional skin needling are both forms of collagen induction therapy designed to lift, tighten, rejuvenate the skin and treat acne scars. Whilst traditional skin needling remains an effective treatment for the above concerns, the Infini RF, in many cases, provides a superior result.
Infini RF advantages V Traditional Skin Needling
- The Infini can treat deeper in the dermis, up to 3.5mm.
- Hybrid treatment combining RF and Collagen induction Therapy.
- Infini allows for the treatment of multiple depths in the dermis in one session.
- The patented insulated needles delivers RF energy to highly specific locations in the skin as programmed by the practitioner.
Another advantage of Infini RF needling when compared with skin laser treatment is that it can be used on any skin type from very fair to dark.
Infini for treatment of acne scarring in olive or darker skin types
The Infini has revolutionised the treatment of acne scarring, in particular in those with olive or darker skin types.
Laser treatment for acne scarring in olive or darker skin types carries a significant risk of pigmentation changes in the skin post treatment, in particular, darkening of the skin which is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some lasers are actually attracted to the melanin or pigment in the skin, which makes darker skin more attracted to these lasers. Furthermore, all lasers need to pass through from the superficial layers of the skin to the deep layers of the skin, which also increase the risk of pigmentation changes.
Skin needling is also an effective treatment for acne scarring, and it carries much less risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation than laser treatments. Surgical skin needling, which involves rolling a cylindrical roller with 3mm needle lengths over the skin, can cause around 10 days of downtime for the patient. It causes significant swelling and trauma to the skin. It is also a more involved treatment than the Infini, as it requires local anaesthetic to be injected into the face.
The Lutronics Infini is able to effectively treat acne scarring in olive or darker skins with only a few days of downtime. There is significantly less risk of pigmentation changes when compared to than laser treatments for acne scarring. As the radiofrequency energy bypasses the superficial layers of the skin by being delivered to the tips only of insulated needles, the risk of injury to the superficial epidermis (top layers of the skin) is minimised. This reduces both the visible recovery time and risk of pigmentation changes in the skin post-treatment. Rates of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation were found to be approximately 3-4% only. By combining the effects of skin needling with radiofrequency, the Infini effectively treats acne scarring with relatively little downtime. Although equally effective in fair skin types, It is a preferred treatment for the treatment of acne scarring in olive or darker skin types.
Case study: Infini treatments combined with subcision and dermal filler
This patient had 3 treatments of Infini radiofrequency to her cheek scarring, as well as subcision and dermal filler.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of Infini treatments?
Victorian Cosmetic Institute specialise in medical skin treatments and laser treatments. We are particularly careful in the selection of our machines, and only choose the most effective and safe machines for use on our patients. Special attention is also paid to consistency and competency when training our practitioners.
Also, as we have a wide range of treatments available, we are able to help you choose the best treatment for your skin.