There’s yet another weapon in the war on wrinkles.
Called Pelleve, the process uses radio-wave technology to induce heat into the skin, stimulating collagen growth to tighten skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
The technology was developed by Ellman International, a medical company in Oceanside, N.Y., that got its start making equipment for dental surgery.
Pelleve was granted FDA approval as a facial wrinkle reducer in May 2009, said Tom Harper, vice president of global marketing at Ellman. The equipment was initially used to stop bleeding during surgery, said Harper, adding that the treatment is now being used in well over 200 facilities in the country. “Patients seem to feel there’s a lot of value in the product, especially around the eyes and jawline,” he said.
WHAT TO EXPECT The doctor or technician will apply a protective gel, then run the handpiece over the area being treated. Patients generally report feeling a sensation of warmth. “It goes to a point where it feels very hot,” said cosmetic surgeon Amiya Prasad, one of several Long Island doctors using the treatment. “Most people tolerate it very well,” he added. No numbing or anesthesia is required (or desired since they want you to speak up if it gets too hot).
DOES IT WORK? “Pelleve has worked out to be a good service for our patients, for the person who is not quite ready for a face-lift,” Prasad said. Likewise, Greenvale dermatologist Deborah S. Sarnoff says patients have been happy with the procedure, which she often combines with Botox and fillers. “A Pelleve treatment is administered to improve overall skin laxity,” she said, “then I inject filler to areas that may need more volume and Botox to relax the dynamic wrinkles.”
Sarnoff says that, unlike other treatments, “patients see an immediate improvement,” though many doctors suggest two or three sessions for the best results.
HOW’S IT DIFFERENT? Pelleve differs from Thermage, another procedure that uses radio frequency, in that the handpiece can be moved back and forth over the skin, which doctors say allows them to more easily target problem areas.
COST Harper says costs vary widely. In this area, treating the entire face runs $1,500 to $2,000 a session; treating a single area (like the eyes) can run $500 to $1,000.
WHO SHOULD HAVE IT? Both Prasad and Sarnoff say the ideal Pelleve patient is someone with mild to moderate wrinkling or skin laxity, or someone who had a face-lift and wants to maintain the results.
By Barbara Schuler; Newsday, Tuesday, October 19, 2010