There's no denying that as we age, our skin deteriorates. Sun damage and environmental pollutants begin to take their toll causing loss of collagen and slower production of skin cells which contributes to the appearance of ageing. To solve this, the new and improving technology, radio frequency (RF) skin resurfacing seems to do a good job. It can help minimise these fine lines as they begin to occur, particularly those that form around the mouth and eyes.
What are the traditional ways used to fix superficial skin problems?
For many years, we used lasers to treat acne, wounds and burn scars, pores, wrinkles and other skin issues. Lasers can be used to resurface an entire layer of skin, which means it removes the damaged top layer of the skin and tightens the middle layer, leaving the skin smoother and clearer. This could take a few minutes to an hour. However, the downside of laser resurfacing is it has a longer downtime and a higher chance of resulting in pigmentation and scarring, particularly on Asian or dark skin.
How is the radio frequency resurfacing any different?
Laser works from top to bottom. It burns the top part to reach and improve the deeper levels of the skin. If you burn too much of the surface, when the superficial skin heals, the skin responds in the form of "hyper pigmentation".
Radio Frequency resurfacing on the other hand, can transmit the heat to a deeper layer of your skin without destroying too much of your epidermis. Rather than using light to affect the skin, fractional bi-polar radio frequency waves transfer energy to the dermis layer immediately below the surface of the skin. The energy waves pass through the top layer without harming it, and heat the cells below the surface.
This way you can benefit from its therapy and collagen stimulation without getting pigmentation as part of the package. The technique not only works better, but has rapid healing, minimal pain, and a lower incidence of adverse events. Another advantage is that you can use it on off-face areas such as the neck or back of the hand as well as areas with stretch marks.
How is the procedure performed?
RF skin resurfacing technology uses fractionated pulses of radio waves to induce the body's healing process to occur at an accelerated rate, increasing collagen production and creating beautiful, healthy-looking skin. It is a remedy to help erasing superficial wrinkles, skin discolourations, and smoothing irregular skin texture. It also works well for scars, skin irregularities, lesions, and/or textural irregularities. With this therapy, new, healthy skin cells are produced making the skin more elastic and even in tone.
What is the outcome in most cases?
After RF skin resurfacing, the redness only lasts for a few days and you can apply makeup immediately after the procedure to cover it up. Once the redness goes, you'll notice that most of the fine wrinkles and imperfections in the treated area have gone. In the next few months, the results will further improve confirming the regeneration of collagen. However, natural facial movements and expressions will cause some of the lines to reappear, which may eventually call for another sitting.
Dr Nantapat Supannachart is an American board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon.
About the author
- Writer: Dr Nantapat Supapannachart