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. This treatment is non-invasive (no needles), non-ablative (doesn’t damage the top-most layers of the skin), and non-surgical (no incisions or punctures), and is very comfortable, requiring no numbing and no downtime for recovery. This makes it a top choice amongst our busiest patients.
We rarely recommend Thermage over Sofwave, Ulthera, or PrecisionTX anymore because it’s less comfortable for the same or less of a result than these newer technologies. The 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 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.
Thermage Quick Facts
- We don’t use Thermage as often anymore, because newer technologies offer the same results with less discomfort
- Typically costs between $1500 and $3500, depending upon size and location, with financing available.
- Skin tightening on the face and/or body
- Non-invasive (No Surgery, No Needles, No Scars) and no downtime
- Non-Ablative (meaning it doesn’t remove the skin’s surface – which means shorter recovery and completely safe and effective for all skin tones)
- Attain a more naturally youthful aesthetic
- Improved skin quality
- Natural repair of skin at cellular level – makes for long-lasting results
Thermage is a one-time, nonsurgical procedure that tightens loose skin on nearly any part of the body. 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. The results from a single treatment will last for years.
Face & Neck by Thermage
Thermage can be used to lift sagging eyebrows, raise and sculpt cheekbones, and redefine the jawline. It can tighten wrinkled skin and give you a revitalized, more youthful appearance. The full list of areas treated on the face includes:
- Forehead and area around the eyes
- Mid-lower face: includes the cheeks, area around the mouth, jaw line, jowls, and area under the chin
- Lower face/submental: includes the area around the mouth, chin, jaw line, jowls, and area under the chin
- Full face
Thermage is also a popular nonsurgical treatment to improve the appearance of loose neck skin and “double chins.”
Thermage can be used around the eyes, but we prefer the results ThermiSmooth provides for this area. The two treatments are very similar, but have different applicators for applying the RF heat energy to the eyes. ThermiSmooth is used with a heat-sensing camera, which allows us to measure the heat of the skin (instead of the temperature of the wand), so perhaps this why we’re getting much more reliable results with that system instead.
- Recovery & Downtime: Little to none
- Numbing: Not needed
- Cost: Discuss during free consultation
- Candidacy: Those looking to tighten lax skin on the face
- Duration: Long-term
- Why We Love It: Safely and effectively tightens lax skin on the face
Body by Thermage – Improve Crepey Skin & Fine Lines
Thermage for Loose Belly Skin
Fluctuations in weight and hormones, age-related changes, and pregnancy can all leave the skin on your stomach loose and hanging. No amount of weight loss or exercise regimen can solve this problem. Loose skin stems from damage to the collagen and elastin fiber support structures in the deeper layers of the skin. Thermage is the perfect treatment to repair this damage, because it precisely targets those deep layers of the skin with radiofrequency heat, to stimulate the growth of new collagen and elastin. This makes Thermage’s results both completely natural and extremely long-lasting.
Thermage for Wrinkles on the Knees
For women, wrinkles just above the knees are a dead giveaway of our age. What starts out as a wavy, cellulite-like appearance to the skin just above our knees becomes a series of fine lines and wrinkles as we age and our skin loses more of its firmness and tightness over the years. Oftentimes, this has nothing to do with how thin or not-thin we are, or whether we’ve gained or lost weight over time – it’s just a problem area many women struggle with. Thermage works to restore and tighten the skin from below by rebuilding collagen support. We’ve seen a rise in request for knee wrinkles treatments over the past few years, and we offer many different treatments for this body part.
Thermage for Crepey & Wrinkled Upper Arm Skin
Most women find that after a certain age their upper arm skin becomes thin and crepey and begins to sag. Changes in our hormones contribute to the loss of collagen support in this particular area, and any excess fat weighs down on this skin, making the problem much more pronounced. Thermage treats this skin issue by tightening and firming up loose and crepey arm skin. For those with excess fat, Thermage can easily be paired with CoolSculpting or SculpSure to create a completely non-invasive (no needles and no surgery) and downtime-free solution.
Thermage for Cellulite
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.
There are 3 main underlying causes of cellulite:
- Skin loses firmness as collagen support is damaged or diminishes with age or hormone-related changes
- Excess fat gets trapped within the lower layers of the skin
- Fibrous septae connect the skin to the fascia below. Irregularities in these fibers create deep dimples.
Thermage is a treatment that stimulates collagen production. Collagen support is what gives our skin a firm, bouncy feeling. So for Cellulite reduction, this helps to improve skin that has an overall wavy appearance (sometimes called the “orange peel” effect).
Thermage has undergone an 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 session. Results become evident a short time after the procedure and continue to improve for up to six months.
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.
- Recovery & Downtime: Little to none
- Numbing: Not needed
- Cost: Discuss during free consultation
- Candidacy: Patients who wish to combat cellulite
- Duration: Long-term
- Why We Love It: Safely and effectively eliminates cellulite on many areas of the body
When it comes to choosing a cosmetic physician for your skin tightening or cellulite treatment, there are a few things we think are important:
- Choose a doctor who specializes in skin tightening (vs. removing loose skin with tummy tucks and body lifts): the process of tightening and repairing loose and damaged skin is very different than removing excess skin with surgery. Most physicians don’t do both of these things, so choose a doctor who specializes in the type of procedure you’re most interested in.
- Choose a doctor with lots of experience: you want someone who focuses on cosmetic body skin tightening and who has lots of experience. Ask to see their before and after gallery so you can judge their amount of experience and quality of results.
- Having options means you won’t feel pressured to choose a procedure that’s not exactly right for your body, budget, or lifestyle: Reflections offers patients a variety of options – from surgical to non-invasive, from very affordable to investment-worthy, and from small improvements to big changes, our team of cosmetic physicians will help you to select the right treatment for you.
The first step is to schedule a free consultation with one of our cosmetic physicians. Contact us today to start your journey towards a happier, more confident you!
The Treatment Process with Thermage
There is very little to do or not do before treatment with Thermage, but your doctor will provide you with any important details before your treatment.
Avoid the Sun for 2 Weeks
It is important not to be sunburnt or recovering from sunburn while having any treatment that’s heat-based, like Thermage. Ideally, you’re also not getting unprotected sun exposure for 2 weeks prior, to ensure your skin isn’t inflamed from sun exposure, as that can make it react negatively to a heat-based treatment.
No Numbing Needed
You don’t need to numb with a cream for Thermage. We do use numbing cream for some of our other procedures, which can take up to an hour to “kick in” – and this means Thermage is more of a “lunchtime” option than some others.
If you find you are very uncomfortable or anxious about treatment, we do offer Pro-Nox, which is a nitrous oxide (laughing gas) system that offers pain and anxiety relief.
Treatment Takes 20 minutes to 2 Hours
The procedure itself can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours depending on the size of the area being treated. Your cosmetic physician will begin the treatment by gliding the Thermage handpiece over the designated area. You will experience a heated sensation with each pulse of radiofrequency, although the feeling is very tolerable. This will be repeated until the entire region has been treated. As the physician makes several passes over this area, she will monitor your comfort and make adjustments to the radiofrequency power, if necessary. Through this procedure, Thermage technology will help restore your skin’s natural elasticity and youthfulness. Once the procedure is complete, you will be able to return to your daily routine without missing a beat.
As You Leave the Office
Because the Thermage treatment is non-invasive and causes no damage to your skin’s surface, there is no downtime.
You will be able to leave our office immediately, without any restrictions. Your skin might be slightly red, but that generally fades in a few minutes, and can be covered with makeup right away.
Results: When to See a Change
You will be able to notice an improvement in the quality of your skin instantly, and the results will continue to improve over the next few months.
Thermage results typically last anywhere from 18 months to two years depending on your aging process. Although one treatment is all you need to receive positive results, we do recommend that patients return to our office annually to gauge and best maintain their results.
- What does Thermage cost?
The cost of your Thermage treatment will depend on the location and size of the treatment area but is most commonly be between $1500 and $3500. The price may also be affected if you choose to combine this treatment with additional procedures. To obtain your custom Thermage quote, you can start by contacting Reflections Center and scheduling your complimentary consultation.
- 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 non-invasive therapy that delivers tighter skin, renewed facial contours, and healthier collagen, sometimes referred to as the non-surgical facelift. Thermage uses patented radiofrequency technology that has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift the 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 anywhere 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 and you will lie on a comfortable table where 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 Thermage treatments 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.
Depending on what you are looking to achieve and the condition of your skin, you may be better suited for an alternative treatment. At Reflections Center, we offer various procedure to ensure that there is not only a treatment for everyone, but the right treatment for each patient, provided by top cosmetic physicians.
If you’re looking for skin tightening that’s non-invasive (no downtime, no needles, no surgery, no scars — but with moderate results), then Sofwave, Exilis Ultra 360, or Ulthera might be the right choices for you.
If you’re willing to consider an invasive procedure using micro-cannulas, performed under local anesthesia, those treatment options usually offer more profound results than Thermage. ThermiTight, PrecisionTX, and Cellulaze fall into this category of procedure.
Of course, we do offer plastic surgery, which gives the fullest and most complete results.
Sofwave & Ulthera
Sofwave is our newest technology for skin tightening and it's building upon the technology that made Ulthera very popular. Both use ultrasound, which is safe and effective for tightening and lifting. The results are very similar to Thermage, and Sofwave has been reported as much more comfortable than Thermage.
Exilis Ultra 360
The newly upgraded Exilis Ultra 360 offers not only radiofrequency heating, but Ultrasonic treatment, too. This treatment is incredibly comfortable and very affordable. Best of all, patients report seeing results very quickly with this treatment, so it works well for those planning to unveil their results at an upcoming event in the near future, such as a reunion, wedding, or summer pool party. However, patients will need to have a series of Exilis treatments for best results, and the results are not as long-lasting as Thermage.
ThermiTight & PrecisionTX
ThermiTight is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers radiofrequency energy through a micro-cannula wand. PrecisionTX is a similar treatment that uses laser energy applied from below the skin’s surface to create the same effect. In either of these procedures, a wand is run underneath the skin to heat the collagen bundles from below. The use of a heat-sensitive camera allows your physician to be extremely precise with these procedures. Unlike Thermage, you will need to be numbed for either of these procedures, and you can expect a day or two of downtime, in addition to some swelling.
Cellulaze is a minimally invasive treatment that treats cellulite’s underlying structural causes by liquifying and removing excess fat cells, remodeling collagen, and releasing the fibers that tether dimples down to the underlying tissues. In this way cellulaze provides comprehensive and very effective cellulite treatment. However, there is some significant bruising expected with this treatment and a few days of downtime.
Sagging skin can be a drag, whether it’s a result of having lost a lot of...Read More
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.