Thermage is a safe FDA-approved noninvasive cosmetic procedure, with no downtime. It’s clinically proven to tighten, contour, lift, and rejuvenate the skin in a single treatment by reshaping your skin’s innermost structures.

Immediate results are usually visible and they continue to improve for six months.

Thermage technology uses radiofrequency energy to tighten skin that has lost its elasticity due to aging, sun exposure, and genetics. Safe for patients of all skin types and colors, Thermage is used to tighten skin on various areas of the face and body, including the neck, eyelids, abdomen, and hands. Each area requires different treatment tips, designed specifically for the region being treated.

How Thermage works

Thermage system uses a sophisticated treatment tip, which delivers a controlled amount of radiofrequency (RF) energy. With each touch to the skin, the Thermage treatment tip device uniformly heats a large volume of collagen in the deeper layers of the skin, and its underlying tissue. It simultaneously protects 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.

The results from a single treatment will last for years.

Thermage works in a manner similar to shrink-wrapping. A cooling phase protects the epidermis, and then a short pulse of heat is delivered to the dermal collagen. This is followed by a cooling phase to keep the heat in the dermis. Thermage gives an instant and subtle improvement, due to the immediate contracture of the existing collagen in the dermis. This initial result progressively improves, over a period of from two to three months, as the body makes more collagen in response to the initial Thermage treatment.

Six specific regions of the body are treated with Thermage using site-specific technology:

Face by Thermage

Thermage can be used to lift sagging eyebrows, to raise and sculpt cheekbones, and to redefine the jaw line. It can tighten wrinkled skin and give you a revitalized, more youthful appearance.

The full list of areas treated on the face include:

  1. forehead and area around the eyes
  2. mid-lower face: includes the cheeks, area around the mouth, jaw line, jowls, and area under the chin
  3. lower face/submental: includes the area around the mouth, chin, jaw line, jowls, and area under the chin
  4. full face

If you’d like to learn about Thermage treatments for the body, please visit our Thermage for Body Skin Tightening page.

Neck by Thermage

Thermage is a popular nonsurgical treatment to improve the appearance of loose neck skin and “double chins.”

Eyes by Thermage

A special eyelid tip allows for the treatment of eyelid skin, helping to tighten the loose skin of the upper eyelids, and to tighten and smooth the skin of the lower eyelids. Dark undereye circles are diminished, fine lines are softened, and undereye bags become less apparent.

Reflection's Thermage Media

The Thermage procedure system is FDA-cleared to improve the appearance of cellulite. The cellulite procedure is the newest in a suite of procedures under the Body by Thermage™ umbrella, which provides contouring and tightening of the skin of the abdomen, arms, and legs.

The cellulite-fighting device by Thermage underwent extensive clinical evaluation over a period of approximately 21 months before its release. The treatment requires no downtime and provides long-lasting results after only one treatment. Results become evident a short time after the procedure and continue for up to six months. Side effects are rare.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Thermage right for me?

The ideal candidate for this skin tightening with Thermage is a person with mild laxity of skin who is not yet a facelift candidate. These patients can consider using Thermage every three to five years to try to put off a more invasive procedure. Thermage should not be done in place of a facelift. Sometimes it is done to supplement the effects of a facelift.

What is the treatment like?

Thermage is a noninvasive therapy that delivers tighter skin, renewed facial contours, and healthier collagen, sometimes referred to as the non-surgical facelift. Thermage  uses a patented radiofrequency technology. Thermage has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin to smooth out wrinkles and renew facial and neck contours. The incision-free procedure is fast and easy, and requires no downtime from normal activities.

The Thermage procedure can take from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the treatment area. Pre-treatment with topical anesthesia may be required as well.

Initially, your face will be cleansed to remove any residual oils. A topical anesthetic may be applied depending on the specific treatment. We then take preoperative photos and then draw various markings on your skin to indicate which areas might need additional tightening. Much like making alterations to an article of clothing, the Thermage treatment is customized to provide the most benefit for each individual patient. A special pad will be placed on your back. This pad completes the “circuit” for the RF energy. You will lie on a comfortable table and a paper transfer will be used to place a “grid” on the areas of your face to be treated. This grid ensures complete and uniform treatment and assists in the customizing of the treatment. Some areas will require more “passes” of the ThermaTip™ than others to achieve the desired results. With each touch of the tip, you will briefly experience a 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. Your doctor controls the amount of energy delivered to balance procedural comfort with maximum results. The tip is cooled before, during, and after heating to protect your skin and make the treatment more comfortable.

During the treatment, you will be asked to provide feedback on the level of heating you feel from the RF pulses. This feedback allows the best selection of RF energy levels to be used and makes certain you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.

Once the treatment is completed, the grid is removed.

Is Cellulite Treatment Painful?

Cellulite treatment with Thermage takes from one to two hours and is quite comfortable. No anesthesia or preparation is required for the treatment. The procedure briefly causes a deep heating sensation while the radio-frequency energy is delivered to the skin and tissue. Patient feedback helps the doctor minimize the level of discomfort while optimizing results.

What type of results can you expect after one cellulite treatment?

The patient satisfaction rate after the Thermage cellulite procedure is high. There is a predictable improvement in the appearance of cellulite after one treatment, as well as a desirable change in the contour of the body region being treated. Patients need to know that the cellulite will improve, but usually not disappear. Patients with severe cellulite and laxity of the skin are not good candidates for this procedure.

When will I see results and how long will the effects of the Thermage procedure last?

Immediately following a Thermage procedure, your skin should feel tighter, smoother, and more youthful. Over time, you will notice additional tightening.

Recently published studies conducted by Thermage show that measurable tightening improvements appear gradually over a two to six month period after a single treatment session. The Thermage procedure causes immediate tightening of the collagen structure, with additional tightening over time. It is expected that results last for years.

Is Thermage safe?

The Thermage procedure has an excellent safety record. With over 190,000 estimated worldwide patient treatments to date, the reported incidence of side effects is less than 0.4 percent, and these were minor. 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.

Is there downtime?

Most people return to their regular activities immediately following the Thermage procedure. Some people experience mild redness (similar to a sunburn), but it usually disappears quickly. No special care is needed after Thermage treatment unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

Can Thermage be used in combination with other procedures?

Thermage is often used in combination with other procedures, such as Fraxel, or intense pulsed light (IPL) if other signs of skin aging are present, such as sun spots.

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Dr. Mitchell Chasin founded Reflections Center for skin & body as a place where physicians specializing in cosmetic medicine could focus on helping empower patients to feel their most beautiful. Dr. Chasin believes strongly that the best cosmetic physicians are those who are dedicated to mastering their craft through continuing education and collaboration with the industry’s top doctors.