By Doctor Marie-Brigitte CHOUQUET
Based on monopolar radiofrequency coupled with ultrasounds, the BTL Exilis Elite is an ideal complement to anti-aging techniques such as filler injections, botulinum toxin or lasers. Today, it is an essential tool in the medical-aesthetic treatment of skin sagging.
For around twenty years, radiofrequency (RF) has been used in aesthetic medicine for its firming effect. Great progress has been made in terms of its safety and manageability.
The BTL Exilis Elite is the only RF device equipped with real-time monitoring that stops the device from working in the event of bad skin contact, thus preventing overheating. The technique has the added advantage of excellent tolerance. I explain to my patients that it is “their skin which does all the work”. In effect, the thermal stimulation of the RF results in the micro-inflammatory stimulation of the fibroblasts, which then leads to the synthesis of new collagen and new elastin, proteins which are vital for skin elasticity and tone.
I suggest this treatment as a first-line preventative measure in younger women (around 40 years of age), and as a second-line treatment in older patients, after we have recreated the facial support system using hyaluronic acid. I take great care not to over-correct the lines on the face with injections so as to preserve their natural appearance. By optimising the firming effect of the hyaluronic acid, the RF applied subsequently acts as an excellent complementary treatment.
The most common indications are in the lower third of the face: jowls, contour of the oval and expression lines. For the latter, I have noticed that RF treatments enable the patient to have less frequent hyaluronic acid injections. On the forehead, the device allows us to firm up the skin without blocking the expression lines in patients who have not had any botox. This is of particular interest to men. The BTL Exilis Elite also treats the peri-orbital area. This is important because there are very few products that can reduce skin sagging and fine lines on the lower eyelid, where the skin is very thin. Similarly, for the neck, RF joins injectable skinboosters as one of the few treatments available outside surgery.
As for all skin stimulation techniques, the time it takes for the results to be visible can vary. Most of my patients are completely satisfied with the results and say they have “better skin quality” and “firmer skin“, which ties in with the results of published studies (improvement to sagging skin in 92% of subjects three months after treatment. McDaniel et al. 2014). I suggest a yearly series of four sessions, carried out at 15-day intervals. Some patients spontaneously ask for a three-monthly top-up.
It is worth noting that the BTL Exilis Elite is suitable for all skin types: dark skin, Mediterranean, Asian, tanned… There is no need to worry about burning or secondary pigmentation. It is an ideal post-holiday treatment!
Doctor Marie-Brigitte CHOUQUET
After practising aesthetic medicine for 15 years in large establishments in London and Paris, Dr Marie-Brigitte Chouquet has treated patients in her own practice since 2014 (Paris 16, France). She has several specialist diplomas, including a university diploma in injection techniques for dermatology and plastic surgery (Paris V).