The Year of Radio-Frequency Devices for Collagen Stimulation and Skin Tightening

2018 is the year of radio-frequency devices!  Radio-frequency devices are definitely making their mark in the cosmetic industry for skin tightening and collagen stimulation. Why?  Because radiofrequency is so versatile.  RF (radiofrequency) has many applications for uses such as skin tightening, generalized collagen stimulation, fat reduction and in woman’s health.  Another key feature is that it can be utilized on any Fitzpatrick skin type including lighter toned skin and dark skin, without worry of disrupting the underlying melanin.  This makes it attractive to have in the office, because through the summer months, there are times when skin rejuvenating devices are not selected because skin that is too tan.

So how does it work?

It basically works by high flow electrons that stream through the low resistance epidermis (top layer of skin) and through the dermis and impede upon the hypodermis (below the skin).  This impedance turns the kinetic energy into thermal energy, whereby the deep dermis begins to heat up and this process causes tissue contraction (so some immediate improvement) followed by collagen stimulation over the next 3-6 months.

The other nice quality regarding radiofrequency is that there is essentially no downtime.  When areas such as the face are treated, the skin may appear slightly pink-red for 1 hour with no swelling.

The application is also being used for skin tightening on other body parts and devices are also incorporating ultrasound to help for body skin tightening.  Radio-frequency is even utilized for vaginal rejuvenation and to help minimize dryness and diminished sensation that can be experienced as we age.

There are currently multiple devices, ones that are delivered through handpieces in circular motions and others that utilize small needles to go deep to the dermis to deliver the energy.

Most devices take 4-6 treatments to achieve optimal results.

Raminder Saluja, MD

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