What is Thermage?
The Thermage unit is a computer controlled radio frequency device that can tighten skin without injuring the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin. There are no incisions on the skin surface.
Where can Thermage be used?
The Thermage unit can be used on the forehead to lift the eyebrows, in the mid lower face to improve cheek folds, & enhance the eye area. Other applications have now been FDA approved, including the neck, chest, elbows, knees, and loose skin of the abdomen.
How does Thermage work?
Each time the machine is pulsed Thermage delivers controlled, & sustained heat in the tissue underneath the surface of the skin. The heat is applied approximately 4 mm underneath the skin surface, into the dermis. This produces bulk tissue heating that may result in contraction and tightening of loose skin, & tightening of the collagen underneath the skin, and the generation of new & tighter collagen. The epidermis is protected from this heating by cryogen cooling of the treatment tip which keeps the temperature of the epidermis constant while deeper tissues are heated.
Is Thermage Painful?
Each time the machine is fired, there is a sensation of heat in the area. Fortunately, this heat sensation lasts only fractions of a second and is followed by a cool sensation. Initial treatments with Thermage were done with the use of a topical anesthetic cream; however, more experience has shown that this is not helpful and may even increase pain because it numbs the cooling sensation from the cryogen spray, which is delivered before, during and after the application of heat. Most patients experience mild to moderate pain during the treatment. Pain after treatment usually consists of mild soreness.
What results can I expect and when will they be seen?
Although in some patients the results are seen immediately, in most patients they will appear gradually over 2 to 6 months. Since the effects are so gradual, you may not be aware of the extent of the changes. Visual comparison with pre-operative photographs usually will demonstrate the changes. Results however remain variable so that some patients get much better results than others. It is possible that the results you achieve may not be as great as you would like or expect. Treatment with Thermage is not as predictable as surgery. We try to maximize your potential for a great outcome by using as high an energy as indicated by skin type and thickness. Studies have shown that greater than 70% of patients feel that get improvement from Thermage.
How many treatments will I need & how long may it last?
For many patients one treatment will suffice. Repeat treatments may be beneficial.You will probably reach your maximum improvement in 3 – 6 months. At that time if you wish to achieve greater improvement, another treatment may be considered. For significant skin laxity, it is very likely that more than one treatment will be required to achieve the best results. Current studies indicate that results from Thermage can last approximately 3-6 years. However, time and gravity will continue to take its toll.
Visit www.thermage.com to see photographs