The science behind Thermage treatment, is basically the delivery of radiofrequency (RF) heat to skin structures located in the dermal layer of skin, without damaging the outer layer of skin.
Thermage treatment introduces radiofrequency (RF) heat into the lower layers of facial skin. The heat is used to stimulate new collagen growth deep within the skin to improve facial skin tightness.
Collagen is degraded over time with age, and Thermage is an approved treatment for tightening wrinkles and folds in facial skin, but it is also used on other body areas.
This article explains the technology behind Thermage treatment and it is well worth learning about this before deciding if the treatment is worth having.
Radiofrequency Heat, Cryogen, and Collagen Stimulation
The collagen in facial skin, is what gives the skin its full shape. Without the plumping effect of collagen, the face begins to acquire wrinkles and folds.
The goal of the science behind Thermage treatment, is to regenerate the collagen by heat stimulation.
In order to target the cells in the deeper layers of skin, heat must be introduced safely, without harming or burning the outer layer of skin. Thermage uses radiofrequency heat to reach the deep (dermal) layers, while using cryogen on the outer (epidermal) layer, to prevent burning.
Thermage Skin Treatment
There are three basic levels of skin involved in Thermage.
The epidermis is the outer layer which is visible. The dermis is the deeper layer, composed of collagen fibers and elastin. The subcutaneous layer contains fat, and webs of collagen fibers as well.
Thermage treatment stimulates new collagen growth with heat, without burning the epidermis. The Thermage treatment goal is to produce noticeable toning and firming of the skin.
Thermage CPT and Gate Control Theory
In an effort to make Thermage treatment painless, CPT or “Gate Control Theory” is used.
The theory indicates that there are many types of nerve fibers in the nervous system. These nerve fibers relay all sensory information to the brain, including pain.
Small diameter nerve fibers are thought to carry pain impulses. Non-painful impulses, such as vibration are thought to be carried by large diameter nerve fibers. Therefore, applying vibration to a painful area can decrease discomfort experienced elsewhere by stimulating the large diameter nerve fibers. Targeting the large diameter nerve fibers with vibration, therefore closes the gate to pain impulses being delivered to the brain.
Thermage Comfort Pulse Technology uses vibration on the outer layer of skin, along with cooling blasts of cryogen gas.
This process is used in order to decrease the pain of radiofrequency heat delivered to the dermal and subcutaneous skin layers. The radiofrequency heat would cause pain and injury if the vibration and cooling were not used together.
However, if the heat is not directed to the dermal layers of skin, the collagen would not be targeted. Thermage’s patented Comfort Pulse Technology addresses this issue of avoiding patient pain and injury.
Radiofrequency Heat Stimulates Formation of New Collagen
The science behind Thermage treatment is based on the theory that introducing heat to the skin’s collagen will stimulate new collagen formation.
Radiofrequency heat shortens the collagen fiber in skin. The body perceives this to be a tissue injury. The tissues then rebuild themselves around the collagen, and the collagen is also stimulated to form again.
Technically, heat is inducing injury to the existing collagen fibers. This triggers new collagen formation, resulting in firmer, tighter skin. It is the same principle as when a cut or scratch heals on the outer skin, forming a scab or scar. The difference is the layer of skin addressed.
I hope that this article has helped to expalin the science behing Thermage treatment. Do do as much research as possible and do have a full consultation with a doctor if you are considering having Thermage treatment. There are articles and information on this site to help decide whether Thermage Therapy is right for you. Look carefully at Thermage before and after photos and read our Thermage Treatment reviews.
Before deciding whether Themage is suitable for you do have a full consultation with a doctor at the clinics that you are considering using. Look carefully at the information provided on this site and from other sources.