The Thermage® procedure is a patented non-invasive treatment which uses radio frequency to induce heat. This heat in turn tighten skin and firms facial and body contours. Some immediate response is seen but the full response is accomplished over a period of time as the body completes the new collagen production. (Collagen is the building block that provides structure to your skin.)
Thermage is not a replacement for facelift or necklift surgery, but it can potentially provide varying levels of skin firming and is an option for those who do not want to undertake surgical lifts.
Why Does Skin Sag?
Just like fabric that loses its stretchiness, skin loses its firmness. Skin is made up of three distinct layers: a visible outer layer on the surface called the epidermis, a collagen-rich underlayer beneath the surface called the dermis, and an inner layer beneath the dermis called the subcutaneous layer, also known as the fat layer that has a web of collagen fibers running through it.
Collagen and elastin fibers naturally break down with age. When the collagen in these three layers breaks down your face begins to sag and wrinkle. Body skin stretched by pregnancy, weight loss, age and environmental stress loses firmness and smooth texture. Sometimes it feels like it all happens at once!
For a treatment to effectively tighten the collagen in the under layer or the inner layer of your skin, those layers must be stimulated. To date, one of the recognized methods of accomplishing this is through the application of heat deep within the tissue. Thermage was created for this single purpose. Patients receive varying levels of improvement, but still, for assured visible and appreciable results, surgical lifts and liposuction will provide the most benefit for the costs involved.
Thermage and Radio Frequency
The Thermage® procedure is based on a patented radiofrequency (RF) technology called Thermacool™. It has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin and renew facial and body contours. The procedure is fast and easy, and requires no downtime from normal activities. The procedure can be performed on all skin types and colors as long as it is healthy skin with no disease or compromised tissue.
The Thermacool™ system uses a sophisticated treatment tip called Thermatip™, which delivers a controlled amount of RF energy. With each touch to the skin, the Thermatip™ device uniformly heats a large volume of collagen in the deeper layers of the skin and its underlying tissue while simultaneously protecting the outer layer of the skin with cooling. This deep uniform heating action causes the loose and disorganized collagen structures in your skin to immediately tighten. Over time, new and remodeled collagen is produced to further tighten skin, resulting in healthier, smoother skin and a more youthful appearance.
Steps in Your Thermage Procedure
Your skin is thoroughly cleansed prior to the procedure. (Please do not wear mineral makeup, mineral or “pearled” eye shadow or mineral blush the day of treatment. Refrain from the use of tanning products a week prior.) Your Thermage® treatment is customized to provide the most benefit for your particular needs and concerns.
A special pad with adhesive backing will be placed on your back or leg. This pad completes the “circuit” for the RF energy and is removed when your treatment is completed. A paper transfer will be used to place a “grid” on the areas of your face or body to be treated. This grid ensures complete and uniform treatment and assists in the customizing of the treatment. Some areas will require more “passes” of the thermatip™ than others to achieve the desired results. The grid markings are washed off completely when your treatment is complete.
During the treatment you will be asked to provide feedback on the level of heating you feel from the RF pulses. This feedback allows the best selection of RF energy levels to be used and makes certain you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
Thermage for Facial and Neck Tightening – Areas Treated
- Periorbital region: forehead and area around the eyes
- Mid/Lower face: includes the cheeks, area around the mouth, jaw line, jowls, and area under the chin
- Lower face/submental: includes the area around the mouth, chin, jaw line, jowls, and area under the chin
- Full face: includes the periorbital region and mid/lower face areas
What does the Thermage® procedure feel like?
You will experience a brief, deep heating sensation as the RF energy is delivered to your skin and underlying tissue. This deep heating sensation is your indication that your collagen is reaching effective temperatures for tightening. The energy levels are controlled to deliver a balanced procedural comfort with maximum results. The Thermatip™ device is cooled before, during, and after heating to protect your skin and make the treatment more comfortable.
The Thermage® procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the treatment area and the number of pulses required. Additional time may be required for skin preparation prior to the procedure.
What will my skin feel like after the procedure?
Immediately following a Thermage® procedure your skin will feel tighter with a sensation of warmth. Over time, you will notice additional tightening.
Will I Need Multiple Treatments
Unlike many laser procedures requiring four or more sessions, a single Thermage® treatment has produced results in the majority of patients. Other skin enhancing procedures work well with Thermage and may be used immediately or shortly after your treatment.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is the well-established wrinkle relaxer for those areas which experience habitual muscle movement such as the forehead and the area between the brows that give a worried look.
Wrinkle fillers are the icing on the cake for lines and folds that show age. If you have inherited genes that make your skin look older than it should, or have spent too many years out in the sun, the resulting wrinkles can be improved with the latest of filler products such as JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel, Restylane and Perlane, Silikon or Cosmoderm.
Lost facial volume can be replaced by the power of Sculptra – a unique collagen stimulating product that returns the youthful plumpness lost through age or illness. Radiesse is used for deep nasolabial folds, cheek augmentation and subtle nose reshaping.
Immediate and Continuing Results
Recently published studies conducted by Thermage® show that measurable tightening improvements appear gradually over 2 to 6 months after a single treatment session. Results are lasting as the procedure induces additional collagen formation. As with any procedure, it does not stop the natural aging process. Improvement of any nature will diminish over the years with the natural aging of the skin and supportive tissues.
Thermage – No Downtime
Most people return to their regular activities immediately following the Thermage® procedure. Some people experience mild redness (like a sunburn), but it usually disappears quickly. No special care is needed after treatment unless otherwise instructed.
Thermage® has increased public awareness in the treatment’s ability to tighten loose body skin – especially loose skin on the tummy area. Used post-pregnancy or post-liposuction, Thermage may help tighten those areas of crepe-like skin and can be used following liposuction to firm skin that is no longer stretched by excess fat. Thermage recently introduced Thermage ThermaTip™ CL, a single treatment for improvement in the appearance of cellulite.
Benefits and Advantages
Most importantly, there is no recovery or patient downtime. Patients may return back to work directly after the procedure. Secondly, selecting Thermage® for skin tightening means no cutting, surgical drains, sutures or bruising. Lastly, there is no special follow-up regime.
Starting Point To Learn What’s Right For You
We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find the simplest solution to achieve the goals you desire.