There are many treatment options available to improve the appearance and texture of the skin, or to treat acne and acne scars. The method of choice in the last few years has involved laser technology, either to remove the outer layers of the skin to promote new skin growth (CO2 or Er:YAG), or to penetrate the skin to promote rejuvenation from within (fractional thermolysis).
Although effective for treating a variety of skin conditions, they do have their limitations, and in particular can cause hypopigmentation, areas of uneven skin colour, lasting up to two years after treatment. Fractional lasers were safe, but less effective, and required more treatments to achieve acceptable results.
A more recent development has been fractional thermolysis using radio frequency (RF) energy, instead of laser energy, to stimulate skin rejuvenation that is as effective as laser energy, but has a much lower risk of side effects. The leading device that uses RF energy is the eTwo SublativeTM Skin Treatment System. This article explains the science behind radio frequency energy and why it is effective for acne scar treatment.
WHAT IS FRACTIONAL THERMOLYSIS?
In fractional thermolysis, the applicators are made up of small pins in a grid pattern, to ‘fractionate’ or spread the energy over a wider area. The basic theory is that the energy passes through the skin producing heat at the point of contact with the pins.
The heat creates microscopic burns in the dermis. Once injured, the skin begins a process of repair. This healing process is made possible by recruiting collagen-producing cells from the surrounding sections of undamaged skin. This process ‘rejuvenates’ the skin, improving texture, firmness and the appearance of scars.
RADIOFREQUENCY VS LASER ENERGY
Laser energy travels in a straight line and is attracted to the melanin pigment that we all have in our skin. Darker skin tones have more melanin, while fairer skin tones have less. Melanin is found in the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. Some lasers aren’t suited to treating darker skin tones because the intensity of energy that is attracted to the melanin in the skins surface, leading to ineffectiveness in treating deep scars that go into the dermis.
Radio frequency behaves like an electrical current. The sender electrode emits the RF energy and the receiver electrode receives the energy to complete the circuit. When the RF energy hits the scar tissue it works its way around the harder tissue thereby heating the site in a controlled manner. RF energy is not attracted to the melanin and so is safer for all skin types. The RF energy exerts only 5% of its energy on the epidermis, with most of the energy penetrating deep in the dermis where it is needed to stimulate collagen production and new cell growth.
SAFE AND EFFECTIVE
Clinical studies using bipolar fractional RF energy have consistently shown that these instruments are as effective in improving skin texture and appearance as CO2 and ER:YAG lasers, but with far fewer side effects. The side effects that were reported were minor and only lasted a few days.
Healing after treatment with RF is rapid and recovery time is minimal. The eTwo Skin Treatment System emits bipolar RF energy, which means that the energy is better focussed and more effective at stimulating collagen production, producing the same heat effect with less energy and therefore less pain.
If you have been thinking about improving the look and feel of your skin and considering various options for acne scar treatment Sydney, none are as effective as the eTwo SublativeTM Skin Treatment System.
The best way to have your skin condition assessed is by a qualified clinician. At Eden Laser Clinics we offer a free consultation where we can give you personalised information and answer any questions you have.