Thermage is used to non-surgically tighten and lift the skin. It works best on these areas:
- the face – especially around the jawline
- the eyelids (link to Guide to Eyelid Thermage)
- the backs of the hands
- the neck and chest (not as effective here but okay)
- the body (I don’t recommend yet)
On the face, the whole face and jaw line are treated to tighten the cheeks, reduce the nasolabial fold (between the nose and the mouth), and to tighten and lift skin along the jaw line. Most centers including ours do the area under the chin as part of the face. You shouldn’t need to schedule a neck treatment for that.
Thermage can also be performed on the forehead to lift the eyebrows and make the eyes look more open. Used with the Eyelid Thermage treatment, you can get quite a nice result with mild to moderate problems here. It can also be helpful on the neck if there isn’t too much loose skin.
Success on other parts of the body have not been very good or consistent despite the dramatic before and after pictures you will see on the web. Remember many photos do not show typical results or even have been shot with a particular lens or lighting to achieve a certain effect. Thermage is coming out with a new tip for body work that works more deeply; hopefully the new tip will improve the consistency and results of tightening on the body sites.
How does Thermage work?
The Thermage procedure uses radiofrequency energy to create a uniform heating effect in the deep dermis. This gentle heating tightens existing collagen and stimulates the production of new collagen. It reduces wrinkles and achieves brow lifting, cheek lifting, and jaw line lifting.
The skin tissue lifting and tightening is caused by immediate collagen contraction followed by gradual collagen tightening. The result is a more youthful appearance to lax and sagging skin.
What kind of results can I expect with Thermage? When will I see results?
In a 2007 study, fifty-seven hundred patients were surveyed at multiple clinics. With the newer, third-generation multi-pass Thermage, 87 percent observed some immediate tightening, 92 percent had tightening six months after treatment, and 94 percent found that treatment results met their expectations. All patients show an increase in collagen in biopsy studies, so even if you don’t see a noticeable result, the procedure should help prevent more sagging.
Although a few patients show immediate improvement, response to treatment for most patients is gradual with progressive improvement over 1 to 6 months. 80-90% of patients show measurable and noticeable effects at 6 months. All patients show an increase in collagen in biopsy studies.