Sagging facial skin and wrinkles can be a self-image nightmare, but they are an unavoidable fact of life for many people. The natural process of aging causes your skin’s collagen stores to decrease, leading to poor skin tone and looseness. This problem is especially noticeable in the face, where it can cause fine lines, forehead creases, jowls, and deep nasolabial folds. Folds on the neck are also common and can be a major contributor to an aged appearance. All of these problems can make you feel self-conscious about the way you look, impeding your confidence in social and career situations. Thermage is a solution.
Despite the many issues caused by aging skin, many patients do not want to resort to surgery. While surgical procedures like the face lift have the most dramatic results, they also have lengthy recoveries and leave permanent scars. Fortunately, there are options for improving your loose and sagging skin without a single incision.
Thermage FLX is the 4th generation of the radiofrequency treatment line, Thermage developed by Solta Medical. Thermage FLX works to tighten existing collagen in the skin of the face and body, stimulating the production of more healthy collagen and elastin. The FDA-clearance for this non-invasive, multipurpose skin-tightening device is a welcome upgrade in the field of cosmetic medicine.
Thermage FLX is equipped with a larger tip that is about one-third bigger than previous models and can, therefore, treat lax and wrinkled skin in 25% less time. Thermage FLX also features the AccuREP™ delivery system that evenly distributes energy to the targeted area. The Thermage FLX handheld wand vibrates, which breaks up the heat output. This results in a more enjoyable patient experience. Existing Thermage patients and those who are interested in non-surgical ways to address aging skin should see Dr. Hillelson for a Thermage FLX consultation to learn if it may be the right technology to suit their aesthetic needs.
The Thermage Procedure
During your procedure, the area to be treated will first be carefully cleaned to be sure that any makeup, lotion, or other products will not interfere with the treatment. Dr. Hillelson will carefully measure and mark your skin to ensure precise treatment, and your skin will be cooled to keep you safe and comfortable. A specialized tool called the ThermaTip will be placed against your skin, where it will emit radiofrequency energy to heat the underlying areas and stimulate the production of new collagen. Finally, your skin will be cooled to be sure that the heat is controlled and will not spread. The whole procedure normally takes 45-90 minutes, depending on the extent of the treatment area. The Hillelson Protocol also couples this treatment with another type of radiofrequency, unique to Hillelson-Whipple Clinic, which allows the best result possible through radiofrequency.
Thermage can benefit anyone who wants to reduce the appearance of mild-to-moderate wrinkling and sagging, achieve sleeker definition in their neck and jawline, or rejuvenate loose or crepey-looking skin. Good candidates will be in good health and will keep in mind realistic expectations for what will be achieved through noninvasive techniques.
Benefits of Treatment
Thermage can provide great improvements in skin texture by plumping sagging skin as well as by minimizing many fine lines such as crow’s feet. It can highlight your natural features by tightening areas like the jawline, and can even provide good results in tricky places like the eyelids. In many cases, it will also reduce the appearance of cellulite and can be used to shrink certain fat deposits.
The best part of Thermage is that it is completely noninvasive, so it leaves no scars and requires no absences from work or social activities. Patients will be able to resume normal activities the very same day.
Thermage by Dr. Ruth L. Hillelson
Q. How many times will I need to be treated?
It depends on the initial issues and the desired result. In the short term, most patients see their desired results after only one treatment. For some patients, a booster treatment may be recommended months after the initial experience. However, the new collagen produced will eventually disappear again. In most cases, this occurs around two years after treatment. Although the results do last for quite a while, many people decide to continue getting Thermage treatments at regular intervals as a maintenance technique to keep their skin tight and youthful. At Hillelson-Whipple Clinic, other technology protocols are utilized to promote a more encompassing skin result.
When will I see my results?
Many patients see a noticeable change immediately, but since the procedure relies on increasing production of collagen, most changes will take a little while to develop. Results will become more apparent over the first two to three months, and they’ll continue to improve up until six months.
Is Thermage an option for tightening loose skin from weight loss or pregnancy?
It depends on the extent of the loose skin. Thermage works by causing your skin to produce more collagen, which tightens it somewhat and greatly improves the texture. If you have a large amount of loose skin, Thermage cannot remove the entire excess. For cases where there is a small amount of loose skin that may have a loose or wrinkly texture, though, Thermage can lead to a great improvement.
Will my Thermage treatment be painful?
A. The procedure itself usually involves nothing more than a tingling or vibrating sensation coupled with slight hot and cold feelings as the treatment works its way through your skin. During recovery, most patients report no discomfort.
Is Thermage a good option for aging in the eye area?
A. In many cases, yes. Thermage can treat certain types of sagging as well as the fine lines, crow’s feet, and crepey texture that plagues many people. In some cases, it can also improve the appearance of fat deposits that cause bulging under-eye bags although only surgery can remove these fat pads. For those who have more significant amounts of loose skin in the eye area, surgical intervention may be recommended.