I am so excited to announce the addition of Profound RF to our practice. I will have to admit, during my 20 years of practice, this is the most excited I have been about introducing a device. Up until now, I have not had any non-surgical procedures to offer my patients that I truly believed in for skin tightening, especially of the lower face and neck. I have had to refer all of these patients to surgical modalities, most of whom ultimately decide against having surgical procedures done.
As we age, we lose three important building blocks in our skin, known as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. A few years ago, we introduced microneedling into our office. Microneedling allows us to insert needles into the middle portion of the skin, which causes a mild injury. Anytime such an injury occurs in this part of the skin, collagen formation begins. Profound RF is a long pulse, radio-frequency, microneedling device. This device allows us to insert microneedles into the middle portion of the skin, while simultaneously delivering heat. Through research, it has been established that there is an optimum temperature at which heat injury to this portion of the skin will call in our own body’s wound healing process to begin. Through our own natural system working for us rather than against us, we not only get collagen formation, but also elastin and hyaluronic acid formation, thus covering all three of our building blocks. Elastin gives us the spring or snap in our skin. Hyaluronic acid’s main function is to retain water to keep our skin hydrated and to maintain volume. The increase in these three parts of our dermis will allow for skin tightening and improvement in wrinkles. No other device on the market allows for the formation of these three building blocks.
This device can also be combined with PRP, which is a process where we draw your own blood and spin it down to capture your plasma. The plasma is the richest portion of your blood that has all growth factors and wound healing products that we then pour onto your skin as we treat you with Profound. The plasma gets into the channels as we microneedle, adding an additional zing to the treatment.
In addition to the face, Profound RF also has an FDA indication for the treatment of cellulite. Skin laxity of the abdominal skin post pregnancy, extra laxity in our skin post weight loss and skin laxity from aging, all are great scenarios in which you would consider this treatment. It will also be a great combination therapy with our truSculpt 3D device, as this body contouring device decreases pockets of fat, but does not tighten the skin to the degree that I would prefer.
What does this all mean? First, it gives us an opportunity to have skin tightening and improvement of wrinkles without the down time or cost of surgery or a face lift. It gives those who prefer a natural option a method of using our own body’s wound healing powers to create this improvement. It’s not only ideal for a patient in their 30-40’s as a way of preventing wrinkling and volume loss from ensuing, but also ideal for that patient who is in their 50-70s as a way of treating wrinkles and skin laxity that has already ensued. The results typically last 2-5 years.
I personally find the main disadvantages of this device to be an advantage. Patients should expect 1 week of social downtime, with swelling and bruising. Our pretreatment protocol will keep these side effects to a minimum, but 100% of patients should expect swelling and bruising. I personally feel downtime is a sign of efficacy. If you find a device that claims similar results with no downtime, I would reconsider. The device is also associated with some pain, so we will be required to numb topically and locally prior to the treatment. Another fact that could be considered a disadvantage is that it takes 3-6 months to see the results from the treatment. The intricate nature of the proteins that are involved in causing the improvement will take time to do their work. I like a slow and steady improvement, and my patients seem to feel the same.
Who is not a candidate:
- Anyone on blood thinner, including aspirin, NSAIDS, baby aspirin (if these cannot be stopped for one week ahead)
- Heart arrhythmia
- Collagen vascular disease
- Significant wound healing problems, including frequent keloid formation
- Immunosuppressed patients
Asha James, M.D.