Accent™ RadioFrequency (RF) energy treatment is technology for non-surgical skin tightening for either face or body for the early signs of loose or sagging skin; ideal for those people who either don’t want, or don’t believe they are old enough to have a surgical procedure.
Accent™ is primarily used to treat skin laxity by facial tightening, and is best suited to patients with mild to moderate sagging of facial tissues, usually those in their mid 30s to 50s, of all skin tones and colour. It is commonly used to treat the forehead, under the eyes, cheeks, mid-face, jaw line, and neck. However, the Accent skin tightening treatment can be used to treat other areas of the body such as underarms (bingo wings), buttocks, chest, stomach, back, hips, knees, flanks, thighs, mild cellulite.
In simple terms Accent uses radio frequency energy (RF) that causes the water molecules in your tissues to twist and vibrate. This motion causes friction, which in turn creates heat at very specific areas deep in your skin and the superficial layers of fat generating a focused wound healing response that can take 4-6 months to complete. This realigns and regenerates the collagen in your skin to improve aging and sagging, resulting in fresher, younger feeling looking skin.
The Accent™ device provides controlled radiofrequency energy by using two types of hand pieces, a Unipolar one for deep (up to 20 mm) penetration and a bipolar one for more superficial (2-6 mm) penetration of the Radiofrequency energy. The Unipolar hand piece can improve and treat the appearance of cellulite by tightening the underlying tissues, improving the blood circulation and drainage of the fatty deposits to the lymphatic system. This ultimately results in fatty acid decomposition or breakdown and heat-induced fat cell death. The Bipolar hand piece penetrates less deeply into the tissue and is therefore more useful in facial areas such as the temples and jawline, where controlled heating at a more superficial level is required thereby avoiding any deeper more sensitive areas. By applying the RF Bipolar energy at a higher radiofrequency of 40 MHz (compared to 6 MHz with ThermaCool™ from Thermage or 1 MHz with Elos™ devices from Syneron), the Accent™ promotes controlled and pain free (for most people) heating of the skin in the treatment areas, with subsequent contraction of the collagen tissue and a tightening of the skin.
The Accent device generally tightens, smooths and re-contours your skin from the inside out, leading to improved skin firmness and texture. In addition Accent can also help reduce and re-contour fatty areas in various parts of the body. It can work on virtually any part of the body. As a result, Accent™ treatment applications include: Cellulite treatment; Fat reduction on the arms, abdomen, buttocks and legs; Skin tightening on the face, arms, abdomen, buttocks and legs; Complete body contouring; Pre liposuction skin tightening; Post liposuction smoothing and skin tightening; Lipoma (benign tumour composed of fat tissue) treatment.
It is important to note that although Accent can lead to superficial and volumetric changes in your tissues and therefore a reduction of size in a given area, Accent is not a weight-loss program and it will not significantly alter your weight.
Anyone who has signs of aging or sagging skin is a candidate for Accent. The best candidates are in good health, have good health habits and typically take good care of their skin. Furthermore for patients who would like slight to modest body re-contouring using non-surgical means Accent can be considered.
As long as you are generally healthy and don't have any skin diseases or infections in the area treated, there are few medical reasons why patients should not undergo this treatment. Although there is no proof that this treatment could harm pregnant women, we suggest you come in after the pregnancy. Anyone with electrical devices in their body, such as pacemakers should not have this treatment. Moreover patients with metal implants and metal joint replacements should also not have treatments directly over these implants. Treatment for patients 15-18 years of age requires parental consent. Furthermore, until clearer studies have been conducted it is advisable not to have treatment in any area recently treated with dermal filler products, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid (Restylane).
Although Lasers and many other light-emitting devices are often restricted for use in only lighter skin types, due to its different energy source, Accent can safely be used on any skin type.
When you arrive, we'll talk to you about your medical history, your expectations for the procedure and what you'll experience before, during and after the Accent Your Body procedure. We'll also answer any last-minute questions you might have, before we get started. We'll then prepare the area accordingly by defining the extent of the treated area and take some photographs for your records. Depending on the area to be treated you'll either be being seated comfortably or lying down.
Depending on the area to be treated will likely be marked into grids with a special pencil and then lubricated with thin layer of approved oil. A reading on the skin surface temperature will then be taken using a laser guided thermometer to assist the practitioner in assessing the heating effect that the RF energy is producing. The device hand piece is then moved rhythmically around the area. At first, it will feel cold (due to its tips being chilled), but slowly it will start to feel warm. Regular temperature checks will follow to ensure that the correct degree of heating is being obtained in the treated area, and to ensure that a uniform delivery of the RF energy is being maintained. After treatment, the oil will be gently removed from the skin surface and the area dried. No aftercare cooling is required but you may wish to moisturise the skin afterwards. You will then be able to go about your daily routine immediately afterwards.
Most patients find it reasonably comfortable and even relaxing. By applying the RF at a higher frequency of 40 MHz (compared to 6 MHz with the Thermacool™ from Thermage or the 1 Mhz with Syneron's Elos™), the Accent® provides controlled and virtually pain free heating of the skin, with subsequent contraction of collagen tissue leading to tightening of the skin. Although it is possible to use a topical anaesthetic cream beforehand, most patients choose not to, and describe the treatment as a 'comfortably warm' sensation overall.
Each zone takes just a couple of minutes to reach the ideal temperature. Following this, and depending on the area treated, the whole procedure takes anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. As a guideline for body treatments, a treatment session can be expected to last about 15-40 minutes.
Generally speaking there is no downtime with this treatment and you could return to your normal activities the same day. You may however find the skin appears pink or red and puffy for a few hours to a few days however this is generally quite mild. The skin may also be slightly tender such as it would be after a mild sunburn however this is easily soothed with some cool compresses or a very mild painkiller.
In general we recommend that you drink at least 8-10 cups of water for the first three days following the treatment. In order to avoid overheating the treated skin tissue at depth, you should not wash the treated area with hot water for 24 hours and avoid hot baths (use lukewarm water only) or saunas for three days after the treatment. For the same reason, it is also recommended to avoid excessive exercise for a couple of days after the treatment as this can increase your skin temperature.
Depending on the area, or areas, it is usually recommended once every 3 weeks with an average of 8 sessions for a body treatment programme. This may be followed by a maintenance session in 1-3 months time. For facial skin tightening, it is recommended to have a course of 4 sessions (once every 3 weeks).
Generally, you should see some improvements after the third treatment, however you'll notice more major improvements after 6-8 sessions. You must also remember that any skin tightening and body contouring continues for up to four to six months after treatments conclude. This is because collagen and tissue remodelling has a 'lag' phase and continues long after the heat therapy is finished.
We recommend you maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, drink plenty of water and engage in an appropriate level of exercise. In order to maintain the treatment results, we highly recommend you also apply a moisturising cream to the treatment area every day.
Generally speaking there are minimal risks and side effects if performed by qualified staff. The use of Radiofrequency (RF) has been used safely and effectively in medicine for over 75 years and the Accent represents one of the newer and more precise uses of RF available. However the use of any RF device may cause any of the following: Discomfort during or immediately after the treatment. Any discomfort is expected to be mild, and should disappear within a few minutes. Mild redness of the skin may appear in the treated area, which is likely to disappear within 24 hours. A feeling of dry skin may occur during the first 12 hours post-treatment. It usually disappears within 48 hours. Lubrication of the skin with aloe-vera can be helpful. In very rare circumstances it is possible to suffer from a skin burn. However by monitoring your skin temperature and listening to feedback from the patient regarding comfort levels this possibility is extremely unlikely.
Surgery of course is still probably the gold standard to achieve skin tightening and fat reduction. Although surgery does have its limitations it most certainly works, but there are of course potential drawbacks such as the need for recovery, healing period, potential complications, scars and increased expense. Other light-based, Ultrasound (Ultherapy) Laser or other Radio Frequency Devices can also work well to achieve non-surgical tightening and each one has its indications and usefulness. For the appropriate indications however the Accent RF treatment works very well. Other forms of Collagen induction therapy like Micro-needling can also bring about improvements in skin tightening and skin texture appearance although may require one to two days downtime in some instances.
Patients have to remember that whilst we can often reverse the appearance of aging we can't stop the aging process altogether! Depending on the area treated, and your lifestyle following treatment, your new look can last several months or even longer. Keep in mind that your skin will continue to improve for six months following your last treatment. We do encourage you however to come back for a touch up, 9-12 months afterwards if you ever feel you need one.
According to some studies as well as the manufacturer of the device, results are said to last for anything from 6 months to up to 2 years or more following facial tightening treatments. However due to the ageing process as well as various other factors such as genetics, diet, smoking, sun exposure, alcohol consumption etc., ongoing maintenance will probably be required more frequently for older people and for those with poor skin quality to begin with. Use of sun protection and other proper skin treatments will also help maintain skin tautness. Similarly, following body contour treatments the improvement in the skin quality is also said to be long lasting. Nonetheless keeping body contours in check is also subject to a person's diet, caloric intake, exercise and lifestyle. We must also bear in mind that fat cells have the capability of expanding to 500 times their size if caloric intake is sufficient. Therefore regular exercise and a balanced diet are crucial and imperative to maintain improvements in cellulite and fat reduction and to keep our body contours in good shape.
As with most things in life you simply cannot get major results in anything with minimal inputs. The same of course applies with the Accent treatments. Like any cosmetic treatments, the satisfaction levels after any treatment are directly related to expectation levels. Whilst this form of treatment is exciting and works well, it is not a direct replacement to more invasive forms of treatment like say, surgery. Therefore expectation levels need to be adjusted and set accordingly. Skin tightening on the face with the Accent, although good can never be directly compared to that achieved with the power of a surgical facelift. Of course neither do you have the expense or downtime of a facelift! The same applies to the body contour module of the Accent. It simply cannot directly compare with the immediacy, magnitude and costs of results seen in effective forms of Liposuction. Nor will it meaningfully tighten skin that is plagued with large amounts of stretch marks and obvious loss of elasticity. In these situations, surgical skin removal, with the ensuing scars is the only realistic solution. At your initial consultation, we will advise you accordingly as to the benefits and limitations of any treatment so that you can set your expectations accordingly.
1 Session £200, 3 Sessions £540, 6 Sessions £1,000
For my first Velashape III treatment, Maxine made me feel really comfortable and explained exactly how the treatment would go and any after-effects I might have (I have had none). The process was smooth and painless and actually kind of relaxing. Most importantly, I can already see a MAJOR difference on the cellulite on my legs and butt. I am seriously impressed!
Karolina is always a joy to work with - kind, considerate and very professional and creating an aura of trust. She makes the Ulthera treatment painless and that's not an easy task!