7 Essential Skincare Hacks for Maintaining RF Treatment
Radiofrequency (RF) treatment is a safe, non-invasive procedure that helps smoothen, tighten, and contour skin. It gives patients an overall younger looking skin with very little to no downtime.
It also applies to all skin types. In fact, it has increasingly become popular among celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Sandra Bullock. Who would not want to look like those hot celebrities?
RF treatment used to be called a "lunchlift" because it can literally take up just one hour to complete. It can be performed on several skin areas.
Most popular RF treatments are on the face and jawline. Some prefer to have it on their chin and eyelids, where there are more visible signs of aging. It can be performed on the forehead to have an improved look on your eyes.
The success of this treatment, however, is not consistent for all patients. You will see a lot of photos online with dramatic results. Others report that it takes about six months to see its effects.
This skin care technology has been used by licensed dermatologists for over 25 years.
Companies, like Thermage, have created devices that produce safe radiofrequency energy to treat older skin. This process tightens the skin and stimulates the production of new collagen.
Patients have reported reduction of lines and wrinkles, producing a more youthful skin. (One caveat: better results are seen on patients between 30 and 50 years old.)
Studies have indicated very little incidence of radio frequency skin care side effects after the treatment.
While they are not serious and can be remedied immediately, it is important to know them:
- Visible Redness
RF treatments can cause reddening of the skin. This usually goes away after an hour or so.
- Skin Debris
There is a possibility that crusts or scabs may appear on your skin a few days after treatment. Patients should not worry as this should be treated like a normal sunburn. It should not cause scarring.
With redness comes swelling of some areas of the treated skin surface. This should go away in a couple of days or so.
- Altered Sensation and Skin Sensitivity
Some patients may have temporary altered sensation in treated areas of the skin. This should go away after one week.
In order to reduce the possibility of experiencing these side effects, a good post-op plan should be provided to you by your dermatologist.
7 essential radio frequency skin care tips you should take in order to maximize the effects of your RF tightening treatment:
1. Keep your skin moist at all times!
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that RF treatment can cause resurfaced skin to dry out.
Your skin will be a little bit more sensitive than usual so you can use a gentle facial moisturizer to combat dryness.
Avoid over-the-counter products that may have harsh ingredients that will further cause redness. Dr. James Gordon, a top surgeon in New York recommends Aquaphor, followed by a good moisturizer, to keep your skin moist.
Dr. Brooke R. Seckel, a top surgeon in Boston, also recommends applying a simple saline soaked gauze pad to the face or any treated area. The pad can be changed every few hours.
If necessary, you may also apply a thin coat of simple petroleum jelly like Vaseline.
2. Get rid of dirt and skin debris by keeping your skin clean.
It goes without saying that good skin maintenance requires keeping the surface of your skin clean. As mentioned earlier, skin debris like crusts or scabs may appear after an RF treatment.
Skin must be kept clean at all times. All secretions and dead skin cells can cause unnecessary infection and possible scarring. Dr. Seckel recommends wiping the skin debris off with a saline soaked gauze sponge once every three to four hours.
If you see dead skin cells falling, do not panic. Remember that RF treatment causes old skin to shed. Your new, refined skin grows and you just need to make sure it is both clean and moist.
3. Try to avoid the sun!
The sun can cause so much damage to our skin. This is especially true before and after you have had RF treatment. Beverly Hills Ocuplastic Surgeon Jonathan Hoenig, MD says you should treat your skin as if it were a baby's skin.
Patients must avoid the sun at all costs for the first six months. He recommends wearing a wide hat and sunglasses during this period.
If you really need to get out of the house during the day, you must wear sun block with at least SPF 30 every day for protection. Texas surgeon Dr. Jose Barrera recommends an over-the-counter Obagi sun block to reduce the aging effects of the sun on your skin when you are out.
4. Double the protection with Hydroquinone and Retin A.
You can protect your skin further by using Hydroquinone and Retin A for about three months after the treatment. Dr. Gordon says these will allow your skin to improve and decrease the risk of pigmentary issue.
Hydroquinone is mainly a skin bleaching agent. However, it also prevents skin discolorations caused by skin trauma from skin treatments such as RF treatment, minimizes age spots and lightens freckles. Retin A (tretinoin), on the other hand, is Vitamin A which aids skin renewal.
Taking both Hydroquinone and Retin A will also require avoiding the sun. It also helps to use sunscreen protection after applying them on your skin.
Bear in mind that these are not necessary if your skin appears healthy after the RF treatment. Consult with your surgeon or dermatologist before using these products.
5. Talk to your dermatologist to monitor your skin's response to the treatment.
Dr. Anifat Balogun from Seattle recommends that you schedule a follow up check-up with your treatment provider every three months. Talk to your practitioner about how your skin responded to the treatment.
This is how you find out if you need to apply anything on your skin and if you will require another RF treatment session in the future.
Most RF treatment packages last for a period of two years. However, some doctors have noted that it is possible to get another treatment after six months in order to maximize the results of the first session.
For older skin care, make sure that you’ve consulted more than one dermatologist so you can ensure the safety of the procedure. Your skin is less resilient and may show lasting adverse effects if you aren’t careful.
6. Ask which treatments can work well with RF
RF treatments works well with other anti-aging treatments such as Restylane/Juvederm and Scupltra. While doctors have yet to conduct further studies on recommended wait times on getting these treatments after a radio frequency skin care treatment, you should proceed with caution.
Doctors recommend that patients wait one month to have a RF treatment if you had botox. Sculptra, on the other hand may require patients to wait at least six months before getting the treatment.
Unfortunately, silicone or Artecoll permanent fillers do not work well with RF treatment. Doctors do not recommend this as it may cause some serious damage to your skin.
7. Be patient! This is not a magic wand.
Radiofrequency treatment is a science, not magic! You need to be patient as results may take time. Dr. Brandith Irwin lists a few reasons why RF treatment may not have worked on some patients:
- There may have been less number of pulses put on your skin.
- Practitioner may not have done a thorough pass on the affected skin surface. She normally recommends five to seven passes of the Thermage device on the skin surface in order to get a better result.
- Your skin just does not react well with this type of anti-aging treatment.
In a 2007 study of five thousand seven hundred patients in the U.S., 87% reported immediate skin tightening.
That number rose to above 90% after six months of treatment. Some patients do not necessarily see a noticeable result. However, RF procedure can still help prevent further sagging of the skin.
Check out this video on how a Thermage procedure works and what you can expect. This lets you know how important it is to be patient with your RF treatment.
Skin care for older skin is trickier since some products simply won’t work while other creams and procedures might inflict irreparable damage.
Diet and its role
Recommending a skin beautifying diet is tricky. you have to deal with allergies, the age of the patient and so many factors when it comes to eating.
While a diet of fruits and vegetables can make anyone’s skin glow, older patients may not be able to take advantage of this benefit. Most elderly patients may have prohibitions with their diet.
Still, if you want your RF treatment to last, ask for the healthiest diet you can go on that both your nutritionist and your dermatologist can agree on.
RF Treatments work well if you take care of your skin
RF treatment has become one of the most popular skincare treatments because it is non-invasive and relatively cheap.
The average cost is about $1500, depending on the skin surface area and the rate of the doctor who performs the procedure. For facial treatment, it can range from $750 to $1500. The more skin surface to be treated, the costlier it going to get. Abdomen area would range from $1500 to $2500.
Dr. Irwin admits the treatment is not for everyone. "It's not a facelift. If you're 65 years old with jowls, surgery may be your best option." She said it is best to manage your expectations in order to be satisfied with the results.
As always, it is important to consult with a licensed practitioner to get the best advice on getting RF treatment.
Most people who are afraid to go under the knife prefer RF treatment because there is minimal to zero downtime. However, proper skin maintenance is still required after treatment in order to ensure that you get the most out of it.