Off Label Uses of the Infini - A Plethora of Potential Treatment Options - Scars, Sweat, Cellulite, Acne, Fat, Breast Lift, Knees, Tattoos
The Infini is quickly being recognized by the aesthetic physicians as a very powerful tool to tighten facial and neck skin with very little downtime (less than 36 hours). It has also proven to have an extremely low risk profile, with very few long term side effects noted, even in tan or dark skinned individuals. For those unfamiliar with the Infini, please read this blog. In a nutshell, the Infini is a microneedling fraction radiofrequency (MFR) device that coagulates the dermis at various depths (o.25mm – 3.5mm) leading to tissue contraction, new collagen and elastin formation, and overall skin tightening and wrinkle improvement. Dr. Weiner has been using the Infini soon after it was FDA approved and has become the largest user of the device in the US. There have been several off label (non FDA approved) uses of the Infini that Dr. Weiner has been studying that will be discussed below.
- Scar Improvement – The Infini causes disruption of the abnormal/pathologic collagen deposition and stimulates new and more organized collagen that more closely resembles the body’s normal collagen. Acne scars have been treated, even in darker skin individuals, with improvements noted. A physician in Korea has a large series of acne scarring patients who have been treated with the Infini showing dramatic improvements. Other scars being studied are stria (stretch marks) and surgical scars (such as tummy tuck and skin cancers).
- Hyperhidrosis (Excessive sweating) – The sweat glands lay in the lower part of the dermis and just below it. By heating these areas up to a certain temperature, they can be destroyed permanently. This has been proven by the Miradry device, which uses microwaves to heat up the tissue. There is a very high long term satisfaction rate using this device after undergoing 2 treatments. It’s drawback has been discomfort (requiring blocks with injections) and cost ($3000 for 2 treatments). The Infini can be set to a depth that targets the area of the sweat glands and heat this area up to a point of coagulation (gland destruction). In preliminary studies in axillary (underarm) sweating, Dr. Weiner’s patients have seen improvements with the Infini with less discomfort, no downtime, and at a fraction of the cost. Dr. Weiner’s Press Release about using Infini for Hyperhidrosis.
- Acne – Dr. Weiner had been noting that patients whom were undergoing Infini for skin tightening/wrinkles were also noting improvement with their acne. It was postulated that the sebaceous glands, the glands responsible for sebum production (the root cause of acne) were being injured with the Infini treatment. An acne flair is not uncommon after an Infini treatment, and this is caused by inflammation of the sebaceous gland temporarily. Over time, the glands will involute (becomes smaller with less secretions) and lead to the acne improvements noted. Eventually sebaceous glands can enlarge again (unlike sweat glands with don’t have the ability to regrow), so the treatment with Infini turns out to be a potential long term but not permanent solution for acne.
- Body Skin Tightening – Areas such as knees and arms are a concern for many patients. Other than surgical correction, which leaves large undesirous scars, there hasn’t been a good solution. Perhaps the Infini can create similar skin contraction and thickening in these areas as it does on the face. Dr. Weiner is studying this on a few select patients.
- Fat Reduction – The depth of 3.5 mm is below the dermis in most areas of the body. Using this depth with the Infini, it is possible to target fat, particularly in the submental (below the chin) area and along the jaw line. Many patients have seen improvements in these areas with their Infini treatments for wrinkles on the face and neck. Dr. Weiner purposely will go deep in these areas to coagulate and destroy fat and then go more superficial to tighten the dermis. Slimming the mid and lower face for patients with excessive fat tissue can be manage with the deep depth Infini treatment.
- Cellulite Improvement – Using the same rationale as targeting fat, it seems logical that destroying the fat that is herniating would improve the appearance of cellulite. This is still an area of treatment that is more speculation and research is being conducted by Dr. Weiner on a few select patients.
- Tattoo Removal – There is evidence that combining fractional ablative lasers with the Q-Switched laser has benefit in removing tattoos. If this is merely causing more of an inflammatory response to enhance the ink removal, then Infini can cause a similar tissue coagulation, but with less risk and downtime than the lasers do.
- Breast Lifting – If the Infini can cause tissue contraction in the area of the breast, is it enough to see a noticeable improvement in the position of the breast? A no scar breast lift sounds extremely appealing. Studies will need to be done to see if the Infini can work for this and if so, how many treatments are needed, are touch ups required, and is it’s price justified.
Dr. Weiner is carefully studying the Infini for these off label uses and trying to develop standardized protocols for the medical community. It seems like the Infini’s potential is just starting to be recognized and its future is very promising.