RADIO-FREQUENCY (SKIN TIGHTENING)
The ageing process causes the skin structures to break down causing volume loss and sagging. Weight changes and sun damage can also cause this problem. Common areas of complaint are, areas of fat and cellulite. Also cheeks, neck, jowls, jawline and décolletage. Radiofrequency can be used to help rejuvenate the skin and break down stubborn areas of fat. The process works by using electrical pulses to heat the dermis of the skins causing controlled injury to the site treated. This initiates the healing process and new collagen is formed resulting in tightening of the tissues leaving you feeling firmer, uplifted and more radiant.
HOW IS RADIOFREQUENCY USED IN COSMETIC MEDICINE?
Radiofrequency 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. It is used to treat
Lines and wrinkles where skin laxity is the cause
Fat removal and contouring the body
Radiofrequency energy heats the subcutaneous fat tissue layer thereby stimulating the release of liquid fat from the fat cells. This thermal effect accelerates natural fat metabolism.
Fat removal is accelerated by simultaneously applying internal and external pressure on the fat layer. Internally, the muscles are stimulated to contract, pushing the fat cells up. Externally, fat cells are pushed down by the pressure from the applicator. The resultant “squeeze” effect causes the fat to drain naturally via the lymphatic system. This squeezing effect accelerates blood circulation, optimising skin and tissue oxygenation and detoxification.
There is an immediate noticeable difference in fat reduction and skin tightening. The process will continue to work over 48 hours post treatment.
WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE INVOLVE?
A thorough consultation and full medical history will be taken including before and after photos. You will be asked to lie down and relax on a couch. Your face will be cleansed thoroughly to remove any makeup and skin oils. A topical aneasthetic cream may then be applied just for a short time to help numb the skin. This will then be removed by an antimicrobial solution. A clear gel will be applied to the area to be treated. A hand held device will be used to heat the area for several minutes. On completion of the treatment the gel will be removed and a soothing lotion will be applied.
Immediately after the treatment the skin will feel tighter. The skin will be slightly warm, red and there may be a little swelling. In some cases there may be blistering of the skin. This will settle over a period of a few days to a few weeks.
POST TREATMENT ADVICE AND AFTERCARE
Most people find that they can return to work and normal activities immediately after treatment. To soothe the area your practitioner may advise that you use a light application of soothing lotions, creams or gels to the area treated.
WILL IT HURT?
Comfort levels will depend upon the area treated.
As each person's pain tolerance and threshold varies, it is difficult to quantify how painful or uncomfortable the treatment is. Some clients state the procedure is a similar sensation to a hot stone treatment yet others have said they found the procedure uncomfortable. Your clinician may offer you anaesthetic options, such as a topical anaesthetic cream applied to your skin prior to treatment or pain management drugs that can minimize your discomfort.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECT
All treatments carry a degree of risk. All risks and complications will be discussed with you at consultation and prior to any treatment being agreed. Generally, a safe treatment, side effects are limited to redness, swelling and blisters on or around the treated area.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
The results will be an immediate and will continue to develop over time. A course of treatments may be recommended by your practitioner.
Results are said to last up to a couple of years, and a single initial treatment can be enough to produce results in some people. As everybody’s skin thickness varies a course of treatments may be required and this will be discussed with you at your consultation.
WHO WOULD NOT BE SUITABLE?
There are a number of medical conditions and or medicines that may affect the decision to treat or the treatment plan. A full medical history and assessment of your expectations is necessary in advance of any decision to treat.
• Not suitable for patients with a pacemaker or wired-in defibrillator
• Patients with bleeding disorders
• Patients with keloid scars
• Active infection on the treatment area
• Clients interested in body contouring and fat removal who have high cholesterol are not suitable
If, having had treatment, you are at all concerned about symptoms you were not expecting or not happy with, please contact the practitioner for advice. If necessary an appointment will be made for you to be seen.