Treatments & Therapies

Radiage – Treatment, Effects & Risks


Even those who live a healthy lifestyle, take good care of their skin and don’t expose it to the sun too often will eventually notice wrinkles on themselves. People who are uncomfortable with the natural signs of aging in their skin often go to the cosmetic surgeon for botox injections or even a facelift . But there are now gentler methods of skin tightening. One of them is the Radiage .

What is the radiation?

Wrinkling is caused by the decreasing tension of the subcutaneous collagen fibers. The patient has various procedures to choose from if he wants to get rid of unsightly wrinkles, crow’s feet and even wrinkles. However, most of them are associated with bleeding , more or less visible scars and downtime for the patient.

A very gentle method, with which this is not to be feared, is called Radiage. It was developed in the USA and has been used in medicine for several decades. The Radiage was originally only developed to obliterate varicose veins . Since 2007, German doctors have also been using it to smooth out wrinkles. The manufacturer of the radiation devices is Ellman International Inc., which has been selling its medical product since 1969. In this minimally invasive procedure, which was initially only approved for the skin and face, the connective tissue and the collagen it contains are heated with high-frequency radio waves, causing the collagen fibers to contract and the skin layer above them to be tightened.

The scientists later discovered that the radio frequency devices can also be used to treat legs , arms , buttocks and abdomen . The device can even be used to reduce cellulite . The radio frequency therapy is similar to the thermal lifting used to date , but is even gentler and cheaper than this. Radiage is extremely effective because, unlike skin firming creams that only treat the top layer of skin, it reaches the surface of the subcutaneous fat layer, where most age-related changes occur.

Function, effect & goals

The treatment goal of Radiage ( radio frequency therapy ) is to smooth the skin without first opening it surgically or injecting it with certain substances. Therefore, no scars are formed after the treatment , as is usual for most aesthetic interventions.

The wrinkles disappear after the collagen fibers in the subcutaneous tissue have contracted (collagen shrinkage). The energy generated by the radio frequency device heats the connective tissue to 48 to 50 degrees Celsius. Before the treatment, a special cooling gel is applied to the patient, which is intended to prevent possible skin damage on the one hand and at the same time to support the hot-cold effect that causes smoothing. Thanks to the gel, the patient does not experience the treatment as unpleasant. However, during the radiation treatment he can also tell the doctor when his skin is getting too hot.

The radio frequency therapy also promotes the formation of new collagen (collagen neogenesis). This further increases the skin-tightening effect in the weeks and months following the treatment. The first results are already visible after the first treatment. Depending on the intensity of the desired wrinkle reduction, the radiation treatment is carried out 2 to 4 times. There is a gap of at least 2, better still 4 weeks between the individual sessions. Depending on the size of the skin area to be treated, the treatments last 10 to 20 minutes. The operation is performed on an outpatient basis. The patient can go about his usual everyday activities immediately after the treatment.

The consequences of the radiation are not visible from the outside. The gentle skin smoothing method is particularly well suited for wrinkles on the face (eye area), on the neck and in the upper lip area. In addition, younger patients, whose wrinkles are not too pronounced, can have them performed. Radiofrequency therapy is also used for varicose veins. In the case of endovenous treatment, an ultrasound measurement is carried out first. Then the doctor inserts a flexible probe through a puncture in the lower leg. The upper end of the probe emits high-frequency energy in a targeted manner and is slowly retrieved in the process.

The entire surrounding tissue is heated in such a way that the cell fluid evaporates and the vein is permanently closed. In the period that follows, the varicose vein is converted into connective tissue and broken down by the body. In this application, endovenous radiation is similar to endovenous laser therapy. However, it works with a different wavelength and penetration depth. Another method of sclerotherapy for varicose veins is Closure-FAST therapy. A special catheter heats and closes the vein at equal intervals. Endovenous radiation is performed under local anesthesia.

Risks, side effects & dangers

The Radiage does not involve any risks. Since it is a proven safe procedure, skin damage only occurs in very rare cases. It does not cause pigment irritation. After the treatment, the effect of heat on the treated skin areas leaves slight reddening, which usually fades on its own within a few hours.

Since it is a painless method, anesthesia is not usually administered unless the patient has very sensitive skin. Like other cosmetic procedures, the high-frequency radio wave therapy does not have a lasting effect: Depending on the skin type, the skin-tightening effect decreases after 12 months, but no later than 36 months. Then the patient should repeat the treatment. In order to avoid any skin damage caused by improper use, it is advisable to only have the skin tightening performed by medical specialists.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.