DEBUNKING THE MYTHS SERIES… “TRACK MARKS, ARE MY SETTINGS TOO HIGH?”
Vivace® RF Microneedling provides a quick and minimally invasive way to improve the overall appearance of one’s complexion. An FDA-cleared, non-surgical treatment for brightening and tightening the face, the Vivace Experience® stimulates the production of collagen and reduces fine lines and wrinkles using the best-in-class microneedling RF device.
To achieve optimum results, multiple passes at different depths are recommended. This is called the 3D Precision Approach. This is a layered approach of delivering RF energy deep into the dermis, which creates multiple depth electro-coagulation zones. And because Vivace® stimulates the body’s self-healing process, patients can expect faster healing times than traditional microneedling treatments of the past.
Why do some patients experience “tracking” post-treatment?
Some patients will develop “tracking” 1-3 days post their Vivace® radiofrequency microneedling treatment. Is this normal? Yes! However, it is important to identify that tracking can be greatly minimized or eliminated by utilizing the proper techniques and recommended settings. “Trackings” are mild, tiny crusts that become visible 1-3 days post-treatment. It is recommended to educate patients not to pick at the tiny scabs with bare hands, but instead, let them fall off on their own.
Utilizing proper settings to reduce the prevalence of tracking.
When performing a Vivace®, it is recommended to perform a few “test shots” prior to beginning the treatment. The purpose of this is to assure:
- The patient can tolerate the selected treatment settings
- The patient’s skin can tolerate the selected treatment settings
- You have selected the correct depth setting and are not seeing or feeling the handpiece “kickback”. This is an indicator to reduce your depth setting.
When performing a microneedling treatment with Vivace®, there is a fallacy in the idea that hotter is better. The optimum Vivace® results are achieved when there is a symbiosis between patient tolerability and skin tolerability. This can easily be accomplished by adjustments to the power level and/or RF time.
“Skin tolerability” is defined as generalized erythema after RF energy has been released into the skin. The goal when performing a Vivace® treatment is to create erythema from heat. Too much heat and/or prolonged RF can contribute to an increased probability of post-treatment tracking.
To help identify if your selected power settings or RF times are too high, assess for the following indicators:
- Your patient will verbalize discomfort
- The patient’s skin may show patterns of “stamping”. This occurs when the handpiece is pressed onto the skin, or settings are too high, resulting in a transient needle pattern on the skin. If this occurs immediately upon discharging RF energy or as a delayed response, the treatment settings should be adjusted.
- The patient’s skin may develop mild transient swelling over any treated area. If this occurs immediately upon discharging RF energy or as a delayed response, the treatment settings should be adjusted.
Utilizing proper techniques to reduce the prevalence of tracking.
To minimize the risk of tracking, it is also important to incorporate best practices while performing a Vivace® radiofrequency microneedling treatment. Below are a few key recommended techniques:
- Always hold the handpiece perpendicular to the skin. This practice will assure that all the needles will enter through the skin at the same depth. If the handpiece is tilted, this will cause inconsistency in the depth and may result in tracking where needles were more superficial.
- When performing a Vivace®, there should be minimum pressure applied while holding the handpiece, just enough pressure to assure each of the 4 corners of the needle tip is in contact with the skin. Excessive pressure could lead to pinpoint bleeding as well as “stamping”.
- The handpiece should only be lifted off skin while the LED light is off, and place in the next position while the light is still off. These techniques will help assure that heat is not being pulled through the epidermis and remains in the dermal targeted zone.
Disclaimer: The Vivace® Guidelines are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, medical director, or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All suggested treatment settings are for suggested use only.