Radiofrequency therapy for wrinkles: benefits and risks

Particularly gentle yet effective skin tension without surgery – this promises thermal lifting, also called radiofrequency therapy. STYLEBOOK spoke with an expert and explained all the advantages and risks of the lifting method.

What is radiofrequency therapy?

“Thermal lifting, also called radio wave therapy or Thermage, describes a lifting method that works using radio frequency technology,” says Dr. Clemens Fritsch, specialist in dermatology, venereology and allergology in Düsseldorf. “The skin is treated with a special device that emits high-frequency radio waves. The generated heat heats the connective tissue, which leads to tension and the formation of the body’s own collagen fibers. The tissue regenerates to depth without damaging the layers of the skin. The warming heat effect only applies to the lower layers of the skin, because the upper skin is also pleasantly cooled. ”

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How the method works: 2 mechanisms of action

1. Heating of collagen fibers

“Radio frequency energy, which is the electromagnetic oscillation of radio waves, heats collagen fibers in the deeper layers of the skin. At the same time, they reduce the distance between the muscles and the dermis, “says Dr. Fritsch. This process, also known as shrinkage, can take up to two days and has an immediate effect on tightening the skin from the inside out.

2. Stimulation of fibroblasts

Radiofrequency waves also stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen. This effect lasts for several months and thus leads to permanently firmed and contoured skin.

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Why is collagen so valuable for young skin?

“Collagen is a structural protein in the human body and an essential part of the skin. He is largely responsible for firm, youthful skin, “explains Dr. Refresh yourself. “Collagen is produced mainly in fibroblasts, chondroblasts, osteoblasts and odontoblasts. Collagen, which, together with proteoglycans, which are also formed, provides increased strength of the extracellular matrix and thus elasticity, forms a kind of framework through which the dermis and connective tissue stretch. Unfortunately, as we age, the natural production of collagen decreases, which causes the skin to sag and wrinkles. ”

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What does radiofrequency therapy promise?

Radiofrequency therapy can be used almost anywhere on the body. However, it is especially suitable for firming the entire face, neck and décolleté and promises to smooth out wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, visible contouring and plump, taut skin.

In the eye area

Reduction of drooping eyelids, bags under the eyes, crows

In the face

Firming and contouring of the whole face, double chin, sagging cheeks, sagging cheeks, tired skin

In the neck and décolleté

Smoothing wrinkles, reduction of the so-called turkey neck

Advantages of radiofrequency therapy

Thermal lifting is a non-invasive method of skin rejuvenation, ie without the use of a scalpel. Accordingly, no local anesthetic is required. It is also considered particularly gentle, painless and safe.

During radio wave therapy, the skin’s own regeneration is stimulated. This has the advantage that the effect of the treatment lasts six to twelve months or even longer and thus significantly longer than, for example, injections with wrinkle fillers.

Another advantage is that the method promises a very natural result, as it does not completely remove wrinkles, but only smoothes them out. As the method is gentle, it can be repeated regularly and even works very effectively against skin aging in the long run. Thermal lifting is suitable for all skin types. The dose of transmitted radio waves is adapted to the needs and skin type of each patient.

The gentle method and the short treatment time of around 20 minutes allow the patient to engage in normal activities immediately after application. There is no need to worry about downtime, use of aftercare medications or scars. After the treatment, you should avoid the sun for a week and use sunscreen.

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Disadvantages and risks of thermal lifting

As a rule, you have to wait up to two weeks for the first visible result and up to six months for a clear result, because collagen fibers need this time to create and restructure. In rare cases, short-term redness and mild swelling may occur.

costs and duration of treatment

For optimal results, six to ten treatments of 20 minutes each are recommended. Depending on the patient, there should be one to four weeks between sessions. For a long-term anti-aging effect, ideally renew the treatment every twelve weeks. The cost of treatment and the skin area can range between 80 and 120 euros.

Where else is radiofrequency therapy used?

In medicine, radiofrequency therapy also treats varicose veins and chronic heartburn. There, their ability, the formation of a tense ligament, here to stimulate the spine in the legs and walls of the esophagus proved to be effective.


– with expert advice from Dr. Fritsch and Dr. Moussa, specialists in dermatology, venereology and allergology in Düsseldorf

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