It was almost three decades back when Richard Clark, a plastic surgeon from Sacramento (CA), documented the cosmetic use for botulinum toxin or Botox. Since then till now, the treatment has transformed into a phenomenon making it the most commonly used cosmetic treatment in the world. In the US, seven million procedures were carried out in 2016 alone.

Given the human-need to stay young, the unparalleled popularity of Botox is no surprise. However, the cosmetic industry, much like every other, is continuously working towards new breakthroughs. In case of living a wrinkle-free life, the cosmetic industry has come up with procedures that are more advanced and hassle free than Botox injections.

ThermiRase is a recently introduced, FDA approved technique that uses Radio Frequency (RF) energy to destroy the nerve that is responsible for frown lines or wrinkles.

According to Dr Tauqeer Ahmed, a UK qualified cosmetologist operating in Lahore, “with time, our skin loses moisture, produces less oil and heals slowly”. Moreover, as dermis – the skin’s inner layer – begins to thin, our skin becomes more susceptible to wrinkles and frown lines.

Through Botox injections, toxins are injected in our blood stream that only paralyses the nerves responsible for frown lines. Moreover, the injections are not a permanent solution as the effects of it lasts for approximately three to five months. Given their temporary nature and the need for it to be administered again and again, there is a chance that a patient might become immune to the treatment.

On the contrary, through ThermiRase, the nerves responsible are targeted for more effective results. The nerves are mapped out through a probe before the nerve ablation process. After numbing the area, heat is administered into the tissue which rises up to 85 degrees Celsius; just enough to damage the nerve and stop it from working. The almost painless procedure takes about an hour to finish and lasts up to 10 to 12 months.

While ThermiRase is internationally gaining popularity with many celebrities opting for the treatment, in Pakistan, the treatment is yet to take hold. At the moment, Signature Skin Care – a Lahore based facility – is the only clinic in Pakistan that has the technical know-how and expertise to carry out the procedure.

“Since protecting facial nerves is a priority, it is important to get the procedure done by a doctor who understands and has ample knowledge of the anatomy and location of the nerve,” shares Dr Tauqeer. Otherwise, it can lead to damaged nerves but even that is temporary and 100% functionality is restored in six to eight weeks.