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At some point in the hectic 70s, between the Watergate case, the advent of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the death of Elvis or the crazy parties of Studio 54, someone (unknown author) launched to use radio frequency in the field of aesthetics. Despite its age, this technology based on electromagnetism seems that the years do not pass and today it lives its own anti-aging revolution.

Before sinking your teeth into the reasons for this renewed interest in an apparatus that already accumulates half a century of life, it is worth remembering what radiofrequency does to continue being a basic in aesthetic consultations.

The anti-aging secrets of radio frequency

"Through the application of electromagnetic waves with a head that is put in contact with the skin, there is a heating of the different layers of the dermis. This heat stimulates fibroblasts, the cells responsible for forming collagen and elastin, responsible for the skin to be toned and wrinkle-free, "summarizes Dr. Virtudes Ruiz, from the Virtudestética clinics (Murcia).

In addition, "radiofrequency favors circulation and improves lymphatic drainage," adds Isabel Moreno, president of the Spanish Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (AECEP). In Christian: it is a technology that reverses facial and body sagging and flaccidity, and improves wrinkles and expression lines, in what Dr. Ruiz calls a "virtual mesotherapy, without punctures or pain."

Radio frequency to improve without transforming

Although among the 626,778 facial protocols that were performed in 2021 in Spain, 42% correspond to Botox infiltrations according to the latest annual study presented by the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SEME), not all patients who want to look better are willing to prick themselves.

That's where radio frequency comes into play, but not only for that. Dr. María Dolores Antón, medical director of the Antón clinic (Valencia), reflects on the new boom of this technology: "Patients no longer want to look like other faces they have seen on television. They want to be them, but younger: end up with tired eyes, firm the skin, see the slender face and all this without anyone perceiving more than a generalized improvement that they do not know what to attribute ". On the advantages, Virtudes Ruiz adds that it can be done until August, "it is not photosensitizing, although, as after any treatment, you have to put on photoprotection".

Faced with the pros, some cons: "Radiofrequency will never be a substitute for a surgical intervention, but it is an alternative for those who want to take care of themselves and prevent, or be sure that the results obtained will not have anything unexpected," says Isabel Moreno.

Radiofrequency for eye bags... and knees

From the general to the particular, three types of radiofrequency stand out in 2023. The first is Thermage FLX, an improvement of the equipment that was born in 2002, very safe because it acts with maximum precision, without touching any adjacent tissue, in "all those areas that accuse flaccidity: cheeks, eyelids, mandibular arch, bags, buttocks, arms, abdomen, knees, thighs ... It is the only one approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the United States) for the treatment of eyes, as an alternative to blepharoplasty, "explains Dr. Antón.

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It is recommended from the age of 30, which is when collagen reserves begin to decrease in quality, and until 45, when the most important fall occurs. Although from the age of 50 effects are also seen, such as "the recovery of the nasolabial fold and the mandibular arch, and the improvement of the bags", summarizes the expert.

In the body, the best results are obtained in the knees -where even surgery has it difficult-, the buttocks and abdomen. The arms are pending for the future, "more complicated because they tend to a more severe flaccidity," clarifies Antón. One session a year is enough, which costs from about 2,200 euros.

Radiofrequency for the jawline

In neck and jowls, that area that is another great challenge of aesthetic medicine, the bipolar radiofrequency of InMode is fixed, a technique that stood out at the annual meeting of the AECEP last November.

With it, "there is a retraction of the skin designing the mandibular line from the corner of the lips to the ear, including the cervical area," explains Dr. Jesús Olivas Menayo. It is done by introducing a cannula (no scalpel or extra incisions are needed) that carries the heat precisely to the areas to be treated.

Lifting without surgery of antibotox action with combined radiofrequency

'Last but no least', Emface seems to have come to stay, "a new approach in facial rejuvenation with which the muscles are toned in a moderate lifting effect without needles, pain or bruising", describes Dr. Ricardo Ruiz, from the International Dermatological Clinic (Madrid).

Through adhesives that are placed on the face, a radiofrequency that remodels the skin and increases collagen and elastin fibers is combined and HIFES technology (high frequency electrical stimulation), which restores and elevates facial tissues through the selective contraction of muscles.

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Antibotox calls it Ruiz because, instead of paralyzing the facial muscles and, with it, the wrinkles that arise when using them, as Botox does, it activates and stimulates them in a kind of facial yoga to the beast. Four sessions are recommended (about 1,200 euros in total) lasting up to a year.

If with Emface we are facing a new Botox, because it is a treatment that changes the rules of the game, remains to be seen, but Ricardo Ruiz was clear: "After seeing the effects at a congress in Paris in January, we have implanted it to help our patients to celebrate years with discretion".

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