Thermage Essential Information
Thermage is an option that has been steadily growing in popularity over recent years, thanks to positive press reviews and mentions from celebrities on television shows such as “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” In the past, even as recently as the last few decades, a facelift or liposuction was considered the only fool-proof way to banish sagging skin, tighten skin, and eliminate wrinkles. Thermage is a relatively new option for skin improvement. Even those who are intrigued by the concept of a completely non-surgical facelift may not know as much about Thermage as they would like to, so we have compiled all the basics about the Thermage procedure here in one place.
What Is Thermage?
Thermage is a non-surgical method of skin tightening and firming. During the procedure, low level radio frequencies are applied to the skin, which allows for the stimulation of collagen (fat) underneath the skin. Thermage is performed by a doctor in a medical setting such as a doctor’s office or a medical spa.
Radio Pulses and Thermage
Each radio pulse will target the collagen beneath the skin. In most cases, an entire Thermage treatment will consist of around 500 individual radio pulses for a whole face treatment. Treatment of the abdomen and thighs may require more radio pulses since the area is so much larger.
How Does Thermage Work?
Thermage works via radio frequencies. The gentle radio pulse emits enough energy to stimulate and heat up the layers of collagen deep underneath the skin. The Thermage radio frequency uses heat to make the collagen contract while the top layer of skin gets a cooling sensation. The contracting motion causes skin tightening, and repeated Thermage radio pulses will result in a smoothed appearance and in contouring in the desired areas.
Does Thermage Hurt?
Thermage is a non-painful procedure because it is entirely non-invasive. Patients may feel some heat during the procedure, but this is typically nothing more than a warming sensation and will not usually result in any physical pain.
How Long Does Thermage Take?
A Thermage procedure will typically take about one hour or less. The length of the treatment depends upon the size of the area being treated. For example, the stomach and thigh areas will normally take longer to treat than the neck and chin area.
Is There Any Down Time With Thermage?
One of the major benefits of Thermage is that there is virtually no down time. Unlike plastic surgery procedures or the injection of dermal fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, there is not a potentially lengthy recovery time. Thermage is performed in a short period, and recovery time is equally short. Many patients will have a Thermage procedure during their lunch hour and can return to work right away.
Who Should Have Thermage?
Ideal candidates for Thermage are those people who are looking for a lift of about one or two millimeters in the face, or for those who need body contouring in the abdominal or thigh area. Many women who are seeking a non-invasive alternative to liposuction are excellent candidates for Thermage.
How Much Does Thermage Cost?
The cost of Thermage will vary depending upon the size of the area being treated, the number of electrical pulses required to get a good treatment result, and the total number of Thermage treatments that are done. In most cases, costs begin at around $1,000 and may go up to several thousand, but very rarely will exceed about $5,000 even in the most complicated cases.
What Results Does Thermage Have?
Thermage will result in an overall tightening of the skin in the area that has been treated. Since skin has been tightened a great deal, any wrinkles or sagging skin will be dramatically changed in appearance, and in many cases the Thermage results will be comparable to those of surgical procedures like liposuction. Patients who get Thermage treatments on their abdomen area can generally expect to see a loss of one to two inches of fat after the first treatment, but results vary by patient.
What Procedures Are Combined With Thermage?
In some cases, a doctor may recommend a combination of Thermage and other procedures for the best results. Thermage works on the inner layers of the skin, while Fraxel for example, is a laser resurfacing treatment that works on the outer layers of the skin. Fraxel may be performed after Thermage to help with overall skin smoothing. This is a way to help showcase the results of Thermage and to eliminate the top layer of dead and dry skin.