Tixel is a totally new way of treating the skin using thermo-mechanical ablative (TMA) technology. In simple terms, it employs the direct use of heat to produce the desirable effects of anti-ageing and scar improvement.
Unlike other therapies which are currently available, Tixel is not laser, ultrasound or radiofrequency.
Our consultants are very experienced in and have been providing CO2 laser, microneedle radiofrequency and microneedling for over 15 years. The superior results, less pain and quicker recover means that they frequently prefer Tixel treatment for their patients.
Tixel is an advanced skin treatment that is used for three main purposes:
- Skin tightening. To tighten the skin (dermis) in order to improve lines, wrinkles, sagging and dilated pores as well as acne scars.
- Skin resurfacing. To regenerate the skin (epidermis) in order to even the skin tone, reduce pigmentation and other blemishes and produce a glow. Active acne responds very well to Tixel as well.
- Drug delivery. Tixel is used to create tiny pores in the skin to allow the penetration of medications through the skin. Medications may include those that reduce pigmentation, increase collagen production and relax muscles.
The skin is gently heated using a grid of tiny pyramids the size of pinheads. 81 of these make contact with the skin for only a few thousandths of a second with each shot of treatment.
This allows heat to be transferred to the skin in a controlled manner causing the skin to tighten and rejuvenate. As the contact made with the skin is so short-lived, the level of discomfort is significantly lower than it is for other resurfacing and tightening treatments.
The tiny little microcrusts can be seen in a grid pattern as shown in the picture below. When compared to fractional CO2 laser, there is much less charring and redness which means that make-up or a tinted moisturiser can be applied early on.
In biological terms the epidermis is vaporised at the sites where the skin makes contact with the Tixel pyramids. Vaporisation leads to removal of tiny portions of the epidermis. This stimulates new epidermis to form. This is fresher, has less pigmentation and sun damage, and gives the skin an even glow with a smooth feel.
There are effects on the dermis, which is lower down in the skin, as well. The heat that reaches the dermis and causes the tiny zones to coagulate. This in turn causes fibroblasts to start producing collagen which takes a period of three months or more to develop fully. The collagen boost in the dermis improves lines and wrinkles, tightens loose skin and sagging, and reduces the appearance of acne scars.
Why healing is superior with Tixel
Healing is faster from Tixel compared to other technologies such as fractional CO2 laser because of two reasons.
The first is that there is much less charring (“carbonisation”). This means the body does not need to take time to clear away charred tissue.
The second is because of the shape of the Tixel probes. These are pyramidal and they leave a triangular or V shaped effect. Laser is a solid beam, and leave a U shaped effect. The time it takes for the body to recover, i.e. ‘to fill in’ the V is much shorter than it is ‘to fill in the U’. This is explained in the diagram below.
Ablative vs. non-ablative Tixel
Both ablative and non-ablative treatments can be given.
Ablative Tixel treatment is designed at refreshing the epidermis and tightening the dermis. The treatment is more intense and the recovery period slightly longer. Non-ablative Tixel treatment is less intense and has a very fast recovery. There is less redness and fewer microcrusts form. As non-ablative treatments are gentler, they are suitable for those with less available time for recovery. More treatments are required to get similar effects to ablative treatment.
The results from Tixel are excellent in the right individuals, and comparable or superior to those from other resurfacing techniques such as fractional CO2 laser (such as Fraxel). The distinct benefit is that the treatment is much less painful and the recovery period is much shorter.
A detailed scientific study demonstrated that Tixel provides excellent results with low pain, low downtime and quick healing. This can be reviewed here.
Read a case study by Dr Judodihardjo on the use of Tixel for the treatment of photodamage and facial wrinkles here.
Our team is the most experienced in the UK at providing Tixel treatment. They are the first to use Tixel in the UK and have been providing this treatment for several months from clinics in London, Birmingham and Cardiff. Their experience has enabled them to develop new protocols to optimise treatment outcomes. Find out more about Dr Judodihardjo’s involvement in the launch of tixel in the UK here.
If you would like to discuss Tixel treatment then please arrange to see one of our Dermatologists who will be happy to help.
“Treatment with Tixel provides excellent results at refreshing and tightening the skin.”