A new and very exciting treatment that targets the deeper layers of the skin is a procedure that uses radiofrequency (RF). It is a carefully controlled passing of an electric current that gently penetrates the deeper dermis, without the risk of interfering with surface layers.
Radiofrequency works by heating the matrix proteins in the skin. This causes them to denature, contract and almost immediately tighten the skin. This allows the outer skin surface to keep cool, so it is not affected and remains completely intact. Only modest changes are achievable with RF treatments on their own. Major sagging and deep lines will not be addressed by radiofrequency alone.
Our Refirme skin tightening procedure allows you to attain tight and firm skin without downtime. Precise heating of the targeted dermal tissue stimulates collagen, resulting in contraction of fibres producing a firming effect in lax skin. The procedure is often alluded to as ‘a non-surgical facelift’ and used for treating skin laxity and sagging—like jowl sagging, the folds around the nose, wrinkles and lines around the mouth, forehead and around the eyes.
Fine wrinkles are reduced, noticeable lifting can be observed and the skin texture becomes smoother, more luminous and toned. Best areas for treatment include the neck, jawline and eye area. For optimal results a series of at least three treatments is recommended.
Who is suited to Radiofrequency Skin Tightening?
Radiofrequency is safe for patients of all skin types, and is not normally associated with pigment changes in the skin, even in those prone to it. However, better effects may be produced in some people compared to others. For example, radiofrequency is far less effective in overweight people and in smokers. Also, those with cardiac pacemakers or metal implants, braces, or hardware near the area being treated are not able to do the treatment.
The tightening effect of radiofrequency may also be more noticeable in younger people. Its thought that young skin lends itself better to the treatment, because collagen bonds are more easily broken by heating young skin compared with older skin, where the collagen is less easily denatured.
What should I expect during treatment?
No major preparation is required. The target area is thoroughly cleansed before the treatment. Eye protection need not be used, and if treating around the mouth a wet gauze may be inserted between the teeth and lip to keep the area cool. A treatment grid is applied as a guide so that untreated areas may anchor the treated areas for optimal results.
Coupling fluid is then applied generously to facilitate the flow of electricity in the skin. The applicator probe is then placed in contact with the skin and adjusted to deliver exactly the right dose of energy for the area being treated. A series of passes (usually three or four) are made over the target area. Simultaneously the skin is carefully monitored for signs of tightening, redness or swelling (a sign that things are working).
A sensation of heat, pinching or prickling, and a warming sensation similar to a facial massage is usually experienced. Desensitising (numbing) the area is typically not required.
Treatment on the face may take up to 45 minutes while treatment on other parts of the body may take up to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the area being treated.
Are there side effects or risks involved?
Radiofrequency is a very safe treatment with only minor and temporary side effects if at all. Typical concerns are minor discomfort during the procedure, and on occasion redness and swelling afterwards which usually lasts for a couple of hours. A cold compress or an ice pack placed on the treated area will soothe and help to reduce pain and swelling.
There’s little or no downtime and a quick return to normal activities is expected. A soothing restorative cream may be applied following the procedure and continued for several days. Makeup can be applied immediately after treatment as the epidermis is unaffected.
Some patients may develop tiny abrasions (crusting) in the treated area. These usually heal or drop off within three to four days. It is rare to experience changes in sensation in the treated area, such as itching or numbness. These symptoms are temporary, usually mild and resolve completely in days to weeks.
The effects of radiofrequency skin tightening work well with both IPL and fractionated resurfacing (with either RF or laser therapy )and is often used in a combination treatment. The deep layers of the skin that heat up with radiofrequency skin tightening can’t be reached by conventional IPL or laser therapy. This allows the IPL and /or fractionated resurfacing with RF or laser to treat the outer part of the skin, while the radiofrequency skin tightening handpiece penetrates deeper into the skin producing a far better and more complete result. A perfect example of this combination treatment is called the Elos Triniti we perform at Shine Clinic.