By Gil Cortes, MD, FAAD
Most of us wouldn’t mind having perfectly glowing, blemish and wrinkle-free skin — but we all know getting it is not always easy. When we hear of a treatment that could help us obtain our perfect skin goals, naturally we want to know more. Welcome to improving your skin with sublative rejuvenation.
Though sublative rejuvenation started gaining traction over five years ago, compared to microdermabrasion, lasers and light treatments, sublative treatments are fairly new — and still kind of a mystery. Let’s change that, shall we?
So what is it?
In short, sublative rejuvenation is an alternative to harsher treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Instead of using light or lasers, sublative rejuvenation uses radio frequency technology in an effort to tighten skin, erase fine lines, shrink large pores and heal previous acne scarring. Some have also found it helpful in the battle against stretch marks. Even though sublative treatments don’t involve lasers, they are designed to resurface the skin, simulating the same effects of various similar laser treatments.
Sublative rejuvenation is a significant improvement over short-lived results of microcurrent facials at salons and spas. They are safer, less invasive and give much more dramatic results.
How it works
According to a 2014 press release from Syneron Medical Ltd., the typical sublative protocol consists of three to five treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart. After going through the treatments, Syneron Medical claims patients can expect tone and texture improvements as a result of increased levels of collagen and elastin and new healthy skin cells.
The treatment works by depositing energy into the skin to initiate a healing response without disrupting the epidermis or outer skin layer. The fractional energy used to break through the skin in sublative rejuvenation avoids damage to the top skin layer or epidermis, but channels more energy into the deeper dermis layer of the skin, to stimulate collagen production without risking scarring, hyperpigmentation or other side effects, at times seen with traditional laser treatments. This makes it safe and effective for all skin types.
The ability to benefit from sublative rejuvenation regardless of your skin type is a huge bonus. This is a way to rejuvenate skin without worrying — from light skin to dark skin and dry to sensitive to oily and everything in between, everyone is a candidate for the treatment.
The pain factor
Reviews of pain with sublative rejuvenation procedures have been done, and the verdict is in: This treatment is not painless. Most patients, however, find the pain to be bearable.
“The numbing cream they apply lasts about 1 minute after they wipe it off,” wrote one sublative reviewer. “At first it felt like tiny little needles jabbing my face, kind of like a tattoo feeling. After the numbing cream wore off, I could start to feel the heat from the laser, and omg. It wasn’t ‘I’m going to die’ pain but it hurt. My eyes watered and I winced every time she hit me with the laser. After it was done, she applied ice packs, that was the best feeling in the world.”
Another patient gave completely different reviews after she went through the treatment at The National Laser Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, and details a totally positive experience.
“The irritation you experience during the procedure feels similar to a dull tingly feeling, and my skin glowed with a slightly irritated pink for about 48 hours,” Luther said. “The good news was that makeup could be applied the next morning, so I scheduled an after-work appointment, gave my skin the night off, and then it was business as usual the very next day.”
Sublative treatments aren’t cheap. Prices vary depending on what combination of treatments you choose, but you can expect to be charged anywhere between $525 and $1,600 per treatment for eMatrix (which is one of the most popular brands of sublative around). If you do the full round of five treatments, the bill can add up.
Is it worth the money?
Obviously, everyone has a unique experience when it comes to skin treatments, and sublative is no different. Reviews range from total raves to angry patients who didn’t see a difference.
“Been using same doctor for years, He convinced me to try this Sublative procedure for my under-eye issues and slight wrinkles. After 3 procedures since August, I have been very impressed. Skin is tighter, tone is better and I appear more rested!” wrote a 50-year-old patient.
“I had one treatment each month for a period of 5 months. It has been a year since I received my last treatment and there has been zero improvement. I spent a total of $4,900 for these 5 treatments,” another patient reported in a review.
However, of 121 reviews on RealSelf, 93 percent gave eMatrix a “worth it” rating, which isn’t a bad batting average. All in all, sublative rejuvenation might be worth looking into. Because of its relative affordability and quick recovery time, Its slowly becoming the Friday afternoon skin rejuvenation treatment of choice.
Watch a procedure being performed in the video section of Novudermatology.com to find out more.
Gil Cortes, MD, FAAD
Practice Owner & Dermatologist
Rolling Oaks Professional Plaza
929 N. US Hwy 441 Suite 603
Lady Lake, FL 32159
eMatrix Skin Rejuvenation
By Gil Cortes, MD, FAAD