Rejuvenating the body: Repeat treaments to maintain cosmetic effects

September 1, 2008

As a rule, in order to maintain cosmetic effects from various noninvasive rejuvenation devices currently available on the market, treatments must be repeated. How often these treatments must be repeated is the central issue, and leading noninvasive devices continue to vie for the top spot.

Key Points

World report - There are a multitude of devices on the market that claim to rejuvenate the skin a bit better than the next device does. However, in most cases, the effects of these aesthetic devices are temporary, whether it is for the treatment of cellulite or for skin tightening.

"Cellulite is one cosmetic thorn that has been, and still is notoriously challenging to treat. Many devices can temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite. However, the cellulite is likely to return after some time without maintenance treatments.

Body contouring

Dr. Halachmi says focused ultrasound is effective, because it goes deeper, targeting the fat layer and disrupting the fat cells, and ultimately decreasing the circumference of the targeted area. The cosmetic results of the Contour I are promoted to be measurable and durable.

According to Dr. Halachmi, this device can be useful in "sculpting" contours.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the device is pending, according to Ultrashape.

LipoSonix, a Seattle-based company, produces a focused high-intensity ultrasound device for noninvasive body contouring. The company promotes similar claims of efficacy in sculpting contours as the Contour I, and is also awaiting FDA approval.

Dr. Halachmi says that due to the very recent commercial availability of the LipoSonix device in non-U.S. markets, the benefits of one device over the other are not known in practice.

It is unclear which device will prove itself as the "front-runner" in this aesthetic field.

Combining devices

Many specialists would agree that the best aesthetic results can be achieved when a combination of devices is employed, as some devices are designed to "disrupt" the fat away in the fatty layer, and others target the dermis, where they cause skin tightening and formation of new collagen.

"Physicians like to combine the Contour I with either radiofrequency devices or with massage devices that can achieve deep lymphatic drainage, such as with the LPG Endermologie device.

"Users have reported better results with the combination than those achieved than either modality alone," Dr. Halachmi tells Dermatology Times.

Radiofrequency (RF) devices are advantageous, because they can be used for different applications and on different areas of the body. The existing focused ultrasound devices are limited to body contouring.

RF devices, in contrast, can be used for body contouring and cellulite treatments and can also be used for skin tightening on the face or virtually any part of the body, thereby providing the practitioners and their patients with a multifunctional device and a breadth of options for cosmetic treatments.

Dr. Halachmi says that Thermage's RF device remains strong in the skin-tightening field due to its early market penetration, but Alma's Accent and Cutera's Titan are real competitors.

Alma's Accent RF device boasts both a bipolar frequency for volumetric dermal heating aimed at skin tightening, and a unipolar frequency that goes deeper and effects the fat reduction, providing a promising combination for the treatment of cellulite.

Syneron also has devices in the body-contouring area, primarily its VelaSmooth device - approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of cellulite - and the VelaShape, approved by the FDA for temporary reduction in thigh circumference.

However, it is likely that treatments must be continued in order to maintain the cosmetic effects.

Goals and expectations

"It is important to remember that none of these devices is an alternative to dieting, because none of these devices actually make you lose any weight.

"These devices are not an alternative for an obese person to become slim. They are more useful in a patient who has just a little extra fat bulge and would like an improvement in his or her contour," Dr. Halachmi says.

Related Content:

News