Fractional Radiofrequency

Fractional Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency technology expanded tremendously these days and become an integral part of aesthetic practices. It has a vast range of clinical applications such as skin tightening, acne scar, hyperhidrosis, enlarged pores, rosacea, and crepey skin treatment, cellulite improvement, and subcutaneous fat reduction.

Working Of Fractional Radiofrequency (FR) Devices:
These devices deliver controlled thermal energy to cause controlled injury to the dermis or subcutaneous tissue via electrodes or microneedles (the procedure is also called micro-needling). They offer targeted treatment through insulated needles and simultaneous epidermal cooling. They use electricity as a source of energy to create noncontiguous zones of thermal energy. The thermal injury caused by FR stimulates new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid formation. Tissues in the untreated area show rapid healing and remodeling without scarring. The FR devices offer tightening along with remodeling due to maintained temperature of 67°C for 3 to 4 seconds.

It is a nonsurgical tightening procedure with minimum downtime in contrast to traditional ablative laser technology which had comparatively prolonged social downtime. As per the randomized study, an average of 37%3 laxity improvement was obtained after a single FR treatment compared with a traditional surgical face-lift.

Modalities Of Fractional Radiofrequency:
The fractional radiofrequency is delivered through various modalities: monopolar, bipolar, and sublative. All three modalities involve series of fractionating small electrodes that are in contact with the skin just a pattern of current traveling through the electrodes is different.

Monopolar: It contains a single active electrode with a series of pinpoint extensions to contact with skin. An example of a monopolar fractional radiofrequency device is Pixel RF (Alma Lasers, Israel). The device uses either a grid of pins or a rolling wheel with pins to allow the smooth transfer of current to the skin The effect of the monopolar fractional radiofrequency device is very similar to that of lasers since the majority of the energy is absorbed in the point of contact, and decreases with increasing distance from the electrode

Bipolar: In bipolar FR, the current is limited to the tissue between the active and return electrodes. The depth of penetration of the current depends on the distance between the electrodes and the frequency of the RF generator. By varying these parameters, the pattern of RF current can be modified to allow superficial or deeper heating depending upon the clinical indication.

Sublative: It is a variant of bipolar FR, but with more dermal effect than the epidermal effect. The examples of sublative RF are the Matrix RF and eMatrix handpieces (Syneron-Candela, Israel). It shows a pyramid-shaped effect, by limiting the extent of heating in the uppermost layer that is epidermis and gives a higher effect in the deeper dermis.