Skin tightening using radiofrequency, a device, or both may be considered non-surgical. Common radiofrequency devices are Solta’s Thermage device or Alma’s Accent.
Radiofrequency (RF) works similar to the way your microwave oven reheats food. RF energy acts on your tissue to induce heat. The goal is to control the heating to be “just enough” to stimulate “good” tightening of your tissues. Just as there are hot and cool spots in microwave cooking, RF energy can affect tissue differently in different people.
Pulsed light treatments can work in 2 ways: Converting light to heat in your tissue (similar to the sun warming your skin) and by stimulating repair cells in your skin.
Compared to other skin tightening treatment, the major difference for light and RF is that the epidermis or outer skin layer is not damaged in any way but the radiofrequency energy or light energy heats the deeper skin layers during the treatment. The body’s natural wound healing response then causes collagen changes in the skin with resultant skin tightening. A series of these treatments is usually performed.
The different systems have different criteria to ensure your safety. Depending on local custom (and local regulations), treatment may be done either by your doctor or a technician on his staff.
The area to be treated is cleaned of makeup and skin lotions. Some treatments require a thin coat of ultrasound gel during treatment. Premedication may be required depending upon device, treatment area, and your individual needs. One or more “passes” may be performed. Treatment may take anywhere from several minutes to one hour to complete.
Non surgical skin tightening devices have minimal recovery and full activity may be resumed immediately.