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The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Releases Report on Tissue Tightening Technologies

Clinical Application of New and Emerging Non-invasive Technologies Continues to Evolve

(press release from ASDS)

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ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (March 20, 2007) - The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) has released a report on tissue tightening technologies. Tissue tightening is a non-invasive procedure meant to tighten and/or lift lax, sagging or wrinkled skin on the face and neck.

The main goal of non-invasive tissue tightening is to achieve firmer, younger-looking skin without invasive surgery. But it’s important that patients are informed and have realistic expectations as this is still an evolving technology and results have been variable.

Several technologies for the procedure have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These include a variety of radiofrequency technologies and lasers/broad band light sources. These technologies emit heat to stimulate the molecular and mechanical processes that reduce skin laxity, or looseness. Many also incorporate a cooling mechanism to protect the upper layers of the skin.

The report includes the following tissue tightening technologies:

  • Monopolar Radiofrequency. Used primarily on the face, the ThermaCool device was the first FDA-approved device for non-invasive tissue tightening. The device can heat broad areas of the skin and underlying tissue to tighten the skin with good results and small incidence of side effects.
  • Combined Diode Laser/Bipolar Frequency Technology. The Polaris combines light with radiofrequency energy. This device has been used for wrinkle reduction and has no adverse side effects. However, it also has not shown measurable skin tightening or reduction in skin laxity. Another device that uses this technology, the ReFirmeSM, ST, is the focus of several ongoing studies.
  • Combined Vacuum/Bipolar Radiofrequency Technology. The Aluma combines a vacuum with radiofrequency energy. It is used for fine lines and wrinkles and studies in press indicate that it has demonstrated a reduction in wrinkling and improved the appearance of skin texture.
  • Infrared Broad Band Light Sources. The Titan™ device emits broad wavelength-based infrared light and is currently used to treat loose skin on the face and neck. Studies show that it can produce skin contraction that lasts up to 12 months after treatment. The Starlux IR emits a broad band of infrared light and incorporates contact cooling. A recently published study showed immediate skin tightening in 22 of 25 patients.
  • Long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG Lasers. These lasers have been shown to be effective in improving skin laxity.
Patients who are the best candidates for tissue tightening are those with loose or slightly lax skin in the mid face, cheeks, jaw line, neck and brows. The procedure is well-tolerated by most people but should be avoided by those who have collagen vascular disorders such as morphea or scleroderma.
 
The most common complications after tissue tightening treatments is a little bit of redness of the skin, occasional swelling and some tenderness of the area for a couple of days. A burn or blister may occur and may create a scar or a depression in the skin.
 
As our experience with these technologies grows, dermasurgeons will be able to improve the outcomes and provide the best possible results for our patients.

About ASDS
With more than 4,700 members, ASDS, founded in 1970, is the largest specialty organization in the world exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons, board-certified physicians who are specifically trained to treat the health, function and appearance of the skin and soft tissue, with both medically necessary and cosmetic procedures, using both surgical and non-surgical methods. For more information on cosmetic skin procedures and referrals to ASDS members in your state, please click here. www.asds-net.org


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