Delivering radiofrequency energy to the dermis using needles bypasses and overcomes the barriers to success in treating wrinkles and laxity. Here’s how one expert performs nonsurgical lifting.
In the past, cosmetic lifting with radiofrequency and other technologies was plagued with nonresponders - patients that failed to respond to treatment even though doctors followed protocol, according to Dr. Macrene Alexiades, M.D., Ph.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
“The reason for these failures was that skin surface technologies had a one-size-fits-all policy. The same energy was given to all patients, irrespective of interpatient differences,” Dr. Alexiades says. “Delivering of radiofrequency energy using needles to the target - the dermis - bypasses and overcomes the barriers to our success in treating wrinkles and laxity. The needles contain real-time feedback with respect to temperature and impedance, assuring that the appropriate energy is delivered for each patient to attain target temperature.”
These real-time controls and direct insertion of the energy to its target guarantee a 100% response rate, according to Dr. Alexiades, who is also director and founder of the Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center of New York, in New York City. She presented during the 36th Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, Boston, Mass.
Dr. Alexiades offers these RF needling tips:
“I make it very easy for my patients. Following one hour of topical numbing cream, I inject local lidocaine using a multi needle injector. This enables me to anesthetize the entire face and neck with only 9 mL of 1% lidocaine and dilute epinephrine,” she says.
The strategy, according to Dr. Alexiades, renders the entire treatment painless.
“Immediately afterwards, I have the patient sit with cold compresses for 30 to 45 minutes, and this ensures minimal swelling during the recovery period,” she says.
Disclosure: Dr. Alexiades has done research for Lancôme, Syneron, Dusa and Deka.