NOTE: Thermage has received
mixed reviews from both patients and physicians. In our opinion this is
because of the way that Thermage has been marketed to physicians as an
"add-on" to their practice. Thermage results are highly dependant upon
the treatment you receive. While Thermage is now widely available, our
recommendation is that you only have a Thermage treatment from
a physician who specializes in non-surgical cosmetic medicine and has a
long history of experience with this treatment.
The Thermage procedure is the only non-invasive treatment that delivers tighter skin, renewed facial contours and healthier collagen. (Collagen is the building block that provides structure to your skin.) The Thermage procedure is available only in the offices of qualified physicians who specialize in cosmetic procedures. Your physician is your best information resource for determining how this treatment will most benefit you. The more commonly asked questions about this popular procedure are listed below.
What is the Thermage Skin Tightening procedure?
The Thermage procedure employs a patented radiofrequency (RF) technology called ThermaCool™. It has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin to smooth out wrinkles and renew facial contours. The incision-free procedure is fast and easy, and requires no downtime from normal activities. Unlike lasers, the procedure can be performed on patients of all skin types. The ThermaCool device has been cleared by the FDA for the non-invasive treatment of facial wrinkles and rhytids (wrinkles).
How does it work?
The ThermaCool system uses a sophisticated treatment tip which delivers a controlled amount of RF energy. With each touch to the skin, the 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 deep 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.
What does the Thermage procedure feel like?
With each touch of the device, 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 physician controls the amount of energy delivered to balance procedural comfort with maximum results. The device is cooled before, during, and after heating to protect your skin and make the treatment more comfortable. Prior to treatment, an anesthetic cream may be applied to enhance your comfort. Additionally, your physician may also prescribe relaxants and/or pain medication.
How long does it take?
The Thermage procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the treatment area. 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 should feel tighter, smoother and more youthful. Overtime, you will notice additional tightening.
How many treatments will I need?
Unlike many laser procedures requiring four or more sessions, a single Thermage treatment has produced results in the majority of patients. Your physician will determine the course of treatment that is right for you.
When will I see results?
Recently published studies conducted by Thermage show that measurable tightening improvements appear gradually over 2 to 6 months after a single treatment session. However, many patients have reported seeing an earlier response.
How long will the effects of the Thermage procedure last?
The Thermage procedure causes immediate tightening of the collagen structure, with additional tightening over time. Unpublished reports by experienced cosmetic physicians indicate that results may last 24 months or longer based on the patient's natural aging process.
Is the Thermage procedure safe?
The Thermage procedure has an excellent safety record. With over 70,000 estimated worldwide patient treatments to date the reported incidence of side effects is less than 1%. The most frequently reported incidents are classified as swelling, redness, bumps and blisters on or around the treated area. These side effects have usually disappeared in a few days or weeks. A rare (<0.2%) but longer lasting side effect described as a skin depression has also been reported. Consult with your physician regarding this and any other questions you may have on the safety record of the Thermage procedure.
How long before I can return to my normal activities?
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 by your physician.