When radiofrequency (RF) toning was introduced to the masses at plastic surgery clinics around the world in 2001, patients rejoiced at the idea of non-invasive skin tightening. But while effective, RF toning could be somewhat unpredictable - and that unpredictability often had painful consequences.
"The problem with older RF toning machines is that they didn't have good temperature control, so they often caused serious burns," says Dr. Ryan Mitchell, a plastic surgeon from Henderson, Nevada.
That's because RF toning uses radiofrequency technology to heat the layers of collagen and elastin in the skin, causing them to contract the collagen fibers and accelerate the production of new collagen and elastin. But, as Mitchell explains, that wasn't always easy.
The good news is that RF toning is back, and with a new feature: the ability to see the temperature the tissue is being heated to and monitor that temperature for consistency. And, according to Mitchell, that consistency is key.
"Consistent temperatures make a more thorough, more effective treatment - without the risk of burns," he says.
All that, and with the same non-invasive benefits that many patients have come to rely on from RF toning in the past.
According to Mitchell, the length of time required for an RF toning session depends on how many areas are being treated, but most sessions last no longer than 40 minutes, with most patients requiring up to four sessions and touchups every six to 12 months.
"The benefits of RF toning are still the same – but now they've gotten safer," says Mitchell. "And what could be better than that?"