When it comes to weight loss, you’ll likely see some results with enough discipline. One common misconception, however, is that it’s the same case with sagging skin. Over time, skin becomes subject to gravity and a loss of support, leaving it sagging and loose. Unfortunately, not much can be done at home to correct this once it has set in. The best skin tightening results come with professional treatments, but not everyone wants to opt for surgery. At Reflections, we offer some of the best options available for non-surgical skin tightening. Two options, ThermiTight® and Thermage®, each offer some benefits and effective results, so here’s a guide to which one suits your goals best.
What’s the difference?
The main difference between these two options is that ThermiTight is a minimally-invasive procedure while Thermage is completely non-surgical. ThermiTight uses a tumescent solution and tiny incision, through which a thin treatment wand can be inserted to deliver radiofrequency energy and generate heat in the deep layers of the skin. This causes the collagen in the skin to contract and shrink, tightening the skin from within. It also stimulates the skin to create new collagen and renew its supportive structure.
Thermage accomplishes the same goal using radiofrequency energy— however, this treatment is administered to the top of the skin using a specialized cooling handpiece that prevents damage to the surface of the skin. The heat generated deep in the skin by radiofrequency energy causes contraction and collagen stimulation without the need for incisions or local anesthesia.
Which one works better?
It’s a reality that more invasive procedures can produce better results. However, each patient has different goals and different anatomy, so one procedure might work better than the other. Generally, ThermiTight can produce more transformative results in one treatment because it can more easily reach the deeper layers of the skin using small incisions. However, Thermage can produce great results in supplementing surgical procedures or to treat the beginning signs of skin laxity. During a consultation with our cosmetic physicians, we can discuss what kinds of results you can expect with each treatment.
Which areas can I treat?
Both Thermage and ThermiTight are very versatile treatments that can be used to treat a variety of areas. Some of the most common areas treated with Thermage are the jowls, neck, eyelids, abdomen, and lower body. Additionally, Thermage can effectively improve the appearance of cellulite in common areas like the buttocks and legs. ThermiTight can treat many of the same areas, but offers some additional benefits in areas like the arms, knees, or chin, especially when combined with liposuction to reduce fatty pockets.
Thermage for Buttocks
ThermiTight for Arms
How many treatments do I need?
For most patients, one treatment with either Thermage or ThermiTight is enough to produce excellent results. However, since Thermage is a non-invasive procedure, a touch-up session is sometimes recommended a few months after your initial session. This can depend on your goals and existing skin laxity, and you’ll receive a full treatment plan during your consultation.
Does it hurt?
It’s important to note that, because ThermiTight requires tiny incisions, a local anesthetic is used during the quick, in-office treatment. This tumescent fluid is injected into the treatment area to both numb the area and constrict blood vessels, reducing the chance of bleeding or bruising. Most patients report only mild pressure during the treatment. Conversely, Thermage requires no anesthetic at all and can feel similar to a warm massage. The specialized Thermage handpiece contains unique cooling mechanisms to ensure you experience no uncomfortable heat during treatment.
How much downtime do I need?
After your Thermage treatment, you can return to your regular activities immediately. You might experience some redness at the treatment site (similar to a sunburn), but this usually subsides quickly. On the other hand, you’ll need to plan on one or two days of downtime after ThermiTight, during which you’ll likely experience some mild bruising and swelling at your incision sites. You’ll be advised to wear a compression garment for around one week to help manage swelling.
When do I see results? How long do they last?
ThermiTight comes with a brief period of swelling, after which your results will begin to emerge over the course of the next three months. You’ll begin to see your full results at about six months. Most patients notice long-term results with both procedures (up to a few years, in some cases) although you may need additional touch-ups to maintain your results. Although these options are effective at treating aging signs, our cosmetic physicians can determine whether you might eventually benefit more from a surgical procedure after treatment with ThermiTight and Thermage.
How much does it cost?
The cost of each treatment will depend on your specific areas. For example, smaller treatment areas like the jowls will cost less than a larger treatment area like the abdomen. In general, ThermiTight will cost more because it requires minimally-invasive techniques, but is still very cost effective compared to a facial plastic surgery procedure. During a consultation with our cosmetic physicians, we can more accurately estimate your costs for each procedure depending on different unique factors.
Schedule a Consultation
We offer a wide selection of non-surgical and minimally-invasive options to help achieve your goals with the treatments that fit you and your lifestyle best. Your first step in getting started on discussing your treatment options for non-surgical skin tightening is through a consultation with our cosmetic physicians, who can assess the factors most important to you and recommend your best option. We can also recommend the best additional treatments and products to help maintain your results and achieve your cosmetic goals. To begin your treatment plan, contact our Martinsville and Livingston offices by calling or filling out our online form.
Dr. Renata Wix-Harris has extensive experience as a general surgeon and work in the plastic surgery department has helped to her to become an excellent laser liposuction surgeon. She is also skilled at laser and energy-based skin therapies, injectables, and non-invasive body contouring.