Skin Tightening Off the Face with Radiofrequency and Broadband Light
Radiofrequency (RF) devices and infrared broadband light (IBBL) are nonablative energy sources designed to volumetrically heat the dermis and subcutaneous tissue with the goal of skin tightening or girth reduction. They have been used successfully and safely in all skin types on the large areas of the body listed in Table 26.1. IBBL devices (wavelength 850-1350 nm or 1100-1800 nm) penetrate deeply to bulk-heat the dermis without melanin absorption. RF generates heat via the tissue resistance to an electric current passed through the skin, which causes tightening through presumed collagen remodeling. Unipolar (also called monopolar) RF systems use a ground electrode applied to an area of the body away from the current source and create a high power area at the electrode tip. Bipolar RF systems rely on two electrodes located within the handpiece.
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The authors would like to thank Nissan Pilest, M.D., Robert Weiss, M.D., E. Victor Ross, M.D., Michael Kaminer, M.D. and Amy F. Taub, M.D. for sharing their expertise in the preparation of this chapter.