- November 23, 2016
Technically speaking, radiofrequency is the number of oscillations (or waves) per second of the electric and magnetic fields within the radio waves portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
It is lowest of the electromagnetic radiation frequencies within the spectrum, which itself spans from radio waves, microwaves, infrared, optical (visible light), ultraviolet, x-rays, to gamma rays.
By applying RF energy to the human body, which can conduct current and therefore act as part of the electrical circuit, any resistance encountered by the energy flow will cause heat to be produced at the site of maximum resistance, which can be used to cut or coagulate tissue.
When comparing non-ablative (procedures that do not involve the destruction of the outer layer of the skin) techniques, RF energy differs from laser (light) energy in that light energy tends to scatter or absorb into the upper layers of the skin, making it difficult to deliver sufficient heat into the deeper layers without damaging the skin’s surface.
Lasers therefore affect collagen in the upper dermis, improving fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture, while RF energy is able to penetrate deeper into the skin and affect the deeper dermis and subcutaneous layers, causing tightening and improvements to the underlying tissue structure, but with little change in skin texture or fine lines and wrinkling.