Many people desire the effects of full skin resurfacing for fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring, but the downtime of most associated procedures and the possible risks keep many people from enduring the pricey procedures of CO2 or erbium lasers, Fraxel, and others. To fill the need for a machine that gave the effects of these procedures, but without the downtime, pain, and cost, Syneron created the Matrix RF treatment. Dr. Rueckl introduced this innovative skin resurfacing procedure to his office in early 2010 with an outcome of tremendous results and many happy patients.
What is Matrix RF Sublative Rejuvenation and what does it do?
The Matrix RF treatment is designed for use in dermatological procedures for ablation (removal) of soft tissue and resurfacing of the skin. The Matrix RF allows for a customized approach of fractional bi-polar RF (radio frequency) energy, allowing all skin types and locations (except eyelids and lips) to be treated. Benefits of this treatment include the reduction of wrinkles, skin laxity, scars, acne scars, textural irregularities, tone, and superficial skin lesions.
To perform the Matrix RF, a unique applicator head and one-time use treatment tip are added onto the Syneron treatment machine. Due to the unique nature of the treatment head and the RF delivery, the majority of the ablation from the procedure occurs under the skin, as sublative rejuvenation, allowing for less downtime for the patient, less surface skin removal, and better results than treatments done with traditional fractional lasers. See the illustration below to understand the difference between traditional fractional lasers and the Matrix RF. It shows how the Matrix RF goes deeper into the skin and effects the underlying levels, as opposed to removing more surface skin and damaging the top level.
200 pulses are done with each Matrix RF applicator tip and the program level (depth and power) can be changed as needed for more delicate areas. Because of the unique size and shape of the applicator tip, RF energy is delivered in a non-homogeneous fractional pattern to dry, non-moisturized skin. This allows some areas to have less impact than others, which promotes faster healing.
Matrix RF treatments are most effective when done as a series of treatments, with at least 3 treatments being completed, usually in 4-6 week intervals. Multiple treatments are needed for full effects and you will continue to see your improvements develop, becoming more and more noticable 2-4 months after your series is completed. This series of treatments can also be combined with other treatments including FotoFacial, Skin Tightening ST Refirme, Venus Freeze, and additional procedures done by Dr. Rueckl, to enhance the effects of the Matrix RF, if desired.
What areas are treated with Matrix RF treatments?
Most patients elect to have Matrix RF treatments to their face, although some patients also have their necks and/or chests treated. The only areas that are not able to be treated with Matrix RF are the eyelids and lips. To see a before and after photo gallery, and to read more about the procedure itself, please visit www.syneron.com.
What is a Matrix RF treatment like?
Before you begin a Matrix RF series, you will discuss the procedure with Dr. Rueckl or one of the certified technicians, sign a consent, and if desired, take pre-treatment photos. After that a topical anesthetic will be applied to the area being treated to reduce any associated discomfort. Many offices charge extra for topical anesthetics but we have always believed that your comfort should come first, so we include this at no charge for any procedures in our offices. The topical cream is kept on for about 15-20 minutes.
To allow the single-use applicator to have full contact with the skin, the Matrix RF needs to be done on dry skin, so no gels or lotions will be applied. The treated area will be fully cleansed with alcohol prior to treatment; this allows any residue to be removed for full contact of the Matrix RF applicator. Additionally, unlike other procedures, the Matrix RF does not use an air chilling system to pre-cool the area, though one may be applied post-procedure or post-treated site to cool the skin and calm redness. A photo of the single-use applicator is shown below.
To perform the treatment, your technician will use the Syneron equipment and Matrix RF treatment head with disposable applicator to treat your specific area with 200 individual shots of energy. During the treatment the technician may adjust the settings to treat different areas with different depths of energy. You will feel warm during the treatment and you might experience what can be compared to a pin prick or rubberband snap with different pulses. Some areas will experience these sensations more than others, but never should you feel so much pain that the procedure is intolerable.
When all 200 pulses have been done, your technician may have you sit with the cold air chiller for a few minutes to calm redness or any heat you feel. Your technician will also apply hydrocortisone to any needed sites and give you a post procedure kit to take home. Your treatment will take approximately 50-60 min.
What kind of results can I expect from a Matrix RF treatment?
Shortly after the treatment there will be moderate redness and some light swelling of the treated zone in square-shaped patterns the size of the treatment applicator. The redness should stop after a few hours, and the swelling should go down within 12-24 hours. You should apply the products given to you at your treatment as needed to moisturize the skin, and you should not use any aggressive products or a Clarisonic for a few days. This will help the healing process. As the sites continue to heal you may experience itchiness, which can be halted with a simple over-the-counter allergy pill if you desire or by applying hydrocortisone. Do not scratch, itch, or pick at the sites. After about 24-72 hours, you will notice small pin-point crusts in each ablated spot where the electrode pins of the treatment head contacted the skin. These will naturally exfoliate and can easily be covered with makeup.
The photo below demonstrates what your skin will look like after the treatment. This photo is taken one day after treatment. Over the next day or so, each pink spot will become a small crust which will exfoliate on its own.These sites are easily covered with makeup.
You should have realistic expectations and remember that multiple sessions will be necessary. Matrix RF results will continue to develop over the coming months, as new collagen is created. Each session will further ablate and resurface the skin, resulting in a reduction of wrinkles, skin laxity, textural irregularities, and scarring. Follow-up treatments will be needed in the future to maintain results and are offered at a discounted rate after the initial treatment package is completed. Most often people elect to have maintenance procedures done every 6-12 months.
How much does a Matrix RF treatment cost?
Matrix RF treatments are $600 per treatment for a single 200-pulse tip. Additional sites (such as the neck or chest or other area) can be added and prices may be reduced for each additonal tip used. After your inital treatment series of three is completed, maintenance priced treatments are offered at significantly reduced rates of $325 per session for a single 200-pulse tip.
Our prices are based upon our technicians' high level of experience, the care you receive, our value-added benefits, the direct supervision of a Board-certified dermatologist, and the consumable costs for our treatments. While other offices may offer different pricing structures, we are confident that you will not receive the same level of care from any other facility.