Radio waves of certain frequency penetrate dermal layer and are absorbed by tissues. The absorption of radio waves causes tissue heating as well as some structural molecular changes. The radiofrequency treatment is usually delivered by placing an electrode onto the skin and applying alternating current of the required frequency. At the same time, the skin surface layer, consisting of the epidermis and upper dermis, may be cooled by a cryogenic spray to prevent open burns (especially when higher levels of energy delivery are employed). The treatment produces localized heat injury of the dermis and subdermal layer as well as the collagen contraction leading to skin tightening. The localized heat injury would stimulate the healing response, cause skin tightening and also reduces the depth of wrinkles. Notably, since the skin surface is preserved, the downtime after the procedure is relatively short.
Monopolar delivery of radiofrequency for skin rejuvenation is based on applying a single electrode to the treated area whereas the opposing electrode is relatively far removed so that the current goes deeply through the body. As a result, the tissue in the treated area is heated rather deeply (usually up to 20 mm, epidermis, dermis and hypodermis) and intensely, which arguably increases both the potential benefits and risks. The more recent versions of monopolar radiofrequency procedures are claimed to have an improved risk/benefit profile. Monopolar radiofrequency is typically used to treat facial sag, skin laxity, and cellulite. Published clinical evidence documents the efficacy of monopolar capacitive radiofrequency skin tightening and supports its use for mild to moderate facial skin laxity and rhytides. The best-known procedure based on monopolar radiofrequency is Thermage, which is performed with the device Thermacool
Bipolar delivery of radiofrequency for skin rejuvenation is based on applying two closely positioned electrodes to the treated area. The electric current that goes between the electrodes is relatively small and shallow. As a result, the tissue in the treated area is heated less deeply (usually up to 2-4 mm, epidermis and dermis) and less intensely (compared to monopolar RF devices). The patterns of energy distribution also differ. As a result, bipolar radiofrequency procedures tend to be safer and gentler than the monopolar ones. In particular, since bipolar RF effects are relatively shallow, there is less risk of the overheating and subsequent loss of facial fat, a side-effect sometimes seen after monopolar treatments. Conversely, bipolar radiofrequency is less useful for indications when deep tissue heating may be desirable e.g. cellulite. Refirme, Polaris are two commercial bipolar radiofrequency rejuvenation systems using ELOS Technology. ELOS (electro-optical synergy) technology developed by scientists at Syneron combines bipolar radiofrequency energy with other energy sources (laser or intense pulsed light) to act synergistically to help achieve better subsequent dermal remodeling to improve wrinkles and fine lines. The elos technology is said to penetrate the dermal layer deeper than similar IPL(intense pulsed light technology) and to overcome the safety and operating limitations that other IPL therapies have.
Tripollar is Monopolar plus bipolar radiofrequency treatment. Both monopolar and bipolar radiofrequency are used for tissue tightening. Their effects are somewhat complementary because they deliver energy in different patterns and to different depth. Combining monopolar and bipolar radiofrequency allows reduce the required intensity of each and thus minimize side effects and possibly increase effectiveness (as compared to each type of radiofrequency used alone). The combination of monopolar and bipolar radiofrequency has been used for skin tightening, facial contouring, body sculpting and cellulite reduction. The Tripollar device from Pollagen has both monopolar and bipolar electrodes on the same hand-piece. The manufacturer claims that the simultaneous application of monopolar and bipolar RF to the treated area reduce the side effects while maximizing the benefits. The Accent RF device has separate monopolar and bipolar hand-pieces, which the physician can use sequentially in the same treatment session.
Home Use RF Systems
TriPollar STOP™ Facial Skin Renewal Device
STOP™ has started a revolution by transforming the professional treatments into a self-administered clinical treatment, in the comfort of your home. STOP™ RF device uses TriPollar™ technology to gently heat the skin from inside. A warm, relaxing sensation is felt over the skin surface while the anti-ageing, therapeutic action is taking place in the deeper layers of the skin. This heat induces an increase in dermal activity resulting in the stimulation of collagen production and thickening of the dermis leading to visible skin tightening, firming and renewal. The recommended treatment regimen of 12-15 minutes, 2-3 times a week, for 6 to 8 weeks will significantly reduce facial wrinkles and fine lines, providing you with improved skin texture and long lasting results. Non-invasive, relaxing treatment. STOP™ Preparation Gel (50ml) is specifically formulated for use with the STOP™ device. While protecting the epidermis, the STOP™ Preparation Gel ensures delivery of the required energy into the deep layers of the skin in order to heat the targeted area to the optimal treatment temperature whereby stimulating collagen production. STOP™ After Treatment Cream (50ml) – enriches your skin with the required nutrients and minerals that optimize and ensure long term results
TriPollar™ POSE™ was designed to simultaneously generate heat deep in the fat and dermis layers of the skin. Heating the fat layer increases the natural metabolism of the cells forcing them to release their liquid fat content. At the same time, heating the dermal layer stimulates the production and replenishment of collagen fibers. The thinner fat layer combined with a stronger more pronounced dermis layer leads to circumference reduction and improved appearance of cellulite resulting in smoother, firmer and more radiant skin. TriPollar™ POSE™ is designed for use on areas with stubborn fat deposits such as the tummy, thighs, buttocks, upper arms and hips.
Home Use ELOS Radio Frequency Systems Under Development
A patented, elos home-use technology is under development by the collaboration of P&G and Syneron (an Israel based company) for “mass commercialization of energy-based, home-use devices that creating significant value.” Basically, the technology combines energy from bi-polar radio frequency and light sources and use them simultaneously to treat aging skin.
- Anti-Aging Radio Frequency Treatment Home Device Reviews
- Commercial Radio Frequency Systems Comparison