Laser vs. radiofrequency skin tightening: what’s the difference?

image Dermatology ® P.C at Montclair, NJ blog articles

Dr. Jeanine Downie, of image Dermatology® in Montclair, is nationally known for her expertise in minimally invasive technologies. She sees patients from nearby communities such as Glen Ridge, and many who travel great distances to benefit from her expertise. Often, they are confused by the variety of skin tightening treatments, products, and technologies on the market today.

One of the most common questions that Dr. Downie receives is about laser and radiofrequency treatments. Are they the same? What is the difference? If you are confused, here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Technical difference

The core technology behind these devices is entirely different.

  • Laser devices work with filtered, intensified light energy. They are calibrated to emit a specific wavelength, based on the desired result. Depending on the wavelength, it is absorbed by a certain type of cell or component in the body.
  • IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy is often mistakenly called laser treatment. It is very similar but uses broad-spectrum light. It is less targeted than laser energy and is often used for overall skin rejuvenation.
  • RF (radiofrequency) is not light energy. It is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and has many unique benefits for dermatological treatment. RF energy can safely pass through surface tissue layers, or it can be delivered via tiny probes, making it especially well suited for targeting specific layers of tissue.
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What it means to you

All of the above mentioned technologies are highly effective, and each one excels in certain applications. Dr. Downie uses many lasers and other light-based devices for treatments ranging from skin resurfacing to tattoo removal or permanent hair reduction. For skin tightening, she prefers ThermiRF radiofrequency therapy, which effectively targets the collagen network in deep tissue layers. Call image Dermatology® at (973) 509-6900 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Jeanine Downie is an experienced and popular dermatologist in Montclair. She possesses extensive experience and training in all aspects of dermatology, including cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. Dr. Downie provides modern and cutting-edge dermatology treatments to everyone in your family in a professional, competent and compassionate manner while ensuring that your individual and unique needs are met. Having received rigorous academic training, she completed her residency in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and also served as Chief Resident. She continues to upgrade her skills set and share her knowledge through professional affiliations and lecturing assignments on behalf of several renowned medical societies such as The Skin Cancer Foundation and The American Academy of Dermatology, among others. She also frequently interacts with the public through popular television shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, and The Dr. Oz Show, to name a few.


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