Dr. Green Chats About Thermage, The Latest In Skin Tightening Procedures

Dr. Michele S. Green is a board-certified dermatologist. Upper East Side patients and those from the surrounding areas of New York City flock to her practice for a variety of cosmetic dermatology treatments. Haute Beauty chats with Dr. Geen about the latest in skin tightening and its benefits.

HB: What is Thermage?

Thermage is a noninvasive FDA approved face and body skin tightening treatment that utilizes radio-frequency energy to stimulate collagen formation to tighten, smooth, and contour the skin to create an overall younger appearance. Thermage is approved to treat most body parts including the face, neck, upper arms, buttocks, under eyes, hands, knees and thighs. Thermage targets the collagen-rich dermis as well as the fiber septae in the subcutaneous adipose tissue layer by bulk-heating and uniformly distributing heat energy to denature and then remodel collagen.  The result is an immediate collagen contraction from the heat as well as a progressive collagen remodeling from the body’s natural immune response to addressing the controlled trauma that the heat from Thermage creates.

HB: Who is a good candidate for Thermage?

The ideal Thermage candidate is male or female experiencing the initial signs of aging such loss of skin laxity, sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. Patients in their 30’s who see the first signs of aging will want to do Thermage to produce new collagen and tighten the skin. Thermage can be done on the face and neck as well as other areas of the body such as the arms, thighs, knees, buttocks and abdomen.

HB: What are the main reasons for this procedure?

Patients begin to notice the early signs of aging such as superficial fine lines, wrinkles, sagging jowls, crows’ feet, cellulite, and loss of skin laxity should consider Thermage. Thermage is noninvasive treatment that can target these specific areas of concern to improve skin texture, soften fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin laxity.

Thermage is also FDA-approved for the improvement in the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is the collection of fat that pushes against the connective tissue beneath the skin, causing the skin to look lumpy. Thermage is the most effective skin tightening treatment for cellulite besides surgery. Thermage works by restoring the collagen connective tissues, this improves circulation which results in smooth and less dimpled skin surface over a period of 3 to 4 months. Thermage (RF) technology delivers heat deep into the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous (fat layer) layers of the skin. It is the tightening of these layers of skin which produces the smoother skin texture and defined contour.

HB: How do you prep for Thermage?

There is no preparation prior to doing Thermage. There is no pre-medication and no topical or systemic anesthesia required. The entire procedure is non-invasive with no down time. During the procedure the Thermage CPT handpiece is placed flat on the targeted treatment area. The Thermage CPT handpiece generally takes 45 minutes to treat the face and up to an hour and half for other parts of the body, depending on the size and location of the treatment area. During the treatment using the CPT handpiece you will feel a gentle vibrating sensation with intervals of a heating sensation on your skin as the radiofrequency heat (RF) penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. Your physician will ask for your feedback to determine the most comfortable treatment level to deliver the most effective treatment results. There is no downtime and immediately after the treatment you will appear better from the initial treatment.

HB: How long do results last?

The results of skin tightening for Thermage are long lasting and full effects of the treatment can last up to two years depending on the skin condition. You will notice an immediate tightening after the treatment however, the full results can be seen 4-6 months after the treatment. It is recommended to repeat the treatment approximately every 1 to 2 years to maintain optimal results.

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