The demand for non-invasive procedures for skin
tightening and wrinkle reduction is increasing. Light-based therapies
alone have limited efficacy due to the absorption of light by epidermal
melanin and limited dermal remodeling.
To meet the demand for safe, non-invasive procedures for the
treatment of photo-damaged skin, a variety of light-based therapies
have been developed. Although results are less impressive than those
of surgical facelifts, adverse effects are few and post-treatment
recovery time is short. For example, the use of non-ablative, infrared
(IR) lasers with skin-surface cooling has been explored as a stimulus
for dermal remodeling and clinical improvement of wrinkles with
few adverse effects.
A major limitation of light-based therapies is that optical energy
is absorbed by epidermal melanin, thus limiting the depth of light
penetration, particularly in patients with dark skin. Another limitation
is wrinkles respond minimally to this treatment because collagen
contains no chromophores to absorb the light.
To overcome these drawbacks, selective electro-thermolysis, in
which electrical energy from radiofrequency (RF) current selectively
heats target tissue without damaging the epidermis, has been
introduced. RF current placed on the skin penetrates the epidermis
and moves to tissues that offer high electrical conductivity. Since
conductivity varies inversely with temperature, cooling the epidermis
guides the RF current to deeper tissues which, when pre-heated, has
higher conductivity and thus a greater probability of receiving the
RF current. The amount of heat generated in the pre-heated tissue
varies with the tissue’s resistance (impedance) to the RF current.
The Polaris WR™ Applicator (Syneron Medical Ltd., Yokneam,
Israel) is a combination of 900 nm diode laser and RF technologies.
The WR applicator can also be found on the Galaxy™,eLaser™,and
eMax™. This WR device delivers optical energy to pre-heat the
target and RF energy to heat the target (without injuring the epidermis)
even more to a temperature that exceeds its therapeutic threshold.
This combination of technologies is called electro-optical synergy
(ELOS). The Polaris WR has shown efficacy and safety in the
treatment of facial rhytides, skin laxity, and skin texture.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety
of the broadband (700-2000 nm) ReFirme ST Applicator for the
non-ablative treatment of skin laxity and mild to moderate rhytides.