Thermage® therapy uses a unique form of radiofrequency energy to tighten loose or sagging skin. According to its manufacturer, Solta Medical, Inc., benefits of Thermage treatment "include the smoothing of wrinkly or uneven skin, better definition of facial features around the eyes, jaw and neckline, and even the smoothing and toning of unsightly bulges, dimples and wrinkles on the face and body." Thermage radiofrequency therapy is U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved for eyelid treatments.
Using the Thermage wand, radiofrequency energy penetrates and heats skin tissue. The heat causes collagen to contract, which tightens and "lifts" the skin. Over time, as the collagen rebuilds itself, the skin tightens even more, further smoothing the treated areas.
Thermage Radiofrequency Therapy Treatment
The Thermage wand's treatment tip is placed against the skin, first spraying it with a coolant (cryogen), then heating it, then spraying it with cryogen again. The cryogen protects the top layer of skin as the radiofrequency energy heats the collagen in the lower layers. A newer Thermage wand has a Comfort Pulse Technology%u2122 (CCT) feature, in which a gentle vibrating sensation has been added to make treatment more comfortable. No preparation is required before undergoing treatment.
The length of treatment depends on the size of the treatment area and its condition. The face usually takes about 45 minutes; other parts of the body can take up to 90 minutes. The majority of patients require a single treatment, although that, too, depends upon the condition of the treatment area.
Thermage Radiofrequency Therapy Results
Results appear gradually in the 2 to 6 months after treatment, although some patients see an earlier response. Depending upon the condition of a patient's skin and how it ages, results may last up to 2 years.
Thermage Radiofrequency Therapy Advantages
Unlike other ways of repairing loose and sagging skin, Thermage treatment has a number of advantages. They include:
- No significant recovery period or downtime
- Visible results after 1 to 2 treatments
- Continued improvement to skin over time
- No incisions are necessary
- Special care not required post-treatment
Side effects of Thermage therapy are rare, but can include treatment-site redness, bumps or blisters.