Radiofrequency treatment for the face: how it works

Written by: Mr Nizar Hamadeh
Edited by: Nicholas Howley

Non-surgical facial rejuvenation is becoming increasingly popular, with radiofrequency treatment being one of the many new treatment options on offer. But does it really work, and are there any disadvantages? In this article we interviewed leading plastic surgeon Mr Nizar Hamadeh to find out what radiofrequency can be used for and who is most suitable.

Woman smiles and looks at mirror after having radiofrequency facial rejuvenation.

What is radiofrequency treatment and what does it do to the skin?

Radiofrequency treatment works by stimulating subdermal collagen production and improves the quality of your skin. It is sometimes known as ThermaLift.

Radiofrequency treatment can be used in a number of situations:

  • When you have mild skin laxity, radiofrequency treatment can help improve wrinkles.
  • It can help in the treatment of acne by reducing the pores and killing the bacteria causing acne.
  • It can be used on the scalp and may improve the quality of hair follicles.
  • It can improve scars.
  • It can be used in chronic pain treatment after surgery.
  • It may even improve cellulitis in some patients, but the effect can be limited.

In general, you will need between six and ten sessions, and it might take up to 4-6 months before you start to see the results. The effects of treatment may last up to 12-18 months.


What are the possible disadvantages of radiofrequency treatment?

Disadvantages include the following:

  • In certain cases it may cause fat necroses (death of fat cells underneath the skin) and this can have an adverse effect on rejuvenation.
  • It may cause atrophic scars that might be difficult to treat.
  • Treatment could be very painful – but most of the time it is ok.

Some studies have reported that RF could have link with cancer, but this still needs further studies and research to be conducted.


What are the limits of radiofrequency treatment?

Radiofrequency treatment is best done in your 30s and 40s when you have a minimal amount of excess skin. In some cases where a patient has a lot of excess skin (for example if you are in your 50s and 60s) then you have a high chance that this treatment will not work on its own.

For patients with excess or sagging skin, the best treatment remains a face and neck lift. Some patient can even benefit from a combination of both surgical and non-surgical treatments, such as fillers, Botox, radiofrequency or laser treatment. The surgery will get rid of excess skin, and lift the face, then non-surgical treatment can be used to improve the quality of the remaining skin. In many cases, you will get the best result from this combination approach.


If you would like to discuss your options when it comes to facial rejuvenation, book a consultation with Mr Hamadeh today.

By Mr Nizar Hamadeh
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr. Nizar Hamadeh is a highly experienced facial plastic surgeon with private practices in both Birmingham and London. He has performed thousands of facial surgeries after his graduation and has fourteen years of experience practicing internationally in Brussels, Paris, Los Angeles, Spain, Ireland, and the UK. His areas of expertise are face and neck aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, brow lifts, lip surgery, and facial implants.

Mr. Hamadeh completed his medical degree in 1997, after which he trained in otolaryngology and head and neck in different hospitals in Paris and Brussels. He attained an ENT degree from the University Libre of Brussels in 2004 and was awarded several sub-specialty degrees and certificates thereafter from Belgium, France, the UK, and Spain.

After his ENT degree, Mr. Hamadeh became a consultant at Villeneuve St Georges Hospital in Paris and went on to establish his own practice in 2008 in Paris. Mr. Hamadeh has four years’ experience in public hospitals and four years in private sector in France and the UK as a full-time facial plastic consultant performing cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and has worked for the NHS as a consultant in Leeds and Leicester. He has also established an independent practice in Beirut, Lebanon.

He has attended numerous seminars and taught junior doctors and nurses to strengthen his work and is a valued member of numerous organisations from the British Association of Otorhinolaryngology to the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery.

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