What is It?
Aluma™ is a radiofrequency skin rejuvenation procedure designed to improve skin laxity and texture. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States in 2005, it delivers pulses of heat from radio waves to the underlying layers of the skin without damaging the skin’s surface layer. The heat then stimulates the formation of new collagen, which plumps and tightens the skin, giving it a smoother, more youthful appearance. Aluma is used to help correct lax skin on many facial areas (such as the jowls, forehead, and around the eyes) as well as elsewhere on the body (such as the neck, abdomen, knees, and arms).
Aluma differs from Thermage, the other major radiofrequency rejuvenation technology, in that it uses suction to gently pull up folds of skin into a chamber where the radiofrequency energy is applied. The heat, therefore, passes through only the skin in the folds. This technique enables the physician to more accurately restrict the heat to the layer of skin being treated. As a result, some patients report that Aluma is less painful than Thermage.
The Aluma procedure is typically performed without any anesthesia. The device’s handpiece is placed on the part of the skin to be treated. A vacuum within the handpiece folds the skin, creating tight contact, and positions the dermis in alignment with the path of the radiofrequency energy. The purpose is to create heat stimulus within the dermis, leading to collagen contraction and creation.
Any Downtime or Side Effects?
How long your treatment takes will depend on the size of the area being treated, but most sessions last well under an hour and often as little as 15 minutes. Other than some minor swelling, side effects from the procedure are rare. You’ll be able to return immediately to your normal acitivities.
For Aluma to be truly effective, more than one treatment session is usually required. Your physician will recommend the treatment series that will be right for you, but, typically, such a series involves 4 to 6 weekly sessions.
How Long Do the Results Last?
It’s important to understand that the results from Aluma and other radiofrequency treatments are not dramatic. Nor do the results become visible immediately. You’ll notice the improvement gradually, over the course of a few weeks or months.
Aluma’s collagen-enhancing effects are long-lasting, but eventually they’ll diminish and you’ll need further treatment.