…And Skip The Knife
by Kathy Sena
Imagine a non-surgical, needle-free skin-tightening procedure that smoothes wrinkles, firms up baggy or loose skin and improves body contours. Doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham department of dermatology are performing such a procedure with a device that can be used all over the body to contour skin through the use of focused radio waves.
The device “emits radio waves that travel very deeply into the skin and the subcutaneous tissue to promote collagen remodeling and help tighten skin,” says Marian Northington, M.D., a UAB assistant professor of dermatology. “It is safe for all skin types, light skin and dark skin, and it works well for all body areas,” she adds. “You get some immediate tightening that occurs after treatment, and then the skin continues to improve subtly over time by getting tighter and firmer for up to four to six months.”
Treatments usually can be performed in one or two sessions lasting from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on the treatment area. Anesthesia is not required. A dermatologist can advise if multiple treatments are needed based on patient preference, treatment area and other factors.
During a treatment, a slight warmth on the skin signals that radio-frequency energy is being absorbed. This warmth indicates that collagen is being stimulated and tightened, Northington says. Afterward, the treated skin may be slightly red for a day or two. The patient’s work schedule, daily routines and sun exposure can remain unchanged.
Kathy Sena is an award-winning health and parenting writer and the mother of a 14-year-old son. Visit her website at www.kathysena.com and check out her blog, Parent Talk Today, at www.parenttalktoday.com.