INFINI is the brand name of a machine that produces Radiofrequency energy and can deliver that energy through a special micro needle system into the deeper layers of the skin to rejuvenate skin, correct scarring and tighten and lift sagging skin.
What is Radiofrequency Energy?
Radiofrequency energy is a type of electric energy that consists of a very high frequency current in the millions of cycles per second called Mega Hertz (abbreviated as MHz). The term Radio Frequency (RF) has come to be used to describe very high frequency energy because the soundwaves used in radio broadcasting and communications are very high frequency.
Why does skin wrinkle and sag?
The skin consists of 2 main layers, the outer Epidermis and the inner Dermis. The Dermis is the supporting structure of skin and provides skin fullness, firmness and elasticity because of 2 main proteins, Collagen and Elastin and the sugar Hyaluronic Acid.
As we age the Dermis becomes thinner and the skin loses elasticity and sags because of reduced Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid levels. Not only is there a breakdown of existing Collagen and Elastin but new Collagen and Elastin are produced at a much slower rate as we get older. There is also a reduction in the quality of Collagen and Elastin with environmental factors playing a major role. For example studies have shown that UVB sun exposure increases the production of enzymes that can result in damage to Collagen and Elastin.
How does Radiofrequency improve skin?
Living tissue such as the skin, offers resistance to the passage of electric currents and when an electric current such as Radiofrequency energy meets resistance heat is generated. Radiofrequency energy has been used in medicine for over 70 years as a means of producing heat with multiple applications such as electrocautery.
It has been shown that heating up the deeper layers of the skin (Dermis) to a high enough temperature will create collagen contraction and a wound healing response which results in old and lax Collagen and Elastin fibres being replaced by fresher new Collagen and Elastin.
For the last 10 years various devices applying radiofrequency energy to the surface of the skin have been used to try and heat up the deeper layers of the skin with the aim of stimulating new collagen formation and hence reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Radiofrequency devices such as the THERMAGE which heat up the skin from the surface have had unpredictable results as many factors influence how much heat can get down to the deeper layers of the skin without burning the surface of the skin.
The big advancement in using Radiofrequency for wrinkle reduction and skin tightening came when it was combined with skin needling. By inserting fine needles into the skin and then sending the radiofrequency energy down the needle it enabled the energy to be accurately delivered to the desired depth and spared the surface of the skin from damage. The INFINI uses a series of insulated microneedles (0.2mm) to deliver radiofrequency energy up to 3.6mm below the skins surface.
What conditions can the INFINI treat?
A wide variety of conditions can be treated on both the face and body but in particular:
All types of scars can be treated but particularly acne scars and INFINI is especially safe in darker skin types.
Fine lines and wrinkles on the face, neck and around the eyes. Particularly good results can be achieved with cheek lines.
Loose skin can be tightened on the face (non surgical face lift) with neck and jawline being most popular. Other body areas such as chest, knees abdomen and arms can also be treated.
Skin will look fresher and revitalised by improving fine lines and wrinkles, reducing pore size and tightening.
Excessive sweating of the underarms can be permanently reduced by targeting the sweat glands.
Acute acne can be treated by targeting the sebaceous glands.
Whilst good improvement can be achieved in some patients results can be unpredictable and it remains one of the most difficult conditions to treat.
How long is the downtime?
The usual expectation is to have some downtime for about 48 hours after an INFINI treatment. There is some initial redness and swelling after the treatment, this reduces quite quickly in the first few hours then some residual redness typically lasts for about 2 days. There is a sun burn like sensation after treatment due to the heating beneath the skin and this also gradually dissipates over the first 48 hours.
There are no restrictions on activity after INFINI, but whilst sun exposure can occur immediately after treatment, it is generally advised to minimise sun exposure whilst the skin is red and feeling warm.
Some skin reaction can persist for several days longer after treatment in certain circumstances such as very sensitive skin types, when on certain medications, impaired immunity or if smokers. The use of phototherapy immediately after treatment with LED light, has been reported to reduce recovery time by as much as half, and is recommended if increased skin reaction is more likely, or if downtime needs to be kept to a minimum.
What does an INFINI treatment involve?
Topical anaesthetic cream is applied 60 minutes before treatment. During treatment a cooling machine (such as a Zimmer cooler) can be used but is not essential as the insulated needles used with the INFINI avoid heat damage to the surface of the skin. Treatment of a full face takes about 45 minutes and face and neck about 60 minutes. Each area is typically treated at different depths with 2 passes for each depth. There can be some pin point bleeding when the micro needles penetrate the skin and occasional bruising. After treatment a cold pack is used and then a soothing cream applied. Recovery time can be reduced by the use of a special LED light straight after treatment.
How soon are results seen after an INFINI treatment?
Typically some early improvement is seen due to Collagen contraction and tissue swelling then further gradual improvement continues to occur over the next few months. Full results take 4-6 months as this is how long it takes Collagen remodelling to be completed.
Most patients see improvement with only one treatment but optimal results in facial rejuvenation, skin tightening and Hyperhidrosis typically takes 3 treatments. It is important to remember that the INFINI is fractional technology, with areas of normal skin left surrounding the areas being treated to minimise downtime and side effects, and allow for rapid healing. These areas of untreated skin are targeted in subsequent treatments.
It is usual that the best results with acne scarring can take 5-6 treatments. The usual interval between INFINI treatments is 3-4 weeks, but they can be spaced further apart if necessary, and this will not adversely affect the final results. In facial rejuvenation and skin tightening it is usually recommended to have a follow up treatment every 12-18 months to maintain results.
What is the aftercare?
After treatment the skin can be cleaned with cool water and a soothing cream may be recommended. LYCOGEL, which is a breathable makeup, can be applied immediately after treatment, but we advise avoiding usual makeup for 48 hours. In the first 2 days it is also recommended that care should be used when touching the skin with dirty hands or towels. A gentle moisturiser (eg Cetaphil) can be used frequently, but alcohol based products should be avoided for at least 1 week. Shaving and showering can be recommenced the day after treatment.
Can INFINI be combined with other treatments?
The INFINI is an ideal treatment to combine with lasers because it is so targeted without damaging the surface of the skin. One example is in rejuvenation of sun damaged skin, we can treat with the INFINI to improve the elasticity and wrinkles followed with the 1927 FRAXEL Laser to treat surface pigmentation.
Topical treatments can also be combined with the INFINI. The micro needling creates an opening in the skin for topical products to penetrate and be more effective compared to when they are just applied to normal skin. Products that have been used successfully include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Growth factors and Hydroquinone.
Treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections are best not performed on the same day as INFINI if they are in the same area. The heat from the Radiofrequency can reduce the effectiveness of the anti-wrinkle injections and also tissue swelling after INFINI treatment can potentially result in migration of the anti-wrinkle product and unwanted side effects. Dermal fillers based on Hyaluronic Acid can also potentially be broken down more quickly if the INFINI is used in the same area.
How much does an INFINI treatment cost?
It depends on the area being treated but as a guide treatment usually starts from £650. Please note all prices quoted are per session.