Radiofrequency, a type of energy, which is measured in “frequency,” or wavelengths per second in the electromagnetic spectrum, has been used for non-surgical facial skin tightening since 2001. Thermage system is a non-invasive RF therapy that can smooth, tighten and contour skin. Compared to visible light, RF energy is about 100 million times slower at about 450 kilohertz, which is on the slow end of the radiofrequency range when used in skin tightening. Compared to lasers, the lower frequency of RF can safely penetrate to a deeper level, deep-seated soft tissues from under the skin are stimulated helping to improve skin tone and structure, even lifting tissues. It can also safely treat different skin tones without risk of permanent discoloration.
During treatment, skin is heated up to between 38 to 40 degrees, where you do feel the heat in the skin but it is bearable. RF is all about heating the skin’s deep-seated soft tissues to induce new collagen and elastin production and encourage cell turnover, helping skin become firmer, thicker and more youthful-looking.
What can you expect?
As RF stimulates collagen production, this means you will continue to see results even after you have completed your treatment course. Unlike other non-surgical facelift treatments that solely stimulate the facial muscles, RF triggers the skin’s own natural healing abilities stimulating the production of collagen and elastin that have been lost over the years. This is why the results also last much longer.
Risks and side effects
The main known risk associated with RF is the potential for burns from the thermal heating effect if performed incorrectly. Apply the same level of scrutiny in choosing a provider for RF as you would for all the aesthetic procedures. Though side effects are typically minimal and short-lived, they are limited to mild and temporary redness, swelling, and tingling sensations. RF treatments can also be performed safely along with injectables, microneedling or other minimally-invasive treatments.