What is Thermage?

Thermage is a very popular procedure that has recently had some good reviews. This article explores this new minimally invasive skin tightening procedure, its benefits, and who it may be a good fit for.

There has been a surge in the popularity of minimally invasive anti-aging procedures in the last decade. These procedures are far more effective and powerful than any over the counter anti-aging products at rejuvenating the skin, but are not as drastic, costly, or risky as surgical procedures can be. The main draw with these procedures is that they provide a significant cosmetic improvement while being minimally invasive. This has proven to be a draw for many people who want to look better, but not at the cost of a serious surgical procedure. Finally, many patients appreciate the more gradual and natural changes that these softer procedures offer.

What is Thermage?

Thermage is an example of a minimally invasive skin tightening procedure. Skin laxity, drooping, and wrinkling are some of the changes that the face undergoes with age. Thermage is a skin tightening procedure that is best for patients showing signs of early skin laxity. Thermage is most commonly applied to the forehead which has a lifting effect on the eyebrows and makes the eyes look less tired. Other popular areas include the neck and the jowls to give the skin a tightened and defined appearance.

How does Thermage work?

Collagen is the building block of soft and supple skin, supporting the underlying layers of the outer skin. Unfortunately with age, the collagen breaks down and the skin thins, sags, and wrinkles. Thermage is a radiofrequency device used to produce heat energy. An applicator is used on the target area, which heats the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating collagen growth over a period of 3 to 6 months. This helps tighten the skin, and may reduce minor sagging, wrinkles and fine lines.

What is the expected result of the procedure?

Thermage is best suited for a patient with early signs of skin laxity, or minor wrinkles and fine lines. The procedure tightens up the skin in the treated area, and smoothes out the surface over a period of 3 to 6 months as collagen growth is promoted by the heating process. The results are not as dramatic as surgery, and occur gradually over time, making the improvements look natural. For treating deep wrinkles or advanced skin laxity, you should consult a dermatologist about other options available to you.

What is the downtime, and possible complications of Thermage?

Treatments can range from half an hour to two hours depending on the size and location of the area being treated. Unlike many laser treatments, a single treatment is usually adequate to see noticeable benefits. There is very little downtime involved with Thermage. Typically patients can either go back to work the next day, or even on the same day following procedure. Thermage has a great safety record and negative reactions are rare. The most commonly reported side-effects are: Swelling and redness in the treated area, soreness, tingling sensations, and minor bruising which can last from a few hours to a few days.

How much does Thermage cost?

The cost of treatment varies depending on the area that is being treated, how large the area of treatment is, who is doing the treatment, and the location of the clinic. Typically, a treatment of Thermage ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Renowned dermatologist Dr. Shannon Humphrey explains thermage in this video: