The use of non-surgical skin tightening radiofrequency procedures has increased rapidly, in recent few years.3 Radiofrequency based skin tightening procedures are non-invasive and non-ablative procedures, which utilize the skin bypassing technology to enhance collagen synthesis, skin tightening, and body contouring. These procedures are effective in treating vast body areas in a short timeframe and are hence considered very effective.2,4 Radiofrequency based skin tightening procedures are effective on the different forms of skin tone and do not cause any type of discoloration of the skin. Due to their superior benefits and minimal side effects, these procedures have been recognized as superior to laser technology and have gained consumer confidence in the past few years.1
How Radiofrequency for skin tightening works
Radiofrequency treatments can be ideal for anyone who is experiencing wrinkles, cracks or lines in the skin and who wants to have a younger look on the skin. The RF treatment can be taken by any adult over 18 years of age and is perfectly safe for any skin tone.
Radiofrequency therapies and treatments typically work by stimulating collagen and producing elastin in the skin, that further helps in repairing the aged skin. The treatments work by heating the deep layers of the skin, using advanced radio wave technology, between 122 and 167°F (50–75°C). During the procedure, the epidermis or the top layer of the skin is not damaged. As per various studies, temperatures greater than 115°F can result in production of heat shock proteins. These proteins can further cause the collagen in the skin to tighten and contract. The proteins also stimulate the production of new collagen fibers in the body, which will further result in improved skin quality, and a firm and tightened skin. The Radiofrequency based treatments can be used at multiple locations in the body including under chin, Face wrinkles, Nasolabial folds, lines or folds at the forehead or near eyebrows, lines under the eye, or loose skin anywhere on the body.14
Multiple clinical studies have established the efficacy and safety of Radiofrequency treatments. A 2017 study comprising 25 participants, concluded that the Radiofrequency based skin tightening methods were effective after five to eight treatment cycles and the users reported high satisfaction rates on the results.12 A 2015 review of the medical literature on radiofrequency treatments concluded that around 96% of studies involving radiofrequency treatments for skin related issues yielded significant positive results.9 Another clinical study, published in 2011 established radiofrequency treatment as an effective procedure for the reduction of facial wrinkles.10 A 2011 study highlighted that the consumer devices, that were used to tighten the skin through radiofrequency technology, were found to be safe and effective.11
How long does the effects of Radiofrequency skin-tightening procedure last?
The incorporation of heat into the dermis results in the stimulation and synthesis of new collagen. Since, the collagen simulation and production would take some time, the tightening effects, because of the procedure, may take 3-6 months to be completely visible. Some partial immediate effects would be observed, though, after the first treatment session. It is further expected that the benefits of treatment will continue to show improvement in the skin, in next six months. Major improvements will be noticed in about 12 weeks after the second treatment cycle.
The treated skin, post the first treatment with RF procedure, would, however, need to be thoroughly and dedicatedly maintained, by taking certain precautions, to have long lasting effects for years. The duration of lasting of effects of the procedure would also depend on the natural aging process and the daily lifestyle of the person.7
Radiofrequency home devices require 2-3 sessions per week for 6-8 weeks and 2-4 top-up sessions for maintenance while a professional clinic based radiofrequency treatment would require around 6 sessions for effective treatment, each session one to two weeks apart and top-ups to be done in every 1-3 months. The maintenance sessions depend on the skin type of the person and the results observed from the last session session.13
The evolving innovations in Radiofrequency treatments have ensured that effective treatment options are available now in home based Radiofrequency devices as well. A new innovative device, EvenSkyn Lumo is a home-based radiofrequency device that comes with multiple set modes such as Photon, ion, ENI+ Photon, EMS+ Photon, Cool+ Photon for different skin conditions and for the patients who desire tighter and firmer skin. The device has particular shown efficacy in increasing collagen production, in shrinkage and reduction of pores and in smoothening out of wrinkles and uneven skin.
In recent years, RF based treatment have gained significant acceptance and adoption in dermatological and aesthetic cosmetic setups for the non-ablation treatment of facial rhytids and skin laxity. These treatment procedures not only help in tightening and rejuvenation of photo-aged skin but also help in the repairing damaged skin and reversing the clinical and the histopathological aging signs, with rare side effects and risks and with minimal downtime. Owing to strong technological advancements, the home based RF devices are also gaining strong traction in acting as a window to achieve firm skin, as they are easier to use and handle.