Radiofrequency (RF) energy treatment is technology for non-surgical tightening of the early signs of loose or sagging skin; ideal for those people who either don’t want, or don’t believe they are old enough to have a surgical procedure. Pure RF energy alone is primarily used to treat skin laxity by facial tightening, and is best suited to patients with mild to moderate sagging of facial tissues, usually those in their mid 30s to 50s, with any skin colour.
It is commonly used to treat the forehead, under the eyes, cheeks, mid-face, jaw line, and neck. Based on current RF technologies, most people should see at least a mild improvement in their skin tightness, with minimal risks and downtime compared to surgery. Prices for radio frequency facial tightening treatment depend on the area(s) treated and the device used.
Radiofrequency (RF) surgery has a lengthy history of use in oral, ophthalmic, plastic, and gynaecological surgery of over 70 years. Gradually, its use in the practice of dermatology, cosmetology, cardiology, neurosurgery, hepatology, and ENT procedures gained momentum and popularity. Low frequency alternating currents are also used in physiotherapy for their ability to cause contractions in muscles. RF surgery traditionally utilizes a wave of electrons to cause frictional heating of tissues to incise, excise, ablate or coagulate the targeted tissue.
What is Radio Frequency?
Technically speaking, Radio Frequency is the number of oscillations (or waves) per second of the electric and magnetic fields within the radio waves portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
It is lowest of the electromagnetic radiation frequencies within the spectrum, which itself spans from radio waves, microwaves, infra red, optical (visible light), ultraviolet, x-rays, to gamma rays.
By feeding an alternating current (AC) or voltage through an antenna or electrode, electromagnetic waves can be generated that radiate through space at the speed of light; called radio waves. Radio Frequencies, or radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from less than a centimetre to as long as 100 kilometres.
By applying RF energy to the human body, which can conduct current and therefore act as part of the electrical circuit, any resistance encountered by the energy flow will cause heat to be produced at the site of maximum resistance, which can also be used to cut or coagulate tissue. RF energy when used for skin tightening is able to penetrate deep into the skin and affect the deeper dermis and subcutaneous layers, causing tightening and improvements to the underlying tissue structure, but with little change in skin texture or fine lines and wrinkling.
What should you do before treatment?
You should try to avoid doing anything that will irritate your skin immediately before treatment. This includes sunbathing (natural or artificial). Practitioners are unlikely to treat someone who has sun burn for example, as they would be more likely to suffer pain from the addition of heat to the already damaged skin; however an established tan would be fine.
Some women find that their skin is more sensitive right before and during their menstrual cycle so if you are a woman, you might want to take this effect on pain threshold into consideration when scheduling your treatment appointment(s).
What happens during a Radio Frequency For Facial Rejuvenation treatment?
Careful discussions regarding your reasons for wanting treatment are very important before you begin the treatment. You must also make sure that this treatment can deliver what you want and how you would like to look afterwards. Your practitioner should be able to answer all these questions.
A medical history should also be taken to make sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t undertake treatment. You may be asked to sign a consent form which means that you have understood the potential benefits and risks associated with the procedure.
Photographs may also be taken by the practitioner for a "before and after" comparison at a later date.
You may be required to clean your face prior to your treatment, in order to remove any make-up and skin oils which could interfere with the application of the RF treatment.
How long will it take to recover from Radio Frequency For Facial Rejuvenation?
Some people experience mild redness immediately following treatment (similar to a sunburnt look), but this usually disappears quickly. Most people find that they can return to work and normal activities immediately after treatment.
You will be advised to use certain soothing lotions, creams or gels to lightly apply to the treatment area, or possibly cool, moisturising mists to apply as you feel necessary.
What are the risks and potential complications from Radio Frequency For Facial Rejuvenation treatment?
As the treatment is carried out you will experience brief, deep heating sensations every time the RF energy is delivered to your skin and underlying tissue. Devices may have an inbuilt cryogenic capability whereby the hand piece is either chilled or emits a cooling spray before, during and after the RF burst, to protect your skin from the heating, and make the treatment more comfortable.
What should you do after a Radio Frequency For Facial Rejuvenation treatment?
No special care is needed after treatment although your practitioner may suggest some of the following:
Light application of soothing/moisturising lotions, creams or gels to the treatment area; cool, moisturising mists applied as you feel necessary; cool water rinses or ice packs applied to the treatment area if necessary.