Fractional radiofrequency applications

Dear readers, in this week’s article, I will talk about fractional radiofrequency applications, one of the skin rejuvenation methods. In my article last week, while explaining the concept of ‘fractional’, I stated that the intact tissue islands between the tissues where controlled damage was created for treatment reduced the wound healing time and the possibility of undesirable effects. Similarly, radiofrequency devices used for skin rejuvenation also offer fractional treatment to shorten recovery time and increase patient comfort.

In fractional radiofrequency applications, similar to fractional laser treatments, it is aimed to increase the skin volume, tighten the skin, decrease wrinkles, improve the signs of sun damage, decrease the prominence of postpartum and excessive weight gain cracks, surgical incision scars and acne scars. The radiofrequency energy created by the alternating electric current circulating between the blunt electrodes that touch the skin surface or the needle electrodes that reach the skin and subcutaneous tissues at a certain depth in the form of microneedling, triggers the production of connective tissue elements by causing controlled heat damage. Since this technology is not light-based, it is relatively safer than laser technology in terms of spot problems that may develop after application and can be used in all skin types in all seasons with the right application.

Needle radiofrequency devices, also known as ‘golden needle radiofrequency’, can be classified as insulated needles that release energy only at the very tip of the needle-shaped electrodes, and non-insulated needles that release energy throughout the entire needle electrode. Insulated needle radiofrequency devices, which have a therapeutic effect only at the desired depth without affecting the superficial tissues of the skin, offer very safe and effective solutions for all skin types, when used for situations where the problem is in the deep layers, such as skin tightening, acne scars and increasing collagen production. When solutions are sought for both superficial and deeply located problems such as sun damage, non-insulated needle devices such as fractional lasers that affect all layers along a certain line can be preferred.

There are few radiofrequency devices whose electrodes are designed to only touch the skin surface. These devices are similar to non-ablative fractional laser devices in terms of their mode of action and safety features. While the controlled heat damage caused by laser devices is located along a linear line, the heat damage that occurs in such radiofrequency devices is in the form of a triangle, the top of which is where the electrode contacts the skin, and the base is located in the deeper layers of the skin. Thus, a more pronounced deep therapeutic effect occurs than the limited damage seen on the skin surface. This effect, called ‘sub-ablative’ (sub-ablative), is a very safe method for all skin types as it reduces the possibility of superficial unwanted side effects.

In fractional radiofrequency applications, local anesthetic creams and cold application during and after the procedure are often sufficient for pain control. The microscopic channels formed in the skin after the application ensure the direct absorption of the reparative products and growth factors applied to the skin, especially PRP. After fractional radiofrequency applications, restorative-moisturizing care and strict sun protection are recommended.

For more detailed information, consult your Dermatology or Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery specialist. I wish you healthy days.