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What is a Radiofrequency (RF) Treatment?

November 08, 2019

What is a Radiofrequency (RF) Treatment?

Radiofrequency (RF) is a non-surgical skin tightening treatment that has been around since 2001. It has gained popularity due to celebrities raving about their results. So, you may be wondering what all the hoopla is about and if it’s safe, are there any side effects, and where you can get this modern esthetics treatment.

RF is a type of energy measured by “frequency” or wavelengths per second. It is measured on the “electromagnetic spectrum”, which includes things like WiFi signals, radio and TV waves, and microwave ovens. The RF energy used in skin tightening is in the ballpark of 450 kilohertz (kHz). This is on the slow end of the RF range. For example, this is about 100 million times slower than visible light and over 1 billion times slower than an X-ray. Want to learn more about the electromagnetic spectrum? Go here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum

How Safe is Radiofrequency (RF)?

RF is very safe IF you have chosen an experienced provider who offers FDA cleared technology. AND – the more you know about it – the better choice you can make when choosing a treatment plan and the right professional. So, the safety and effectiveness depends on the experience and skill of the person providing the treatment and the reason is RF carries a risk for burns if performed incorrectly.

The RF used in non-surgical treatments is different from the RF emitted by a microwave or cell phone, etc., AND the RF in skin tightening treatments is highly controlled. FDA cleared equipment allows the professional administering it to monitor and control the device during treatment. This is necessary to ensure the tissue reaches optimal temperature without overheating.

How Does Radiofrequency (RF) Work?

RF, like any form of energy, has the capacity to produce heat and works by heating the skin’s deeper layers to stimulate collagen and elastin production. This encourages cell turnover which helps skin become tighter, thicker, and healthier looking. The devices used can employ various technologies, and varying degrees of wavelengths per second, but the manner in which it works will still be the same.

Radiofrequency (RF) is Different Than Laser

How RF differs from laser is RF goes deeper into the layers of skin, while laser treats the surface of the skin. Unlike laser, RF is safe for different skin tones without the risk of permanent discoloration.

What are Radiofrequency Treatments (RF) Like?

The professional you choose will do an evaluation with you and create a treatment plan. Using an RF device, a treatment can last about 10 – 60 minutes, depending on the area being treated. Treatments are usually recommended once every 4-6 weeks with an average of 6 – 10 treatments in a plan, followed by ongoing maintenance to prolong the results. AND, of course, a skincare routine with products that further support collagen and elastin production will help aid in making treatments last and become even more effective.

Most can feel some tightening right away. Remember, it takes time for our bodies to make collagen, so the best results from RF treatment will show up in about 6 months. Be patient and don’t give up. This is a “good things come to those who wait” situation. 

TIP: At-home devices will be significantly weaker than professional units and this is for your protection. Nevertheless, it will still require care and adjusting the usage. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions. Expect results to take longer.

Recovery Time for Radiofrequency (RF) Treatments

Along with effectively lifting and tightening tissues without surgery or downtime, one of the greatest benefits of RF treatments, when performed correctly, is recovery is very quick and easy.

Side effects are typically minimal and short-lived. Light to mild and temporary swelling, redness, and tingling, depending on the depth of treatment needed.

TIP: RF treatments can also be performed safely in tandem with injectables, micro-needling, or other minimally-invasive treatments. Again, it is best to work with a licensed esthetician for these treatments.

Scheduling a Radiofrequency (RF) Treatment

Be sure to have NeoGenesis Recovery on hand to treat any swelling or redness with improvement within minutes to hours and to jump-start collagen production. Search for “licensed esthetician” near me using Google and then ask the estheticians for a copy of their license, any additional certifications obtained for training certifications, how many treatments he/she has performed, if they have any before/after photos and if they have any customers you can speak to for references.

If you want to read more on safety, below are some helpful reports. These reports indicate many studies have failed to find evidence for a link between RF to cancer or any related condition, indicating it is safe.

Clinical Studies
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16989184

American Cancer Society
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/radiofrequency-radiation.html

Federal Communications Commission
https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety#Q11

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Additional Reading:

 

LED, IPL, and Laser – Oh My!

Glow Younger TriLight Handheld LED

Clareblend Mini Microcurrent

Time Master Pro

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