May 19, 2018

RF Skin Tightening Aftercare

Written by Dr Kate Jameson

Radio-frequency Fractional Skin Resurfacing (FSR) treatment

Thank you for attending Youth Lab for Radiofrequency Skin Tightening Treatment. Please take the time to carefully read your post-treatment instructions below.


  • Use only gentle cleansers, hyaluronic acid/hydrating or healing serums, gentle moisturisers, and SPF 30+ daily for 3 days. 
  • Avoid any heat or sweat inducing activities, including vigorous exercise for 24hrs.  
  • Do not use any AHA or BHA, exfoliants or acidic based products for 3 days (eg Glycolic, Lactic, Salicylic etc) – gentle exfoliation may be used after this time.
  • Do not use Vitamin A/Retinol products for 3 days (eg Retin A, Stieva A, Zorac etc)
  • Strictly avoid sun exposure for 14 days
  • Do not shave the area until sensitivity has subsided. 
  • Do not pick, pull or scratch the treated skin. This can lead to scarring, infection and pigment changes.
  • Avoid smoking/vaping for a minimum of 14 days. Smokers generally experience poorer healing and suboptimal results so cessation is recommended.


The listed below are all normal side effects and should self-resolve within a few days.

  • Swelling (mild) 
  • Redness 
  • Itching 
  • Rash 
  • Discomfort 
  • Purging / Breakouts 

More severe complications may include:

  • Itching or a rash that intensifies and is not resolved with antihistamines. 
  • Infection / HSV (cold sore) outbreak. Including; fevers, development of pus/oozing, worsening raised rashes.  
  • Blistering or broken skin. Please contact the clinic immediately. Keep the affected area moist and avoid direct sunlight. 
  • Possible allergic reaction

If you experience any of the above severe complications, please contact the clinic on or; (08) 9324 1604 (West Perth), (08) 9260 6800 (Claremont), (08) 9260 6880 (Joondalup) or  (08) 9260 6820 (Applecross) so we can arrange to examine the skin to ensure healing is adequate. 

For further information on how to manage these side effects, please see ‘Management’. 


Cold Sores

Cold Sore (HSV) outbreak in individuals who are susceptible is possible even for those who have not had an outbreak in a long time. 

Cold Sore Relief

  • It is recommended these individuals take prophylactic antiviral medication available over the counter from their local pharmacy prior to and post-treatment.


Redness in the area of treatment is expected and can be combined with feeling hot and sensitive like a sunburn, this typically lasts several hours.

Redness relief

  • Keep the area cool / apply a cool compress. 


Swelling of the treated area can occur and is more likely in those prone to asthma, allergies, increased sensitivities or taking certain medications may be more likely to experience swelling post-treatment. Swelling is temporary and often will subside within a few hours. It is not expected with RF skin tightening 

Swelling Relief

  • Apply a cool compress to the area for 10 minutes every hour on treatment day.
  • Take an antihistamine (e.g. 10mg loratadine)
  • Try sleeping on your back, slightly elevated, to prevent pressure build-up on the face 


If you experience an irritated raised rash after treatment contact the clinic. Antihistamines may be taken to help relieve the itchiness.

Urticaria, itching or hive-like appearance, is associated with the thermal energies or light affecting the surrounding skin. This will subside within a few hours to days. 

Urticaria Relief

  • Take an antihistamine (e.g. 10mg loratadine)

Blisters and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation 

If the skin is broken or a blister appears, contact the clinic immediately. Keep the affected area moist and avoid direct sunlight. Delayed blistering secondary to sun exposure has been noted up to 72 hours post-treatment.

Strictly avoid any sun exposure to the treated area for a minimum of 14 days after the procedure. The controlled damage in the epidermal layer reduces the skin’s natural defence mechanisms and may cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and as a result, the treated area is more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change.

Blisters Relief

  • An antibiotic cream may be advised by your practitioner if required. 
  • Protective ointments and repair cream, advised specifically by your practitioner, are to be used for comfort and healing.  
  • Avoid sun exposure. Keep the area covered and use SPF 50+. 
  • Avoid any excessive heat such as steam as this may also stimulate an inflammatory response. 


How long until I see results?

Depending on your individual treatment program and skin concerns a course of treatments will be recommended by your practitioner.

An immediate contraction of existing collagen and elastin fibres can be visible immediately post treatment resulting in a plump and contoured look to the area. This initial contraction is temporary with one off treatments and can last 7-10 days, however with ongoing treatments deeper, longer lasting collagen stimulation will begin to occur with improvements in the skin often visible following the second and third treatments. Over the course of treatments, the improvements will begin to become evident with the noticeable tightening of the skin and a reduction in wrinkles. 

Results will continue for 3 to 6 months with a significant improvement in skin quality as new and healthy collagen forms. Even after completion of treatment, the skin will continue to improve. Maintenance sessions will be required to maintain results and mitigate ongoing intrinsic ageing factors.

When should I get another treatment? 

The number of treatments required will vary from client to client and your practitioner will personalise a treatment plan based on the level of improvement you desire. 

Although one treatment is beneficial, a series of treatments is recommended. The recommended treatment course is 6 treatments performed every 2 weeks. 

After the initial treatment series, periodic maintenance may be advised (depending upon condition/s treated), for example a series of 3 treatments spaced 2 weeks apart can be performed every 6 months as a maintenance regime.. Other treatment modalities may also be incorporated. 

Please contact the clinic on (08) 9324 1604 (West Perth), (08) 9260 6800 (Claremont), (08) 9260 6880 (Joondalup) or (08) 9260 6820 (Applecross)  if you have any questions about your treatment or aftercare instructions.