• #1-1. The Background of an Innovative Insulated Micro Needle Treatment



    Dr. Gun-young Ahn of Chungdam Gowoonsesang Dermatology is an aesthetic dermatologist who is the creator of AGNES, a micro needle RF device. In this series, Dr. Ahn will discuss the development background of AGNES as well as its indications. Dr. Ahn faced many challenges developing a medical device as a clinical dermatologist. But because of his experience of treating patients, he was able to develop a safer and more effective device. Dr. Ahn shares with D&PS his experience of developing AGNES.


    AGNES can be considered a legacy of Dr. Kobayashi, a famous Japanese doctor known for his insulated micro needles. I first met Dr. Kobayashi while I was working at Kim Yangje Dermatology Clinic in Busan. Dr. Kobayashi, who was a friend of Dr. Kim’s, visited Korea to introduce a new treatment for osmidrosis axillae. 


    As I spoke a lot of Japanese from my experience working as a research fellow at Juntendo Hospital in Japan for a year and a half, I was given the job of translating for Dr. Kobayashi. This allowed me to be the first Korean doctor to learn Dr. Kobayashi’s innovative treatment. As excited as I was at the time, I never imagined that I would later continue his work to develop AGNES.


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    Meeting Dr. Kobayashi


    Dr. Kobayashi’s insulated micro needles were the gold standard of RF hair removal in the 1980s and 90s. Before the advent of laser hair removal, the insulated needles offered an innovative technique as it effectively destroyed hair roots while leaving the skin surface intact using insulated needles. However, this method was painful and time-consuming as each of the follicle had to be manually treated. After laser hair removal was introduced, RF hair removal became obsolete.


    When laser hair removal was first introduced in the late 90s, many were skeptical about the possibility of permanent hair removal. Gradually, more reports provided evidence of permanent hair removal and this established laser as a global standard for hair removal. This meant that Dr. Kobayashi’s RF needles lost their use. Dr. Kobayashi decided to develop a new indication for his RF needles. In 2002, he found that insulated micro needles can be used to effectively destroy sebaceous glands and treat acne.

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