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What is Aluma and who is a candidate for the procedure?

Aluma is a cosmetic treatment that uses radio frequency technology to treat loose skin and wrinkles. While it is primarily used on areas of the face and neck, the procedure may also be performed on other parts of the body like the abdomen, arms and legs.

This procedure is particularly useful because it can safely be used on the delicate skin around the eyes, unlike laser treatments that run the risk of damaging the retina if they are used too closely to the eye itself.

Aluma works by going beyond the surface of the skin to effectively treat the lower dermis and promote the production of collagen. The treatment is completely non-invasive, without the need for needles, medication or recovery time. The result is skin that looks and feels tighter and smoother, and will continue to appear so for some time after the treatments are complete.

While Aluma is not considered a permanent solution to the aging process, treatments generally last much longer than other types of anti-aging treatments like Botox. Due to the unit's simplicity, practitioners are able focus on patient comfort and the results of each treatment.

The ideal candidates for the Aluma procedure are individuals wishing to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and create a firmer, tighter skin appearance. However, due to the nature of this procedure, those seeking a dramatic change to their appearance may not see immediate results with Aluma since the benefits are more gradual in nature and won't have the dramatic effect that surgical procedures might.

What are the benefits of Aluma?

Aluma offers many benefits to patients that are seeking to improve the appearance of their skin through non-surgical methods. First, the treatment is very precise and safe, allowing doctors to work on a wider range of areas, including the fragile skin around the eyes. It can also be used to treat larger areas, such as the arms or abdominal region, because the procedure is virtually painless and there are no side effects associated with treatment.

Aluma is performed as an outpatient procedure, without injections or anesthesia of any kind. The treatments are generally painless, risks are minimal and recovery time is unnecessary. The positive results of Aluma treatments will also continue to be seen over a period of months, and the benefits will last much longer than those provided by other types of cosmetic procedures. Aluma is also considered to be safe for all skin types and colors.

How does the procedure work and what is the recovery like?

Aluma is usually performed right in the office of a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, and the entire process generally takes less than an hour. If a larger area of the skin is targeted for treatment, sessions may last longer.

Sessions begin by cleansing the targeted area and applying a conductive lotion that increases the effectiveness of the machine. The hand piece will then be used to suction areas of skin so that radio frequency waves can be sent underneath the skin's surface. As the underlying areas of dermis are affected by the waves, collagen production is stimulated, resulting in smoother, tighter skin with fewer wrinkles in sight.

Because the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis, remains untouched by radio frequency waves, there is no need for a recovery time after the procedure. All of the work is done below the skin's surface so that patients may return to normal activities right away. There is also little or no discomfort associated with the procedure, both during treatment and afterward, although some patients report a slight warming sensation as the radio frequency waves go to work.

In some cases, a bit of mild swelling might occur in the treated area, but this is probably due more to the suction process than the radio frequency waves themselves. The lack of a recovery time is one of the biggest draws to the Aluma procedure, because patients can schedule a treatment over a lunch hour and return to work for the afternoon.

What are the risks involved with Aluma?

While there is a degree of risk with any medical procedure, the risks involved with Aluma are minimal and rare. To help reduce risk even further, patients should ensure that the physician they choose is experienced with the Aluma machine and have a proven track record with previous cosmetic procedures and patients. A patient should also follow post-treatment instructions to reduce risk and ensure success with the Aluma procedure.

How much do Aluma treatments generally cost?

The average cost of an Aluma session is $250-$300. However, most patients will require multiple Aluma sessions to reap the full benefit. The most common number of treatments required is around six, with sessions once a week until the desired results are achieved. In some cases, patients may require even more.

It is important to discuss the procedure and treatment requirements, so that patients can plan accordingly from a scheduling and financing standpoint. Most insurance companies will not cover cosmetic procedures, so it is important that patients have a financing plan in place prior to scheduling their first treatment. Many physicians will provide finance options, and some lending institutions also offer loans specifically for cosmetic purposes.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By Anti-Aging Staff
Updated: November 18, 2008

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