The old adage “It hurts to be beautiful” need not apply any more for people wanting to look younger and thinner.
A new innovative procedure for body contouring, skin tightening and wrinkle and cellulite reduction offers people a painless alternative to cosmetic surgery.
The procedure, which utilizes TriPollar radio frequency (RF) technology, was invented by Dr. Zion Azar, an Israeli physicist based in Tel Aviv.
Azar – who has been in the field of aesthetics for more than 30 years – is president of Pollogen Ltd., the company that developed and markets the RF cosmetic technology. He spoke about the use of RF technology in aesthetics in a recent telephone interview.
Azar noted that RF technology, which transmits electrical currents into the skin, has been used in surgery to stop bleeding for about 75 years.
The RF technology doesn’t affect the skin’s surface, but rather the currents penetrate the inner layers of the skin and treat fat and collagen fibres, he explained.
These currents stimulate the body’s natural collagen renewal system, which tightens the skin. They also shrink fat cells, thus reducing the circumference of areas such as the buttocks, thighs and abdomen.
Azar stressed that the TriPollar system isn’t painful because the electric currents hit below the surface of the skin. The area has less nerves than the outer skin layer.
He noted that you don’t feel any pain, because with TriPollar technology, there are multiple points of contact rather than a single point on the skin surface, which would be more intense and painful.
“The patients in the clinic say that the treatment is very pleasant. You can also see the results immediately after the first treatment.”
Azar, who has been a co-partner in the aesthetics industry with fellow physicist Pina Shalev since 1982, started out developing laser technology.
He said laser treatment is not recommended for dark-pigmented skin. “I wanted a treatment method that would be colour blind. Radio frequency technology does not know skin colour. Fat cells are the same for all creeds.”
In 2006, he and Shalev developed the TriPollar system, which is now being used in 60 countries worldwide. It has been available in Europe since 2007 and in Canada, Asia and Australia since 2008. This spring, the system will be introduced in the United States.
“We were waiting for the economy to improve before going to the U.S,” Azar said.
The TriPollar system is mostly used by plastic surgeons, dermatologists and physicians who take special courses in aesthetics.
The results of TriPollar treatment – the usual course is once a week for six weeks – are not as dramatic as plastic surgery, Azar said.
For younger women in their mid-40s, the TriPollar treatment for wrinkles and sagging skin “can postpone the need for cosmetic surgery. The ideal age is 38 to 45, when you first start to see signs of aging. Depending on the person’s skin, he or she can return for maintenance treatment every six months or once every year or two.”
Generally, six weeks of treatment can take 10 years off someone’s age, Azar said. “A 73-year-old woman cannot expect to look 50 again.
“If you are not willing to go under the knife, this is an effective alternative to plastic surgery.”
The procedure for reducing the appearance of cellulite and/ or body circumference also takes six treatments. “You can lose two inches off your tummy or thigh circumference. But if you’re going to go to McDonald’s every day, it’s not going to last.”
Azar recommended returning every two or three months to keep up the results. “If your pants are not fitting the same, you’d better come back.”
If one is exercising and leading a healthy life, TriPollar treatment is effective. However, he stressed that the treatment is not for obese people.
By targeting certain areas of the body, such as love handles, double chins and saddle bags, the treatment can reduce the size of fat cells.
“We can’t change genetics. If your body stores fat in certain places, it means that you are genetically programmed to store fat in those places.
“Men store fat in the tummy area, but they don’t have cellulite. But about 80 to 90 per cent of women have cellulite.
“It’s a simple fat that changes the structure of the skin. You can see the bumps of fat. They get enlarged and they push the skin upwards. We can’t get rid of cellulite.”
RF treatment can reduce the appearance of the cellulite, Azar said. “We can change the appearance of cellulite from a Grade 3 to a Grade 1.”
However, as women age the cellulite can also change. If you have Grade 5 cellulite, the treatment is not going to help you too much. It can reduce it to a Grade 3 maybe.
“We cannot reduce the cellulite to zero, because we cannot change nature.”
Physicians in the GTA using the TriPollar system include Dr. Deborah Fisher (416-929-0373) and Dr. Padma Jain (416-495-8547). To locate other physicians visit www. sigmacon.com.