How do Radiofrequency Systems Work?
RF is an acronym for:
Radiofrequency systems work on the principle of 'Joule heating'
RF in the practice of medicine
- High frequency radiofrequency has been used in the practice of medicine for over 70 years.
- 2002: The first device cleared by the FDA for dermatological procedures for electrocoagulation.
- 2009: Cleared by the FDA for non-invasive treatment of wrinkles and creases.
Definition of 'Skin Tightening'
- Electrothermal damage is induced when the RF current meets resistance in the target tissue.
- The higher the level of the current, the greater the damage.
RF for tightening the skin
How does it work?
- Heating the dermis to a high enough temperature causes collagen coagulation.
- Collagen coagulation results in immediate skin shrinkage and initiates the wound healing process.
- New collagen and elastin formation takes place.
- New collagen replaces old collagen during remodelling.
The ideal temperature in the dermis is between 55° – 68°C
- The higher the temperature:
- the more RF energy is required.
- this produces more visible results.
- the more intense the degree of coagulation and the shorter the required exposure time to heat required.
The Infini RF System
Why combine RF with needling?
The benefit of micro needling is that the trauma from the needles penetrating the skin causes mechanical stimulation to fibroblast cells in the skin to also help in producing collagen
- Uses an array of ultrasharp needles (200 microns in diameter).
- Variable depths of skin penetration from 0.5mm to 3.5mm in 0.5mm increments.
- Allows predictable treatment of several levels of the dermis.
- The use of shallower depths is particularly important in thin areas of the face such as the areas below the eyes.
- Very wide power arrange available from 2.5W – 50W in 2.5W increments.
- In clinical practice, only one power level is used and this is a a low power setting.
- The exposure time determines to the extent of secondary thermal damage (via conducted heat).
- Exposure settings are reduced to avoid secondary conducted epidermal thermal damage.
- In most (but not all) parts of the body treated with Infini RF, 3 passes are made.
- The first pass is set to deliver energy at the deepest level and the final pass at the most shallow level.
- At each activation the needles enter the skin, deliver the RF energy and withdraw, leaving a discrete zone of thermal damage at the preset depth.
Infini RF Treatments
- Skin rejuvenation
- Stretch marks
- Skin tightening and lifting
- Skin laxity: Neck and body
- Photoaged skin
- Acne scars
- Active inflammatory acne
- Large pores
- Excessive sebum secretion
- Excessive sweating
- Can be used in all skin types including tanned skin.
- Minimal risk of hyperpigmentation.
- Can treat scars of all types.
- Very few limitations as to where the skin can be treated on the body.
Preparation for Treatment with Infini RF
Infini RF treatment is an office procedure
- This is an office, non-surgical treatment.
- The risk of adverse events is extremely low when performed by well trained operators.
7 days prior to treatment
On the day of treatment
Stop taking supplements that increase bleeding/bruising such as:
- green tea, fish oils, Evening Primrose oil, garlic, Echinacea, St John’s wort, Vitamin E, Non-steroidal drugs
- aspirin and other anti-coagulants (*only after discussing with your doctor)
- Before attending for treatment you can use some simple analgesia such as paracetamol but not any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Nurofen or Ibuprofen (which interfere with platelet function).
- It is best to be well hydrated, so drink plenty of water in the 4-5 hours prior to treatment.
- A local anaesthetic cream will be applied to the areas to be treated about 40 minutes before commencing treatment.
- After treatment, continue to drink water liberally and use simple analgesia (not non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) if required.
Post treatment care instructions
- Avoid hot showers or saunas on the day of treatment.
- Gentle washing with warm or cold water only.
- You may feel a burning sensation for 1-2 hours after treatment and the feeling of heat on the treated areas for several more hours. You can apply;
- a wrapped ice pack or frozen gel pack but avoid direct contact with the skin.
- Pinpoint bleeding is a normal skin reaction on the day of treatment;
- Dab the area with clean cotton pads.
- Avoid using makeup for 24hrs. If essential a mineral make up can be applied.
- Rarely, the skin tone can become darker with crust formation from 1-2 days after treatment;
- This is a normal process and will resolve by itself.
- Do not forcibly scrub or remove epidermal debris;
- Please leave them to exfoliate naturally.
- Never use scrubbing agents or exfoliants.
- Avoid using alcohol-based cosmetics for at least 2 weeks after treatment.
- Use moisturising agents frequently.
- Apply a UV-A/B sunblock with SPF of 30+ regularly and use physical sun protection (ie. hat/umbrella) when outdoors to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.
- Avoid vigorous activity, alcohol consumption, exercise and sauna for at least 7 days post treatment.
- Do not use retinoids (Fit A containing preparations) for at least 1 week before or after treatment.
Typical skin reaction after treatment
Immediately post treatment:
- Redness and transient oedema.
- Resolves spontaneously after 1-2 days.
1 day post treatment:
- Redness and oedema begin to resolve.
- Skin returns to a condition similar to before the treatment.
3-7 days post treatment:
- Brighter skin tone.
- Reduction in sebum secretion in oily skin types.
1-3 months post treatment:
- Continuous improvement in the appearance of fine wrinkles, pores, scar and skin laxity.
Contraindications to treatment with the Infini RF system
- Tendency to keloid formation
- Allergy to local anaesthetics, some antibiotics or medications
- Haemorrhagic disease
- Photo-sensitive skin
- Acute inflammatory skin disease (other than inflammatory acne)
- Patient with a cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator or cochlear implant
- Patient unwilling to accept risks
- Acute or chronic infection
- Some metabolic disorders
- Current significant drug or alcohol abuse
- Some mental health problems
- Some chronic skin diseases
- Some systemic disorders
- Skin lesions resulting from diabetes mellitus, connective tissue disorders, radiation therapy or chemotherapy
Risks of Radiofrequency treatment
Potentially significant and not always temporary
- Pinpoint bleeding on the skin
- Skin crusting
- Sensation of skin heat or burning
- Acne flare up or herpes simplex activation
- Superficial skin burn
- Rarely – burn
- Whenever any treatment is applied there is the possibility that the recipient may not be happy with the outcome of the treatment.
- More than one treatment in the initial course is required to achieve the desired results.
- A discussion about options for further or other treatments should take place with your doctor.
Infini RF can be used in combination with other therapies
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the treatment take?
How many treatments will I need?
How long is the downtime?
The approximate treatment time is between 20-30 minutes, however, a local anaesthetic ointment needs to be applied for 45-60 minutes prior to commencing treatment.
The recommended number of sessions is 3. The minimum interval between sessions is 4 weeks. Repeat treatments may be beneficial every 6-12 months depending on the indication for treatment and whether other treatments are being applied at the same time.
See ‘Post treatment care instructions’ and ‘Typical skin reaction after treatment’ above.
Is this done in the office or hospital?
How effective is the treatment?
Is there a Medicare rebate for the treatment?
This is an office procedure that does not require admission to hospital. To reduce discomfort associated with treatment local anaesthetic cream or ointment is applied between 30-40 minutes prior to treatment.
- Promotes skin rejuvenation by stimulating collagen and elastin
Good for the indications noted above.
Individual outcomes may vary.
There is no Medicare rebate for the treatment.
When will I see results from the treatment?
How long will the results last?
How long do I wait if I've had other treatments?
Although some patients see results very quickly, most will recognise improvements 3-4 weeks after the first treatment. Optimal results are seen 3-6 months after the final session due to new collagen development.
The Infini is a long-term tissue rebuilding treatment. The clinical results should be long lasting like a fractional laser treatment (up to 3 years depending on the health of the skin and how the skin is looked after).
For treatments such as neuromuscular toxins and fillers you need to wait 2 weeks before having Infini treatment. If you are having Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment then this is sometimes done 2 weeks prior to the Infini RF treatment.
Is there any pain associated with the treatment?
Can treatment take place at any time of the menstrual cycle?
How does Infini RF work?
The treatment is not painless but is well tolerated by the majority of patients. It is more uncomfortable on thinner skin areas of the body such as the forehead or beneath the eyes.
The treatment can take place at any time of the menstrual cycle.
See ‘How do radiofrequency systems work?’ above.