Radio frequency skin tightening is an aesthetic technique that uses RF energy to heat tissue and stimulate subdermal collagen production in order to reduce the appearance of fine lines and loose skin.
Radio-frequency to tighten skin remains a common and popular approach. Many devices exist that treat the skin with radio-frequency. This article will answer the question of whether or not radio-frequency skin tightening is really worth it.
Skin Tightening Options
When it comes to tightening skin, there are surgical and non-surgical options. Within the non-surgical space, many devices utilize radio-frequency. However, other technologies exist that use other forms of energy including laser and infrared.
The commonality between all non-invasive skin tightening devices is the generation of heat in tissue. I will explain more later why heat is so important.
First, however, surgery deserves mention.
Surgery, in general, tightens skin better than any non-surgical treatment. Procedures such as face lifts, neck lifts, and tummy tucks literally pull skin tighter by cutting out excess tissue and stretching the remaining skin tighter.
Of course, surgery is more invasive than non-surgical skin tightening, so it is not an option for everyone. Some people want to avoid an over-tight look, others find it too invasive, and some are just not candidates for surgery.
Radio-frequency Skin Tightening
Of the non-surgical treatment devices that exist, many use radio-frequency.
Radio-frequency works by heating the skin. The available devices differ in how they deliver radio-frequency to the skin, but they all strive to deliver enough energy to the skin to heat it to a certain temperature.
Heat is the key.
It turns out that if you heat collagen to a very specific temperature, two things happen. Firstly, the existing collagen fibers tighten. Secondly, the collagen producing cells within the area are triggered to produce more collagen.
The dermis, which is the second layer of skin, is full of collagen. Collagen also exists deeper in the fat layer within strands that weave between fat providing support for this layer.
Upon heating collagen, skin tightens because of immediate collagen fiber contraction and, also, from delayed new collagen formation.
Thermage and ThermiTight are two pioneering technologies that utilize radio-frequency to tighten skin.
Whether results are minimal or modest, a major benefit of radio-frequency skin tightening is that treatment induces collagen. Even if not enough collagen is produced to tighten skin, healthy collagen is beneficial. At the very least, it may slow the signs of aging.
In other words, radio-frequency skin tightening treatments may be preventative.
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