What is it?
Firming and tightening skin with the help of Radio Frequency (RF) energy. First technology in this type of rejuvenation treatment was called Thermage and it was found to be very effective and popular. E-style version is more sophisticated and precise because of its bipolar mode of delivery. This improvement made the treatment almost painless.
How does it work?
The analogy can be made with boiling an egg. The white of the egg becomes firm and hard after it had been heated. Collagen and elastin fibres of the skin are the proteins which give skin its firmness, thickness and elasticity. With the ageing these fibres become longer, loose, less entangled amongst themselves, furthermore there is diminished synthesis of these proteins in the skin. RF wave passing through the skin targets these network of the fibres and makes the proteins contract. This process is called denaturation. The fibres become shorter, thicker and firmer. The passage of the RF energy also heats up the surrounding tissue, this thermal stimuli re-activates fibroblasts â€“ the cells which produce new collagen, elastin and reticulin fibres. The result is apparent â€“ firm, tight and plumper skin. This treatment is a non-invasive and effective method of â€œ face lift â€œ when surgical alternative is not acceptable to the patient or too early to contemplate. It is also a very useful after a full or mini face-lift operations, making the outcome more effective.
How is it done?
After an initial consultation a cosmetic doctor establishes the type of skin and calculates the appropriate dosage of RF energy. Conductive gel is then applied to the target area. The tip of the hand piece is applied firmly to the skin and RF wave is released. This is repeated till the whole area is covered. To ensure a full coverage and a sufficient conduction of RF energy it is necessary to repeat passages over the same area 5-7 times. To complete the treatment on the face it takes approximately 30 min.
What are the contraindications?
Pregnancy, metal implants in the treated area, active skin infection or malignancy, intolerance of RF energy previously, lupus erythematosis, scleroderma, recent laser skin resurfacing / within last 6 weeks /, photoporphyria, active skin inflammation like eczema, rosacea in the area planned to be treated, tendency to scar or pigment badly.
What are the side effects or complications?
Skin is slightly red and hot for 1-2 hours, some experience minimal stinging for 1-2 hours. Skin blistering or scabbing is rare and only occurs in the areas close to bones or over the natural curvatures of face where a close tight contact with the tip is difficult. This subsides within 2-3 days. Recovery is aided by applying creams containing aloe or mild steroid like Hydrocortisone for few days. Pigmentation is very rare and prevented by SPF application.
What is the aftercare?
Routine skin care is resumed after 2 hours, make up can be applied immediately, and SPF factor is advised to be used during and after the course of treatment.
How many treatments are needed?
It is normally advised to have 6-8 sessions once a week for the best results. However, even after 1 session skin is visibly tighter and firmer. Top up treatments are advised once in 6-12 months.
Can it be combined with the other treatments?
RF skin tightening can be combined with skin renewal treatments like E-style SR, Microdermabrasion, mesotherapy and Sculptra collagen stimulation. It is useful after the face-lift and liposuction operations.
Can it be used in other part of the body?
It can be used in any place where skin is becoming loose: body, face, neck, arms, and legs. It is not advised to use RF too close to the eyes; skin is pulled away from the eyeball in these cases. It is not used on the mucosal membranes.