Radio Waves Offer Non-Surgical Skin Tightening To Clear Wrinkles

A new technology developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Dermatology offers needle free tightening of skin using a device called Thermage that uses radio waves to tighten skin.

Cleared by FDA in November 2002, Thermage emits focussed radio waves that travel deep into the skin and rejuvenates the skin on the face, neck, eyelids, abdomen, arms, legs and more. Thermage is a safe, non-invasive cosmetic procedure that is clinically proven to tighten and contour skin to help naturally restore a more youthful appearance.

According to Marian Northington, M.D., a UAB assistant professor of dermatology and expert in cosmetic skin procedures, Thermage works well on patients who want a younger appearance and improved skin tone without relying on surgery, injections or chemical applications. It can be used on all skin types and colours, light or dark, and works well for all body areas.

Treatment sessions last from anywhere between twenty minutes to two hours, depending on the area of the skin to be treated. During treatment, a handheld device briefly touches the skin, delivering the non-invasive CRF
energy deep beneath the skin. This deep uniform heating action causes the deep structures in the skin and underlying tissue to immediately tighten. In a period of four to six months, new and remodelled collagen is produced to further tighten skin and renew facial contours.

Although no general anaesthetic is required during the treatment, doctors may prescribe mild painkillers to ease any discomfort. A patient briefly feels a deep heating sensation during the treatment, which is indicative of radio waves travelling into the skin. To neutralise this sensation, the area is cooled before, during and after the treatment. Post procedure care is minimal and depending on the patient’s natural aging process, the results may even last for a few years after treatment.

The Thermage treatment system is approved for the non-invasive treatment of wrinkles and eyelids and to improve the appearance of cellulite. Solta Medical Inc. of Hayward, Calif manufactures Thermage.

Article by Snigdha Taduri for Biomed-ME