Can a new treatment using broadband light energy to heat skin collagen and stimulate regenerative processes be this year’s beauty booster?
By industry staff
Long winter months exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles, pure and simple. The dry, warm indoor conditions that we spend a disproportionate time living in dry us out, a circumstance compounded by the fact that outdoor winter air tends to be less humid than that of summer, and that the frequent showering we do—thinking it will help—actually strips skin of its essential oils. The results are dry, red, flaky, and often painful areas, and a likely exacerbation of any sagging skin we might have been experiencing prior.
As spring winds into summer, then, finding ways to unspool winter’s effects takes on something approaching urgency, and the first recourse should always be non-surgical solutions. A recent arrival in the category is SkinTyte, which uses broadband light energy delivered through a handheld device to heat dermal collagen; in the process, a partial denaturation and contraction of collagen occurs and the body’s natural healing process is engaged—with results that can include tightening and lifting of the brow, the crow’s feet area, under the eye, under the chin, and on the neck, but without disturbing the surface of the skin.
“SkinTyte uses advanced infrared light technology to heat the collagen deep in your skin,” explained Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Roman Rayham, M.D. “At the same time, it protects its surface with a sophisticated cooling element, adding that the protection is such that no anesthetic is required, with patients typically feeling nothing more than a slight warming sensation.
“Collagen is the main protein found in the skin and other connective tissues, and is used by the body to create the latticework that forms the foundation of the skin,” said Rayham, who is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. “Over time, however, that latticework can break down and loosen due to exposure to UV rays, pollution, and other environmental influences. Age, poor diet, and stress also damage and distort tissues. The body produces less collagen as we age, too, so we have fewer resources for repair and restoration. SkinTyte stimulates the collagen in skin, and then the body’s own natural healing processes help repair and tighten it again.”
The results of a 2010 study help bear those observations out. As conducted by the staff of, and reported in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, “clinical research of [the SkinTyte] device shows tissue tightening,” owing to its “utilizing light energy in the range of 800 to 1400nm. It works through a sophisticated cooling mechanism as well, with pre- and post-cooling during the actual treatment.”
“The procedure takes only about 30 minutes, and there is no downtime,” said Rayham. “You can immediately return to your daily activities. Full results take up to four months, however, as collagen is repaired, strengthened, and rebuilt, but gradually, you notice tighter skin, with reduced fine lines and wrinkles, increased definition of the jaw line, and softening of the lines around the mouth and eyes,” adding that its areas of applicability in his practice have expanded to include stretch marks, cellulite, upper arms, and saggy abdominal skin.
An important precaution taken after treatment is to be scrupulous in protecting treated skin from sun exposure for a period of several weeks, but that aside, side effects are minimal, said Rayham.
“Patients understand that this non-surgical treatment is not a substitute for a surgical facelift or body lift,” reads a white paper from the Palo Alto Company Sciton (of which SkinTyte is a subsidiary) by Marie DiLauro M.D. a Columbus, Ohio-based physician who specializes in cosmetic dermatology, laser, and liposuction procedures. “But non-invasive skin firming treatments can produce moderate but noticeable results in lax skin on the face and body.”
“When lotions and creams and facial exercises aren’t enough, a procedure like this means people don’t have to settle,” said Rayham. “But a personal consultation is always the best way to see if will work for you.”
RR Plastix New York Plastic Surgery Center
Offices in Manhattan, New York City, Brooklyn, and Staten Island
877.582.0400 / rrplastix.com