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Are Itchy Red Bumps Normal After RF Microneedling?

RF microneedling is one of the most popular skin rejuvenation treatments for a good reason – it brings amazing results for any skin type after just a few weeks of treatment. Although this nonsurgical treatment improves the skin tone and skin texture, some patients might find itchy red bumps on their skin right after their RF microneedling session.

So is the appearance of itchy red bumps on the skin normal after RF microneedling? Yes, red bumps are normal after treatment because it means the skin is responding to radiofrequency microneedling. But they may also be caused by acne flare-ups or allergic reactions, so make sure to consult a doctor immediately if they worsen or persist.

Heal Your Face Like Never Before With microNeedling

Rejuvenate and heal your face with the technique proven time and time again to provide maximum regenerative results: microneedling. Call us today to book your microneedling appointment at aNu Aesthetics.

Why Are There Red Bumps After RF Microneedling?

Microneedling (or collagen induction therapy) by itself is an excellent skin treatment that targets common skin conditions like acne scars, hyperpigmentation, large pores, age spots, wrinkles, sun damage, and more. 

It’s a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that works by creating micro-incisions on the skin, triggering the body’s natural healing process, and boosting the production of collagen and elastin.

Although traditional microneedling treatments already offer rejuvenated skin even for people with sensitive skin type, combining the procedure with radiofrequency technology in the form of radiofrequency microneedling enhances the effects of collagen induction therapy.

RF microneedling devices reach into the deep layers of the skin to heal the skin tissues and induce healthy collagen production. This results in the tighter and blemish-free skin that many patients desire.

But like any other cosmetic treatment, RF microneedling also comes with mild but common adverse effects like itchy red bumps on the surface of the skin. Here are a few possible reasons why this happens:

1) Your skin responds to the treatment

The appearance of red bumps on the skin is normal because of the skin trauma created by the  micro-injuries on its surface. This means that the treatment is working and the body starts producing more collagen and elastin. These bumps usually feel like a sunburn, but they naturally fade a few days after treatment.

2) There are active acne breakouts

RF microneedling may irritate active acne, inflame the skin, or spread bacteria so it’s important to tell your dermatologist beforehand if you’re prone to breaking out or if you have cold sores on the skin. This allows them to avoid active acne in some areas of the facial skin and minimize the risk of skin infection. Acne flare-ups after treatment are usually mild enough to clear up on their own.

3) There’s an allergic reaction

Numbing creams and local anesthesia might be required for patients who need a longer needle depth for their RF microneedling treatment. Some people are allergic to the topical anesthetic used so they might notice an allergic reaction in the form of itchy red bumps after the procedure. The reaction may persist for up to a few hours or days, so contact your doctor to ask for an allergy medication if necessary.

Should You Consult a Doctor About the Red Bumps?

The appearance of itchy red bumps on the skin is a common but mild side effect of radiofrequency microneedling. It usually goes away a few days after the treatment sessions, so make sure to follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions to help your skin heal more quickly.

However, the red bumps might also be an indicator of a more serious complication like an allergic reaction. Contact your doctor immediately if the itchy red bumps worsen or persist on the treated areas for more than 1 to 2 weeks after the RF microneedling session.

Other Things That May Happen on the Skin Post-treatment

Microneedling is safe to combine with radiofrequency waves to achieve your desired results, but it’s important to ensure that the procedure is performed by an experienced provider or dermatologist. Aside from the itchy red bumps, patients may also experience the following side effects.

Tightness and Dryness

It’s normal for the skin to feel dehydrated sometime after the treatment session, so patients should be ready to apply a lot of moisturizers to their dry skin. Lather some emollients or other gentle moisturizers like hyaluronic acid serum for a few days after the treatment to relieve the tightness and dryness of the skin. 

This also helps reduce the healing time needed so patients can resume their regular skincare routine after a few days.


Bruising is also another common RF microneedling side effect, especially when the microneedling device reaches the deeper layer of skin or presses multiple times across the treated area. The bruise is usually faint and can easily be covered up, but patients may also use a cold compress to minimize the pain. 


Radiofrequency microneedling involves creating micro-incisions on the skin so bleeding is only normal. Topical numbing cream or local anesthetic may be recommended for RF microneedling treatments that require a longer needle length or deeper skin penetration. Pinpoint bleeding also subsides a few hours after treatment, so make sure to follow the provider’s aftercare instructions to take care of the treated skin properly.

Peeling and Flaking

The skin exfoliates for a few days after the RF microneedling procedure, so it’s normal to find it peeling or flaking for about a week. This is a good sign because it means that the treatment is working and new skin cells are being produced. 

However, it’s extremely important to avoid picking at it and let the peel fall off by itself. Make sure to keep moisturizing the skin to let it heal quickly and reduce the needed recovery time post-procedure.


Mild swelling may also happen on the treated areas because of the skin trauma as the microneedling device tools pierce the skin. More intense RF microneedling treatments are more prone to normal swelling, but they usually subside after a few hours or days. Applying an ice pack or cold compress alleviates inflammation and swelling.

Increased Skin Sensitivity to the Sun

Since the stratum corneum or top layer of skin is disrupted during the treatment, the skin becomes more sensitive to the sun than normal. Avoid staying under the sun or in places with high temperatures (like saunas) to let the skin heal properly and ensure the best skin rejuvenation results. It’s also important to always apply sunscreen and wear a hat to cover the facial skin when you really have to go out.

How to Minimize Itchy Red Bumps After RF Microneedling

Itchy bumps, swelling, tightness, and other mild side effects are quite common but they usually subside after a few days. There are also a few things you can do to help minimize their appearance, such as:

  • Avoid skin care products that include harsh chemicals and ingredients to prevent irritating the skin.
  • Be extra gentle with the skin when washing your face or applying products.
  • Use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce the discomfort and swelling in the treated areas.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible. Apply sunscreen with a powerful sun protection factor (SPF) whenever you need to go outside and stay under the sun.
  • Use the emollients or antibiotic creams as the doctor prescribed.

Find the Best Skin Rejuvenation Treatments at aNu Aesthetics

beautiful middle aged woman after cosmetic procedure rf microneedling

Radiofrequency microneedling is a great solution to different skin concerns and signs of aging but it also comes with certain risks like itchy red bumps. The best way to ensure that you’re getting the best RF microneedling treatment is to find an experienced provider who will perform the procedure, like our team at aNu Aesthetics.

Our specialists make sure to give you personalized treatments to give you the best results possible. Find out if you’re a good candidate for RF microneedling and other skin rejuvenation treatments now by booking an appointment with us.

Heal Your Face Like Never Before With microNeedling

Rejuvenate and heal your face with the technique proven time and time again to provide maximum regenerative results: microneedling. Call us today to book your microneedling appointment at aNu Aesthetics.


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