Anastasia Chu, PA-C, lays out the facts about Morpheus8, the minimally invasive radiofrequency microneedling treatment that everyone is raving about.
By stimulating collagen and elastin production, Morpheus8 addresses wrinkles, skin laxity, stretch marks, chronic acne scars and more, often in a single treatment.
Get the answers to your Morpheus8 questions, including:
- How many treatment sessions will I need?
- How much does each treatment tighten skin and reduce fat?
- What other treatments can I combine with it to boost my results?
- What areas can it treat?
Learn more about Morpheus8 RF microneedling
Meet Anastasia Chu, PA-C
Book your Morpheus8 appointment at our Carlsbad MedSpa
Speaker 1 (00:07):
You are listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.
Monique Ramsey (00:14):
Welcome everyone to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I am here with Anastasia Chu. She is one of our PAs in our Carlsbad location, our new Carlsbad Med Spa, and she’s coming to us from that med spa today. And welcome back Anastasia.
Thank you very much Monique. Thanks for having me here.
Monique Ramsey (00:37):
So this is gonna be fun because we have some amazing technology that I can’t wait to be the patient for and it’s Morpheus8. So we talk about collagen a lot on this podcast. We talk about collagen remodeling and things that stimulate collagen. And so today we’re gonna talk about Morpheus8. And so Anastasia, what is this treatment all about?
Yeah, so Morpheus8 is a safe and effective treatment option that utilizes radiofrequency with microneedling technology to give the face and skin improvement in their collagen production and elastin so that we can restore a more youthful appearance.
Monique Ramsey (01:20):
So how is it different or better than regular microneedling?
I like to think of it as it’s more powerful than regular microneedling. You take your regular microneedling but you add the radiofrequency into it and that amplifies the collagen production, so enhances your result so much more.
Monique Ramsey (01:42):
Okay, so microneedling is like creating a wound right on the skin? Sort of, yeah. And then does the radiofrequency stay surface level or penetrate?
It is penetrating to the specific level that we need to address a specific skin concern. So it is placed deeper into the skin, not on the surface, like lasers.
Monique Ramsey (02:09):
And I guess what are the kind of conditions that people might be trying to treat?
It covers a wide variety of skin concerns that people can treat for. So lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, skin firmness, uh, skin stretch marks, chronic acne scars. It can treat a wide variety of conditions.
Monique Ramsey (02:37):
And I’ve seen pictures of you guys obviously doing it on the face, but I’ve also seen like somebody’s tummy being done. So what are the areas that you could treat and what, I guess if you were treating your tummy for instance, what, what was that person’s concern?
Yeah, on the abdomen it’s a very popular treatment to address laxity. A lot of times after pregnancy people stretch out their tissue so it can help address the tightness, firmness of the skin in the abdominal region and also sculpt fat. With radiofrequency we can turn up the heat and melt wave fat or difficult um, fat pockets that we just can’t address no matter how much we diet and exercise.
Monique Ramsey (03:23):
Wow. . Okay, hold on. Alright. I did not know this so I’m like blown away at the moment. So I, my, my brain is going crazy thinking of all the places that I have fat that I would love to have treated. So how would it differ then for pockets of fat for CoolSculpting versus this?
CoolSculpting addresses the adipose tissue and addresses fat alone, whereas my radiofrequency microneedling such as Morpheus, it targets so many different problems of the skin, not just help melt or sculpt fat alone. So you get more benefit doing radiofrequency microneedling in terms of reduction in fat. The CoolSculpting will have a better reduction with one treatment. So about 20 to 25% with CoolSculpting versus 10 to 12% with uh Morpheus. So if someone who is looking to address volume and volume alone, then CoolSculpting will be maybe a better option for them. A lot of times in our uh, stomach area we also want to tighten the skin too and not just take away volume. So Morpheus will be a better solution for kind of all around treatment.
Monique Ramsey (04:34):
And would that be good for something, cuz I know we have cool mini to address fat right under the chin, but if somebody was trying to sort of contour their neck and jawline area, would this be a good treatment?
Absolutely, yeah. Depending on how much volume that we are starting off with, sometimes we use CoolSculpting first to debulk followed by the treatments for Morpheus to tighten and sculpt further.
Monique Ramsey (05:02):
Now let’s talk about pain . Everybody wants to know, you know, does it hurt? And I know sometimes lasers or or therapy, certain treatments that we do can be a little bit spicy and um, we have plenty of solutions to get you through that procedure. So is Morpheus something that people find painful or pretty tolerable or I’m sure it probably depends on the person too.
Yeah, you’re right. Everyone has different pain thresholds and one person’s pain threshold may also vary from time to time too. Everybody who comes to our office for Morpheus treatment, we will numb with topical lidocaine for at least 45 minutes to an hour before for maximal comfort. We also have medications in our office too, like Tylenol and something called gabapentin. Gabapentin is a nerve pain medication that people often on every day for back pain, sciatica, pinch nerves because we’re using these tiny little needles, a lot of times it’s a nerve sensation that people would describe and be bothered by. So that is an option for you to take if you like people who have or who want to have more pain control. We are also able to call in prescriptions for things like Percocet or Valium as long as they have a driver too.
Monique Ramsey (06:27):
And is this something that the, what’s the little laughing gas thing that we have?
Yeah, nitrous oxide. Mm-hmm
Monique Ramsey (06:33):
Nitrous oxide. So is that something that also could be helpful?
Absolutely. We have nitrous oxide in office too and it’s always a great option to kind of calm the mind, relaxes the person so that even though they’re still experiencing discomfort, they’re not as bothered by it kind of takes the edge off.
Monique Ramsey (06:54):
Now have you ever had the Morpheus8?
I have. I’ve had it in my abdomen. I actually treated myself because
Monique Ramsey (07:02):
Oh you did? .
Everyone is super busy. Yeah, and from what I’ve heard, the abdomen I guess is more uncomfortable compared to the face just because we do penetrate deeper. It’s a thicker area Yeah. In that region. So I probably won’t be doing that again on my own and have someone do it for me. But I’m loving the results. I am already seeing the tightness on my skin and also decreasing the volume.
Monique Ramsey (07:30):
Nice. And what would you have maybe compared that pain to? Was it like, I don’t know, for the people in the audiences I’ve never had one, but getting a tattoo or like laser resurfacing or kind of could you give everybody sort of a ballpark of how it felt?
Yeah, so on a scale of one to 10 and you know, the pain tolerance level differs from person to person two 10 being the most painful majority of my patients will rate it around a four, three or four-ish. And that’s kind of how I felt too, a little bit on my abdomen. But keep in mind all I had was topical lidocaine. I didn’t have any medications or nitrous oxide or any other comfort items that we offer, uh, here as well. So on a scale of three and four, which is kind of mild discomfort, nothing too crazy. Yeah.
Monique Ramsey (08:18):
Definitely nothing that prevents me from getting the treatment again.
Monique Ramsey (08:23):
Right. Right. Now how long does the treatment take usually? And then do we have any after effects in terms of pain or redness or swelling or,
Yeah, so on average about 30 minutes per body area. So more area that we’re doing. Very commonly we are doing multiple areas in one treatment because when we are thinking about the downtime, I’d rather just recover all at once versus coming back for another area with, you know, the same amount of downtime you can’t expect about redness and potential swelling for the first two or three days. And it significantly improves after that. Compared to lasers, the downtime is much, much better. The redness I would say. I treat all the staff here and they come back to work the next day and I’m just so amazed and surprised that we just did a Morpheus treatment yesterday and they’re able to come back to work the next day and look like nothing happened. So it’s amazing how the recovery time is.
Monique Ramsey (09:34):
Well I remember during the grand opening party that we had Laura Cain who’s on the radio and has her own Laura Cain After Dark Podcast, she did a live, we did like a little live video and she did a video of her treatment in the middle of the party and people were watching her treatment and afterwards, you know, she came out and I was saying goodbye to her and her face was like pink. I think they kind of did the lower part of her face and she looked great. I was like really surprised that. Yeah. You know, and, and and is that something you can put makeup on the next day or what are your protocols for aftercare?
So the little channels that we are creating with the microneedling can take up to three days to fully heal. So it is recommended to avoid makeup until day three if you can.
Monique Ramsey (10:27):
Okay. And do you kind of avoid everything like sunscreen and that kind of stuff too?
Yeah, same thing on day three. You can start wearing S P F tinted moisturizer, light makeup to make yourself more presentable to work or wherever it is that you’re going. But if someone absolutely has to be outdoors within that first or second day, better to be safe and apply sunscreen if you must be outdoors than not to wear sunscreen.
Monique Ramsey (10:56):
Yeah, well hopefully people, I’m, I’m sure you know when they have a consult with you you’d be advising them, you know where to fit it in in their lifestyle. Like try not to have something, you know, mm-hmm big in the first couple days so that you can properly heal and heal quickly. Now can you combine other treatments with Morpheus8?
Absolutely. We combine treatments that works in different modalities or different ways so that we can get a more synergistic effect and enhance our results depending on other skin concerns that the patient may have, such as let’s say sun damage or hyperpigmentation. We can do the BBL broadband light to address those dark spots before we do the Morpheus and you can do that on the same day.
Monique Ramsey (11:43):
We also often combine Morpheus with things like Sculptra and or Radiessse. Right. To get a added benefit for that collagen stimulation.
Monique Ramsey (11:53):
Right. And that’s something that we had a wonderful live webinar which is now on demand on our website with Amy Biggs from our La Jolla office and she did a whole lecture on Sculptra and what that does and how it stimulates collagen. And then we have at the end of this month, at the end of July, we have a live webinar. The topic is gonna be Morpheus8. And so for any of you who are listening today or watching on YouTube and you wanna see more, you can see some before and afters and we’ll you know, put in some video of somebody getting it done. We’ll have that in the show notes so you can register because it’s gonna be really, really fun to kind of take this to the next level. But it’s interesting, so if somebody had Sculptra, would they be having like Sculptra first and then the Morpheus8 or vice versa?
Yes, you can use the Sculptra first as long as you wait two weeks before you do um, things like Morpheus or any other treatments. So you allow your body to recover first before we go move on to the next procedure.
Monique Ramsey (13:01):
Got it. So we talked about recovery, I mean it’s just a couple days, right? So, but how long would it take to see results from something like this?
Yeah, collagen stimulation definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It does take some time for you to benefit from these treatments. On average it starts about a week four and it continues to build after three to six months. So your best result will come three to six months after your full treatment.
Monique Ramsey (13:32):
I better get in with you because Yeah, , I’ve got my son’s wedding in February, um, , so I better get going. Yeah, I know. I’m really excited to do this. And it is good to plan ahead then is what you’re saying. So kind of, if you like for me, I’ve got a wedding in February so I back date it and then get in. So because of the ultimate timeline for seeing your results three to six months, is this ever done in like a series of one or two or three or not a series, not a series of one, but series of two or three or is it really kind of a one and done for now, like one a year or something like that?
It is recommended to have a minimum of three treatments based about four to six weeks apart. In certain cases with deeper wrinkles, deeper acne scars, that fourth treatment may be needed to get to better results. And for maintenance, if we are doing it for correction, it is recommended to do it once every six months if we’re doing it more for prevention than once a year to maintain that result.
Monique Ramsey (14:38):
Okay. So you’re not having to wait to see the ultimate results of the first treatment before you have the second you’re gonna like kind of build on each other?
Right. We are building on that collagen stimulation with one treatment you can expect about 15 to 20% improvement in skin tightening and again about 10 to 12% in fat sculpting. Which is why after that third or fourth treatment you will see your best result.
Monique Ramsey (15:05):
Got it. Okay. Okay. So I’m assuming, so I was looking on the website, we have all our prices on the website and it looks like the starting point for Morpheus eight is about $850 for a single treatment. And we do have glam fam, you know, all our glam fam members save on everything. And so do you guys do like a, if you have your consult with the patient, you, let’s say you’re recommending three treatments, do you sort of have a package price?
We do have a package promo where you do purchase that three sessions. Since it is recommended to have a minimum of three treatments, you get a certain percent reduction for the entire treatments that you are paying for.
Monique Ramsey (15:52):
Okay. And I think that’s something that especially it seems like with non-surgical modalities let’s say, or treatments, you know, I think patients want it to always be one and done and it, a lot of times it isn’t like CoolSculpting they say treat to complete. Like it’s gonna take at least two sessions in the same area to really get what most people would consider a good result. So I think that’s important for us as the potential patient to think about. You do have to do the whole thing , it’s, it’s a lot of times when it’s less invasive to our body, it’s gonna take a little bit longer and usually that’s the trade off. You know, we’re not having to have surgery and have the downtime of a surgery, but we’re gonna have to build on the result to get you kind of where you wanna be. Do you find that most people get that concept or, or is it still kind of that people really wanna just be done after one?
Yeah, so that’s something that we definitely have to discuss during our consultation to set our expectations for people who are looking for that one and done, who are looking for, you know, the best result. You know, surgery is definitely a better option after that three or four treatments of Morpheus you may improve in 40 or 60% for that skin lifting, tissue tightening benefit. If you’re okay with that, Morpheus is a great non-surgical option for you. If you’re looking for something more, then we would kinda discuss the route of surgical options.
Monique Ramsey (17:29):
Yeah, and I think you, you mentioned a really great thing, setting expectations, that’s for sure. Something that, you know, we all have to sort of adjust our mentality and, and our, our society is so much about instant gratification, sometimes we have to be patient. These things don’t happen overnight, like you said. I mean collagen remodeling does take a little bit of time and the, the tissue’s probably shrinking up a little bit, but when do, would you say that most of the patients who have Morpheus start to feel that they’re getting a result?
I would say after four weeks, that is the soonest time. The earliest for collagen bill to kind of be a little bit noticeable when we have these second treatments, third treatments and have patients come back for their next session. We take before and afters during each visit and you can already tell an improvement from their first treatment four weeks ago.
Monique Ramsey (18:25):
Oh that’s good. That’s good. And I guess that’s probably motivating for them to know it’s, it’s working
. Absolutely. And it’s just gonna get better with time.
Monique Ramsey (18:33):
Yeah. Now for a consultation, do patients come in and see you or is it something that you do like a Zoom consultation for?
We do offer the option for both in-person and Zoom. I definitely recommend in-person whenever possible just because there’s a lot of things that gets blurred from the photos. An in-person exam is much more valuable and more detailed than Zoom or photos.
Monique Ramsey (19:03):
And then do you have any like restrictions or pre-op, let’s call it, even though it’s not operation, pre-procedure tips for them to stop taking certain things or stop using certain kinds of skincare? Like what are your prep?
Yeah, so for preparation for Morpheus you want to make sure you are avoiding sun exposure, actively sun tanning, tanning beds, oil lotion, all those products two weeks before.Discontinue active ingredients in your skincare regimen such as retinol or a certain acid products three to five days before to make sure that it’s not irritating your skin or having more reactions after Morpheus. It is contraindicated for people who do have a pacemaker. So cardiac implantable devices, defibrillators, because we’re using radiofrequency, which is electrical current, it may interfere with that.
Monique Ramsey (20:05):
Ah, okay. That’s good to know. Anybody else that kind of isn’t a candidate?
No, Morpheus is great for people of all ages and also all skin types too. Right after age 30 we are losing collagen. So people do actually use this as prevention. It is safe on all skin types. So even people of darker complexion we are able to safely treat too.
Monique Ramsey (20:32):
Oh that’s good to know. And yeah, that’s really important I think because you know there are certain treatments out there that you know, if you have darker skin there’s a higher risk of complications and so that’s nice that this is sort of good for and all ages. Okay. So anything else that we didn’t cover about Morpheus8?
I feel like with the conditions or issues to address with Morpheus8 that you asked me, um, earlier, I think I forgot to mention scarring, right? So not only good for acne scars, but it is also good for surgical scars too. So we actually see a lot of people after postoperative tummy tucks lacerations that they just wanna minimize or reduce the appearance, the thickness of it too. So it’s an excellent option for that. Stretch marks too a lot of people have stretch marks in their abdomen in the buttock region that we’ve been treating and also minimizing the appearance of too. So it’s a wonderful option for so many different skin conditions.
Monique Ramsey (21:37):
So we talked about the tummy, we talked about the face and neck, but where else could we imagine that we could use this fun technology?
Yeah, aside from the face, neck and chest, we also use Morpheus on the upper arms. A lot of times people have excessive volume in there and also skin laxity in the upper arms as well. Thighs too. So people who struggle with cellulite, we are able to use Morpheus to lessen the appearance of that too. Bra fat, so the back of the region where you have love handles, you really can’t go wrong using this anywhere. I’ve heard that some practices are also using this vaginally too to kind of tighten the tissue after birth.
Monique Ramsey (22:22):
Mm-hmm . Ouch sounds a tiny bit painful, but okay. Yeah. needles in that region, I don’t know, but you know what, if there’s a way to solve what, what ails you, I’m all for it. So
Monique Ramsey (22:37):
Well that’s very cool that, you know, it has so many different kinds of applications that you really could probably get really carried away with this, but , you know, that’s why we have it. So you’re doing it for people and you’ve had it yourself, I mean, anything else about it that you wanna share?
One of the, I think preparation into Morpheus too, we recommend to discontinue aspirin, Advil, Aleve, any blood thinning medications unless it is medically necessary. Some people do have to be on a blood thinner every single day for medical conditions and we definitely don’t want them to discontinue for elective procedures such as Morpheus, we’re still able to treat if you accidentally took in Aleve or something like that for headache in the morning, the only thing is that you would expect more downtime. So more risk of bleeding and bruising. Potentially swelling too does not mean that we can’t do it. So no worries. If you accidentally use something for your heading in the morning, just let us know and we’ll kind of prepare for that.
Monique Ramsey (23:41):
Okay, that’s good. And I’m guessing, you know, it’s probably a really good conversation and why, why you have a in-person or on Zoom consultation to kind of go over that patient’s specific history, what they’re taking in terms of medications for what different ailments they have and being able to kind of help walk them through what they can continue to do, what they might take a break from.
Yeah, absolutely. Also go over their medical history too, such as cold sores. If we’re treating the face around the lips because we are stressing the skin, creating trauma around that area, we want to make sure we are treating you preventatively with some antiviral medications to not have a breakout after Morpheus.
Monique Ramsey (24:27):
Yeah, that’s a really good point. So thanks Anastasia, it was really fun to talk to you again today. And everybody, you can see Anastasia in Carlsbad and her patients, I have to tell you, they just rave about her every day. We have, you know, new reviews coming in and I’ll see the really nice things that people are writing about her and how good they feel about her natural touch and just how, you know, your aesthetic eye I guess is really able to help them achieve what they were looking for in a way that still feels like them. And anyway, we’ll have all those links for you guys and then you can set up your consultations and or some of your treatments online on our website and we can also put that in the show notes. So you can click to book now, you can book your Botox, you can book all the, a lot of the different things, but for sure a consult for Morpheus8 as well. So thanks everybody and we will see you on the next podcast.
Thanks Monique. Take care.
Speaker 1 (25:36):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic. La Jolla cosmetic is located just off the I-5 San Diego Freeway in the XiMed building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more, go to lj csc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.