Hello everyone and thanks for joining us! Today we’re going to shed light on an interesting topic— the age-old duality of fire and ice!…Ok, maybe not, but in this three-part series we are going to learn how professionals skillfully apply extreme temperatures to the body in order to eliminate excess fat from the body! Part one will be a general overview of radiofrequency as used for skin tightening. Part two overview radiofrequency as used for body sculpting. Part two will also offer an exposé of cutting edge technologies including the Inmode and Venus systems utilized by Revive Medical Spa in RF therapies. Finally, in part three we will go over Coolsculpting, and compare and contrast the pros and cons of RF vs Coolsculpting.
Now, without further ado, representing the storied extremes of fire and ice themselves are radiofrequency skin tightening/and Coolsculpting respectively.
What is radiofrequency skin tightening?Radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening uses radio waves to heat the dermis, or deep layer of the skin. This heating results in the production of new collagen within the skin. Collagen is the most common protein in the body and is the main structural component of skin, giving it shape. As a natural consequence of aging, collagen begins to break down in the mid-30s, and this breakdown leads to loss of structure within the skin. Loss of structure leads to the formation of loose and wrinkled skin. The regeneration of collagen within the skin can reverse the aging process, making skin look more youthful by tightening it once again.
How is that accomplished?
The treatment area must be thoroughly cleaned beforehand. Anesthetic may also be applied before treatment. The machines used for RF application use currents to send waves of energy deep into the skin. The waves are even able to bypass melanin. Melanin is the pigment molecule which protects the skin by absorbing energy waves. Differing levels of melanin within individuals affects skin color, but RF treatments work regardless of skin tone. There are actually multiple types of RF treatments, but the most basic are monopolar and bipolar.
Monopolar RF treatments use two electrodes. One inactive grounding electrode is placed on the body far from the treatment site, while the other is used to actively discharge electricity into the treatment site. This creates a flow of electrical energy to the grounding electrode from the active electrode at the treatment site resulting in a heating of the treatment site. Though current travels through the entire body, heat is generated mostly at the treatment site. The advantage of monopolar RF treatments is that they are able to transfer more energy and penetrate more deeply into the skin. The issue is that they tend to be more painful, sometimes even requiring local anesthetic.
Bipolar RF treatments use two electrodes positioned at a set distance from each other. Both electrodes are placed on the target area, and current flows between them. As the current flows, heat is generated within the treatment site. The advantage of the bipolar RF method is that while the heat won’t penetrate as deeply as with other methods, targeting of the procedure can be more precise.
In addition to bipolar and monopolar RF treatments, there are those which use light and those which combine multiple approaches into one treatment including even using vacuum suction.
How long does the process take?
The process is quick, taking up to 45 minutes for a single session.
When can one I expect to see results?
Results can be seen almost immediately, and will continue to develop for up to a couple of weeks after the treatment as this is the time it takes for the collagen to completely regenerate. After this time, based on the results— one may opt for another treatment in the same area. The practitioner will have to assess the state of treated skin to see if it can handle another session. It is important to remember that even once attained these results are not permanent and will require upkeep, as the aging process never stops. You should expect to have to retreat areas every two years maximum to maintain results.
Who can use this?
RF treatments are safe for all skin types, and are useful for those suffering age-related skin conditions like wrinkling and sagging.
How much does a session cost?
Price varies per body part, but one can expect to pay $1K for smaller body parts and up to $4K for a larger body part like the abdomen.
What are the side effects?
Side effects have been minimized as the technology has improved. Early models could more easily burn patients and cause harsh pain, but now those side effects are far rarer. One can expect some tingling, numbness, and/or redness though as these effects are far more common.
RF treatments can be very useful for smoothing out the skin and rewinding the clock, and the technology has come far since its early days. However there is still a whole other side to the potential of RF therapy that we haven’t explored, its use for body sculpting— this is the aim of part 2. Additionally part 2 will give a look at the cutting edge technology used by the professionals at Revive Medical Spa in Rf therapies to both tighten skin and shape the body. Finally part three will introduce our cold competitor Coolsculpting, and we will end this trilogy with a final comparison.
Stay excited for next time, and thanks for being with us today!