What is RF (Radio Frequency)?
Radio Frequency surgery has a lengthy history of use in oral, ophthalmic, plastic, and gynecological surgery of over 70 years. Its use in the practice of cosmetology and dermatology to treat wrinkles and skin laxity is from 1990’s.
Radio Frequency (RF) is a method of physical therapy that involves generating local heat in body tissues by high-frequency electrical current. The thermal effect of the RF energy depends on the electrical properties of the tissue. As the current streams through the tissue and ions rapidly change polarity back and forth, heat is generated by the tissue’s natural resistance to the flow of current within an electric field.
Technically speaking, radio frequency is the number of oscillations (or waves) per second of the electric and magnetic fields within the radio waves portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is lowest of the electromagnetic radiation frequencies within the spectrum, which itself spans from radio waves, microwaves, infrared, optical (visible light), ultraviolet, x-rays, to gamma rays. By feeding an alternating current or voltage through an antenna or electrode, electromagnetic waves can be generated that radiate through space at the speed of light; called radio waves. Radiofrequencies, or radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from less than a centimetre to as long as 100 kilometres.
By applying RF energy to the human body, which can conduct current and therefore act as part of the electrical circuit, any resistance encountered by the energy flow will cause heat to be produced at the site of maximum resistance, which can be used to cut or coagulate tissue. RF energy is able to penetrate deeper into the skin and affect the deeper dermis and subcutaneous layers, causing tightening and improvements to the underlying tissue structure, but with little change in skin texture or fine lines and wrinkling.
Types of radio frequency delivery:
Monopolar delivery: the current flows through the body from a single electrode (hand piece) and meets maximum resistance in the area around the tip of the hand piece. A grounding or “return pad” may also be used, to provide a low resistance path for the current to flow back to the generating machine.
It adopts the theory of RF to penetrate skin directly, using the resistance of skin and high friction between molecule can bring heat energy; it makes the temperature of deep skin rise, collagenous tissues temperature will rise. The collagen rising temperature to produce instant contractibility can remove wrinkle quickly and tighten skin
What can radio frequency (RF) energy treat?
Pure RF energy is used to treat skin laxity by facial tightening, and is best suited to patients with mild to moderate sagging of facial tissues, usually those in their mid thirties to fifties.
It is commonly used to treat the forehead area (lift brows and tightens forehead skin), under the eyes (thickens skin and tightens and lifts the upper cheek skin), cheeks (lifts slightly and diminishes enlarged pores), mid-face, jaw line (diminishes jowling and sagging along the jaw line), and the neck (tightens skin and diminishes wrinkling of the neck).