Radiofrequency For Facial Rejuvenation
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.
The use of electric currents in medicine has been documented almost since electricity itself was discovered. 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 radiofrequency?
Technically speaking, radiofrequency 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, infrared, 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. Radiofrequencies, or radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from less than a centimetre to as long as 100 kilometres.
UK domestic electricity which itself is an alternating current could in theory be used for “electrosurgery”, however as most people know, contact with this kind of electric current can cause very undesirable effects such as electrocution and uncontrolled neuromuscular (nerve and muscle) stimulation. However, if the frequency of the alternating current is raised above the response time of neuromuscular structures, we find the radiofrequency range which can safely be used for medical/surgical applications.
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 can Radiofrequency (RF) energy treat?
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 thirties to fifties, with any skin colour. It is commonly used to treat the forehead (lift brows and tightens forehead skin), under the eyes (thickens skin and tightens and lifts the upper cheek skin), cheeks (lifts slightly and diminishes enlarged pores), mid-face, jaw line (diminishes jowling and sagging along the jaw line), and the neck (tightens skin and diminishes wrinkling of the neck).