What Can Radiofrequency
Do For My Skin?

By Elizabeth Rostan, MD

Radiofrequency is an energy treatment that can be used to tighten skin

Radiofrequency is an energy treatment that can be used to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles and enhance overall appearance of facial and non-facial skin. RF treatments are very popular as many have little to no downtime and because they deliver such nice results for skin.

What is radiofrequency and how does it make skin look better?

Radiofrequency (RF) devices deliver energy, in the form of heat, into different levels of the skin. This heat tightens collagen and stimulates collagen renewal. If you heat the skin consistently to a specific level – referred to as controlled bulk tissue heating – your skin’s collagen will respond in two main ways. The first is a collagen contraction – or shrinkage of collagen and skin tissues for tightening results – often giving some visible results right at the time of treatment. The second way is stimulation of new collagen which gives gradual skin enhancement over 1-9 months.

Benefits for your skin include tightening, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, improved skin thickness and hydration and enhanced skin elasticity

Are radiofrequency treatments safe?

Because RF devices deliver highly controlled heating to the tissue they are extremely safe. Anyone who has a pacemaker or defibrillator cannot have a RF treatment and some people with artificial joints or metal implants in the treatment area may not be candidates for treatment.

RF treatments at Charlotte Skin & Laser:

I have been a long believer in the efficacy and safety of RF treatments to improve aging skin and scarring. At Charlotte Skin & Laser every skin tightening device we have is an RF device. We offer a number of treatment options to best tailor the treatment to the area, patient, amount of skin laxity and treatment intensity desired.


This device delivers RF energy through a small tip that is very well suited for small areas and we use it mainly around the eye for skin tightening and wrinkles. Lips are another area where Pelleve is most useful. Zero downtime.


The Exilis device has a slightly larger handpiece and we love this for tightening lower face and neck. A great treatment for those just beginning to develop some loose skin under the chin and in the jowl area or to maintain results achieved from a more invasive technique. Exilis is also terrific for tightening flabby upper arms. Zero downtime.

Venus Legacy

The Legacy device has a larger handpiece with multiple RF electrodes within the treatment head. The large treatment head can also provide suction – pulling the tissue into the treatment area and massaging cellulite. Additionally, the device also delivers pulsed electromagnetic energy that further stimulates cellular renewal that supports new collagen growth. The Legacy is a popular treatment for thighs and buttocks and sometimes arms. Zero downtime.

Radiofrequency Needling devices

Lutronic Infini Genius and Venus Viva are both RF microneedling devices great for skin rejuvenation and acne scar treatments. Both can be used with dermal filler to further stimulate collagen renewal or to help restore deep dermal structure that can be lost with age or more severe scarring. Both devices can be use on and off the face. Minimal downtime.


Profound is a RF microneedling device that delivers RF energy over a much longer pulse time – 3-4 seconds versus milliseconds with other devices. This long energy delivery leads to greater heating so greater results but is also painful so injection numbing must be done, and gives more downtime with bruising (from numbing as well as the treatment) and swelling (lots of swelling and lasting one week). Profound is great for necks with more loose skin and is also used for cellulite. 1-2 weeks downtime.

Focal RF energy delivery – Agnes

Agnes delivers RF energy through 1-3 tiny needles. The energy is very focused so can be very high energy – so high that we can target glands – oil glands and acne – and fat – jowls, under eye fat pads, under chin fat. 1-2 weeks downtime.

Radiofrequency for fat reduction – Vanquish

Vanquish uses a radiofrequency field to heat and destroy unwanted, excess fat. This is a great treatment for waistlines as it treats belly fat as well as flank fat for a circumferential treatment.