Online Exclusives

On Your Marks

By Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor | June 13, 2013

Sublative skin rejuvenation, acne scar treatment.

Skin imperfections surely  have an impact on self confidence, but a variety of issues often keep consumers from seeking treatment. Individuals considering invasive treatment are often inhibited by a number of factors including, cost, anticipated downtime, discomfort and side effects.

Now, say industry experts, there’s more options for wary consumers. Dr. Shimon Eckhouse, co-founder, Syneron, and co-developer of the proprietary Elos technology on which Syneron’s aesthetic medical devices are based, discussed the newest approach to skin rejuvenation and acne scar treatment, Sublative, describing both the mechanics of the process, as well as the reasons why individuals need not be inhibited by cost, pain or downtime.
At a press event in New York City last month, Dr. Eckhouse explained that Sublative is neither laser- nor light-based. Instead, the technology uses fractionated bi-polar radio frequency (RF), precisely directed to the skin in the form of a matrix. Healthy skin around the matrix dots accelerates the healing process, ultimately enabling the skin to return to a smooth, healthy state. Syneron, which develops, sells and supports energy-based devices that treat everything from leg veins and cellulite, to acne and hair removal, has zeroed in on the specifics of rejuvenation and acne scar repair with its latest product.
“When we talk about sublative rejuvenation, we are treating aging skin, skin laxity, visible lines and wrinkles, and overall deterioration in skin tone and texture,” explained Eckhouse. “The goal is to achieve a more compact, younger dermal matrix, a homogenous epidermis, and overall smooth surface.”
Sublative technology creates a minor injury on the surface of the skin, which ultimately enables the skin to come back to a healthy, smooth state. This is essentially a wound healing response. Very small electrode points are applied to the skin, utlizing a small amount of energy, and creating a slight injury to the surface of the skin, and it then conducts the thermal energy below the skin. It is a small disruption of the outer surface, with a stronger heating below the surface, which effectively targets the skin’s imperfections.
According to Dr. Eckhouse, sublative technology offers several advantages, including affordable cost to patients and doctors, treatment of skin laxity, wrinkles, and improved texture, and added brightness and luminosity for the skin. He adds that for acne, one can have laser resurfacing done, but that this technology, Sublative, is different, as it requires less downtime, reduces acne scars, and improves tone and texture. It is also claimed to reduce orbital wrinkles and lines, is long-lasting, and with the suggested regimen of three treatments, 4-6 weeks apart, patients are said to see a marked difference in the skin, including new collagen and healthy skin cell production, and a smoother, more elastic skin texture.
The Concept of Skinhibition
Skinhibition, said Dr. Eckhouse, is the name given to the sublative effect of the procedure, as it is intended to assure the patient that they can get rid of their skin inhibitions and reticence about going for a procedure.
 “The challenge today is finding the sweet spot for ridding yourself of lines and wrinkles,” said Dr. Thomas E. Rohrer, a board-certified dermatologist at Skincare Physicians of Chestnut Hill, MA, and a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, who joined Eckhouse in the presentation. “With every advance of technology, we get closer and closer to this, and we now can make changes and get dramatic results without all the downtime and with minimal epidermal disruption.”
He noted that, with age, collagen breaks down and loses contact with the fibroblasts, causing skin to lose elasticity and tone. This technology is designed to address this situation in the skin.
Dr. Rohrer provided a brief history of skin rejuvenating procedures, beginning with the ablative resurfacing lasers used in the 90s. These removed the epidermis and superficial dermis, and healing occurred in the epithelial layers. The procedure also required considerable downtime, and there were occasional scarring issues. Later, fractional resurfacing and non-ablative fractional resurfacing proved to be an improvement over the ablative procedure. This was followed by fractional CO2 technology; and now, the sublative technique, with its direct contact radio frequency.
“This makes a little mark in the surface of the skin and creates a maximized result in the dermis,” said Dr. Rohrer, who noted that the pins used are really contact points, enabling negative charge to flow back to the contact area. A typical procedure lasts 15-25 minutes, with most patients opting for 3-5 treatments, 4-6 weeks apart.
Some patients report a warm sensation as energy enters the skin, and following treatment there may be pink or red flush resembling minor sunburn. Topical anesthetic ointments and cooling gels may be used to reduce discomfort during treatment; unlike light-based corrective treatments, Sublative is said to work on all skin types.
Clinical results include skin tightening, improvements in texture and pigment, and a reduction of wrinkles, acne scarring and stretch marks. According to Rohrer, there is minimal dermal impact with maximal epidermal disruption. One of the unique advantages, said Rohrer, is that by creating a narrow corridor or conduit of application, the procedure has the ability to do things to impact the skin without irritating the melanocytes. This potentially eliminates darkening in the areas that have been treated. There is also no ionizing radiation, removing any chance of skin cancer.
“The beauty of this is making the skin heal itself,” said Dr. Eckhouse, adding, “We’re asking the skin to do a better job of keeping itself healthy, which is quite unique.”
A Psychological View
Jennifer R. Wolkin, PhD, a licensed psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, reiterated the emotional component that is often overlooked, but may be the most important aspect when it comes to procedures.
“It’s an emotional journey. While many women have a desire to look younger and stay youthful for their career and themselves, many expressed anxiety about treatments,” she observed. “Can they afford it? Will they see improvement? What will the downtime be?”
Dr. Wolkin suggested that there are trigger moments when women notice changes in their appearance and want to look more like themselves again. While many women seem to linger or never get past the doubtful phase, there is a hopeful phase; and this is when women are able to get over their anxieties and do something hopeful for their appearance. This concept ties into the creation of the term, skinhibition, when the desire to have more youthful looking skin is hampered by anxiety regarding side effects, cost, and outcome.
Dr. Eric S. Schweiger, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City, and director of the Clear Clinic, a dedicated treatment center with the sole focus of treating acne and acne scars, demonstrated the procedure to attendees. According to Dr. Schweiger, treatments are customized for the particular scarring conditions for which patients seek treatment. He noted the classification of scars resulting from acne, including Rolling Scars and Hypertrophic Keloid scars, adding that the Sublative technology has been useful in reducing moderate to severe acne scars for all skin types, and does not cause demarcation marks. The Sublative RF applicator delivers RF energy to the skin in a fractional manner, via an array of multi-electrode pins, which deliver bipolar RF energy to the skin. Microscopic zones of epidermis and dermis are thermally ablated in a grid over the skin surface, where non-ablated zones serve as a reservoir of cells that promote rapid healing.
“The technology can also be used off the face as well,” noted Dr. Rohrer, “including for the treatment of back acne, and it will also enable the improvement of any surgical scar. We are finding that early treatment of scars is much better,” he said, adding that the technology is multi-functional. “We may be seeing these sublative techniques in use in the future for actual drug delivery,” he said.
Additional information about Sublative may be found at:

Related End-User Markets:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Bite Now

    Bite Now

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Is the time finally right for beauty-from-within to move into the mainstream?

  • That’s Awesome!

    That’s Awesome!

    May 2, 2016
    Extracts & Ingredients highlights the newest ideas in efficacious oils for the personal care market.

  • Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director ||May 2, 2016
    The silicone maker had a good 2015 and expects the gains to continue in 2016, driven, in part, by success in the Americas and

  • Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 4, 2016
    A new way to try-before-you buy is capturing the attention of consumers and the beauty industry.

  • NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    New product development, formulation expertise and proper preservation are topics of discussion at February monthly meeting.

  • Battling Pollution via Skin Care

    Battling Pollution via Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 7, 2016
    Canadian start-up turns to crowdfunding to help launch a new anti-pollution moisturizer.

  • Arm

    Arm's Reach: skin care line with unique packaging

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 15, 2016
    Chemist brothers create a skin care line with packaging that helps consumers cover hard to reach spots.

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • Witch

    Witch's Brew: Dickinson's celebrates milestone in 2016

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 1, 2016
    Dickinson’s celebrates 150 years of witch hazel skin care with the biggest line expansion in the company’s history.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    Jacqueline Sheridan, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP||January 11, 2016
    The unintentional conversion of personal care products through marketing.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • A Home of One’s Own

    A Home of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 23, 2015
    NeoStrata’s Exuviance has opened its first freestanding retail space, complete with on-site skin analysis and express treatment rooms.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • What

    What's Not to Love?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 26, 2015
    The sun care category is rife with issues, but there’s a lot to like about it.

  • Sharp Competition

    Sharp Competition

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 26, 2015 signs a high-profile athlete to promote its growing direct-to-consumer razor and personal care business.

  • About a Boy

    About a Boy

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 19, 2015
    As a mom, Jenny Cupido wanted to solve her son’s skin issues. Now she’s raising an indie beauty brand too.

  • For Their Own Good

    For Their Own Good

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 29, 2015
    With a rich heritage and recognized formulation expertise, FC Sturtevant Company is moving into the consumer marketplace.

  • A Foothold in Foot Care

    A Foothold in Foot Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 22, 2015
    Treating feet right is the heart and soul of one Brooklyn-based company.

  • SK-II to the Rescue

    SK-II to the Rescue

    September 8, 2015
    A new formula targets microRNA, which a P&G researcher insists plays a key role in skin aging.

  • A Panoramic View

    A Panoramic View

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||September 7, 2015
    ZSS takes a 360° approach to skin health.

  • It

    It's All in the Delivery

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Associate Editor||August 31, 2015
    AlureVé relies on pharmaceutical technology for its anti-aging skin care line.

  • A Brand of Its Own

    A Brand of Its Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 24, 2015
    Amyris creates its own skin care solution for consumers.

  • Eye on Korea

    Eye on Korea

    August 17, 2015
    At the Personal Care Conference in Shanghai there was distinct emphasis on beauty ideas from Korea.