FotoFacial RF™ treatments are full face, neck, hands or body treatments using Intense Pulsed Light and Radio Frequency (IPL-RF) energy combined in the same pulse. These gentle, no-downtime treatments are used to improve the cosmetic appearance of the face, neck or body. The original FotoFacial RF™ procedure was co-developed by Dr. Patrick Bitter, Jr., a dermatologist and Dr. R. Stephen Mulholland, a plastic surgeon, bringing together the best of aesthetic dermatologic skin care and cosmetic plastic surgery into one non-invasive procedure. The FotoFacial RF™ procedure has increased in popularity and recognition to the point where it is now one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in North America. Dr. Bitter and Dr. Mulholland have trained over 2,000 physician practices in the art of the FotoFacial™ and the procedure has been featured in Allure, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Vogue, USA Today and numerous national and regional television shows. Many Hollywood stars and TV personalities rave about the FotoFacial™ and credit this procedure for the renewed health and vitality in their skin. The FotoFacial RF™ is the next generation in high-tech skin enhancement.
Are you a good Candidate for the FotoFacial RF™ Treatments?
FotoFacial RF™ treatments are beneficial in the treatment of the following cosmetic skin concerns for the face and body (also known as FotoBody™ RF treatments):
- Rosacea, flushing, redness, ruddy complexion, broken capillaries and spider veins of the face. All these "Pink" vascular-based conditions of the skin improve on average between 50-75% percent with FotoFacial RF™ treatments.
- Sun spots, age spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, cholasma, mask of pregnancy, multiple freckles. All these "brown", melanin-based conditions of the skin improve, on average, 50-75% with FotoFacial RF™ treatments.
- Chronic sun damage and photoaging improves by 50-75% with FotoFacial RF™ treatments.
- Sun Damage and aging signs of the hands, neck (poikiloderma), and chest skin can be improved by 50-75% percent with FotoBody RF™ treatments
- Wrinkles and skin laxity. Unlike other more basic forms of photorejuvenation, the FotoFacial RF™, with its synergy of IPL-RF energy produces industry-leading, non-ablative wrinkle and skin laxity improvements of up to 70% without downtime; a claim that no other device or procedure has been able to boast.
What results might I expect from the FotoFacial RF™ treatments?
Almost all patients notice a consistent improvement in the appearance of their skin. The degree of improvement is gradual and persistent over the 15-18 week program and 5-6 FotoFacial RF™ treatments. The noticeable and significant changes that have been reported include: Improvement in pink and brown discoloration, spider veins, pink and brown blemishes, sun damage, age spots, pore size, acne scarring and wrinkles. The degree of improvement can vary but averages 50-75% improvement in anything that is pink and vascular or brown and melanin in nature. The improvement in fine to moderate wrinkles, acne scarring, skin texture irregularities, laxity and smoothness is also 50-75%.
How does FotoFacial RF™ differ from other photorejuvenation procedures?
In marrying intense pulsed light and radio frequency energy into one treatment, FotoFacial RF™ treatments offer the very latest and most effective high-tech form of non-invasive skin enhancement. Many other lasers and devices, such as N-lite®, Cooltouch®, SmoothBeam®, V-Beam®, IPL photorejuvenation systems with the Quantum® or Vasculight®, claim to deliver state-of-the-art photorejuvenation. With these basic photorejuvenation procedures you may notice a degree of improvement in the appearance of some aspects of your skin, particularly an improvement in vascular-and melanin-based discolorations. However, by combining radio frequency and intense pulsed light into one FotoFacial RF™ treatment, you will achieve the optimal degree of enhancement to all components of your skin. By adding the radio frequency to the intense pulsed light, the FotoFacial RF™ procedure can now boast excellent, no-downtime wrinkle improvements together with the significant improvement in redness, rosacea, pinkness, spider veins, pores and texture.
How are the FotoFacial RF™ treatments performed?
The FotoFacial RF treatments are simple, office-based treatments. The area to be treated is first covered with a very thin layer of non-gel, aqueous RF conductive medium. This thin layer of non-gel aqueous medium is very important to conduct the RF current into the skin efficiently and serves no cooling function, as the hand piece of the FotoFacial RF™ device is dynamically cooled to help protect the skin. Once the RF conductive medium has been applied, then the entire face, chest, hands, arms or affected body part is treated with a gentle pulse of light and Radiofrequency energy.
Each treatment takes about 30 minutes and involves pulses of bright visible light and radio frequency energy that are passed into the skin. Most patients require 5 or 6 FotoFacial™ treatments, performed every 3 weeks, to see the desired results. In certain skin types, a microdermabrasion is performed between FotoFacial™ treatments to enhance the penetration of the light and radiofrequency energy.
How does the FotoFacial RF™ work to improve the appearance of the skin?
Each pulse of the FotoFacial™ RF device, eLight or eMax, sends two types of energy into your skin - intense pulsed visible light and radio frequency energy - that act synergistically to enhance the skin. Energy is applied to brown spots, blood vessels, and redness to gradually and gently lessen or eliminate these blemishes. The radio frequency energy also produces significant amounts of collagen, elastin and ground substances in the dermis, the thick undercarpet of the skin, resulting in a noticeable and significant smoothing of fine-to-moderate wrinkles and textural irregularities of the skin.
Will the FotoFacial RF™ treatment hurt and will I have to miss work?
The FotoFacial RF™ treatments have a tolerable level of discomfort. The discomfort can be greatly reduced, or even eliminated, by the use of a topical anesthetic cream applied to the skin 30 minutes prior to the scheduled FotoFacial RF™. The SynerCool™, a forced air skin cooling system, can provide an additional degree of comfort. After each treatment, patients can apply makeup and return to normal activities. The FotoFacial RF™ treatments have proven to be low-risk, are associated with few complications and patients rarely have downtime or have to miss work or regular activities.
How long will the skin enhancement effects of the FotoFacial RF™ last?
At the completion of the FotoFacial RF™ program the skin will have achieved a noticeable and consistent degree of improvement that over 90% of patients are very happy with. Occasionally, some patients desire an even greater degree of improvement and these patients will sign up for additional procedures. Most FotoFacial RF™ patients will just desire to maintain the nice skin enhancements they achieved from the program and, for these satisfied patients, a single maintenance FotoFacial RF™ treatment is recommended every 2-4 months to keep the skin looking vital, even, smooth and youthful.
About the Technology
The FotoFacial™ RF procedure is delivered by the eLight™ System from Syneron. The eLight™ System uses proprietary elos™ technology. elos™ (Electro-Optical Synergy), marries all benefits of intense pulsed light and optical energy for the treatment of vascular and pigmented discolorations with the wrinkle and tightening benefits of radio frequency energy.
The FotoFacial RF™ performed by the eLight System improves your skin with each visit.
Your physician may also recommend adding the new ReFirme™ procedure to your regimen of treatments, to tighten and firm your skin even more. The fast and virtually painless, ReFirme™ procedure, also delivered by the eLight™ System, combines an infrared light and a controlled, higher dose of radio frequency energy in the same pulse. This elos™ combination of infrared light and RF in the same pulse greatly enhances the wrinkle smoothing and skin tightening effects of IPL-RF alone. The eLight FotoFacial RF™ can also employ a specialized treatment for large, stubborn facial vessels and lower lid dark circles that are due to venous engorgement.
Copyright 2008 Patrick Bitter, Jr MD and Stephen Mulholland MD