Collagen comes up often in the beauty industry. Close to 80 percent of the skin is made up of this protein, and when you don’t have a sufficient amount of it, drooping and sagging occur. Gravity, sun damage, weight fluctuations, and habits like smoking all take a toll as you go through life. For some time, surgery was the primary way to address unwanted facial changes. But due to recent technological advances, traditional facial rejuvenating strategies like facelifts are no longer the only option. Chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and topical firming products have developed to address skin laxity, as have devices that use radiofrequency energy to stimulate new collagen production. If you’re in a major urban center, such as the Chicago area, plastic surgery and nonsurgical treatments abound, so anyone who wants a younger look should start their journey by discussing their goals with an experienced professional.
Iteld Plastic Surgery’s Dr. Lawrence Iteld emphasizes that different patients have different needs. Some want the dramatic effects of surgery and are prepared for the cost and recovery time. Others who want visible results without incisions may choose strong peels or ablative lasers, while superficial peels and topical creams offer a subtle improvement on the other end of the intensity spectrum. Now, there are also technologies that make a “middle ground” available, bridging the gap between the two ends.
Cosmetic skin tightening procedures that use radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen can tighten and tone just about any part of the body. The energy these devices deliver goes below the surface layer to start the gradual remodeling and production of collagen, as well as elastin generation.
Modern innovations such as BodyTite, Morpheus, Profound, eTwo™ skin rejuvenation, Sublative®, and Sublime™, and can produce more natural-looking results for some patients and are lower risk than surgery, requiring no major downtime. For patients who want to “mix and match,” some of these options can also be paired with surgical techniques to get more holistic results. Read on to learn more about some of the available options.
Using radiofrequency energy, the minimally invasive, FDA-cleared BodyTite helps to firm up skin and tissue with mild-to-moderate sagging while reducing fat in several areas of the body, such as the abdomen, upper arms, thighs, and knees. AccuTite is another member of this collection, used for very small body areas, while FaceTite offers the same results primarily for the face, but may be used in other medium-sized areas.
BodyTite is an ideal option for patients who are near to their ideal weight but have problem areas of skin laxity that persists after weight loss, pregnancy, or aging they can’t fix despite being physically active and healthy. Several body areas can be treated at the same time. Dr Iteld will often combine BodyTite/FaceTite/AccuTite with liposuction to take advantage of the synergy of the treatments: contouring and tightening.
The BodyTite handpiece delivers radiofrequency waves directly into the treatment site. A tiny, blunt-tipped probe is inserted into the area that needs tightening, while another prong hovers over the outer surface. Some improvements may be seen right after the treatment, but the tightening effects will continue gradually for up to one year. This procedure does not necessarily require general anesthesia, but it may be recommended for larger areas, and any side effects and downtime are minimal.
eTwo™ skin rejuvenation
This therapy combines two separate radiofrequency skin-tightening strategies—Sublative® and Sublime™—for complete facial rejuvenation. The pairing encourages restructuring of collagen and elastin fibers. Sublative® is a radiofrequency treatment, while Sublime™ uses infrared light energy in conjunction with the RF waves to make skin brighter, firmer, and less wrinkled. As with similar treatments, results will develop over time, and a series of treatment is packaged for best results.
Profound is another widely used radiofrequency device that offers some of the same benefits of a facelift, though nothing replaces the dramatic results possible with surgery. Profound is used for lifting, tightening, and restoring volume to upper and lower face and neck areas by generating more collagen and elastin. In just one treatment, it helps to reduce deep wrinkles and improve the contours of the jawline and cheeks for patients who don’t want invasive surgery. It can also temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite on the thighs and buttocks.
The Profound treatment combines radiofrequency with microneedling—the process of creating tiny injuries to spark collagen generation. Tiny needles make channels in the skin, as well as emit radiofrequency energy below the surface. This dual approach is effective for stimulating significant collagen production.
Another RF microneedling treatment, Morpheus uses tiny needles to induce collagen production while also delivering radiofrequency energy. The device has an adjustable treatment depth, which means sessions can be customized to specific patients and their unique goals. In addition to tightening lax skin, Morpheus can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars, create a more evenly textured surface, and address wrinkles. The RF energy can also positively impact fat cells in the treatment areas, leading to a firmer, tighter look after a recommended three sessions spaced weeks apart.
Have more questions about RF treatment options and collagen’s role in healthy, youthful-looking skin? Talk to the team at Iteld Plastic Surgery about nonsurgical body and skin treatments available in the Chicago area. Schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Iteld by calling 312.757.4505, or submit a contact form.