What is the Thermage procedure? The Thermage procedure is an advanced way of attempting to tighten skin that requires only the application of a sophisticated treatment tip (ThermaTip) which delivers radio-frequency energy to your skin. It is performed with the ThermaCool TC radio-frequency device and requires no incisions or recovery time. The RF energy is delivered as heat to the skin’s lower layers resulting in gradual tightening of the underlying skin layers due to enhanced collagen production. Is it safe? The Thermage procedure is very safe. This advanced treatment has been studied carefully in hundreds of patients at the Center for Laser Surgery with very few reports of lasting adverse events. Since its approval over 200,000 Thermage procedures have been performed in the United States and Canada. How long does it take? The Thermage procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the size of the area you are having treated. Additional time may be required for skin preparation prior to the procedure. When will I see results? Although some patients may see an immediate response, the majority of patients will see the most noticeable results gradually appear over a 2 to 6 month period after the procedure.
As collagen is heated above 60°C the mechanism of action is two-fold. First, collagen denatures and the fibrils immediately contract and also thicken. Second, dermal remodeling begins with the wound-healing response producing additional skin tightening over time. It is this natural, biologic reaction to heat that tightens tissue and produces the results of tightened skin and renewed facial contours. How long will the effects of the Thermage procedure last? Studies show that thermal collagen changes may last several years, depending on the rate of a person’s natural aging process and skin care tendencies. How many treatments will I need? Normally a single treatment will produce satisfactory results. However, The Center for Laser Surgery will assess the number and frequency of treatments required to achieve optimal results for your skin. How long before I can return to my normal activities? Most people return to their regular activities immediately following the Thermage procedure. Some people experience mild redness (like a sunburn), but it usually disappears quickly.
There is no special care needed after treatment, but sunscreen is recommended as a normal part of preventative skin care. How does it work? The top layers of your skin are protected with a cooling spray while radio frequency energy heats the collagen in the lower layers. This heating action causes deep structures of your skin to tighten immediately. Over time, new collagen will grow to further tighten your skin and produce a more youthful appearance. Does the thermage procedure always work? In our experience some patients do not achieve significant benefit so it is best to avoid practices which make overzealous claims about the Thermage procedure. The most consistently effective treatment is for peri-orbital wrinkles and skin laxity (wrinkles around the eyes).