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Using Radio Waves to Tighten Loose Skin
Thermage is a non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedure that uses pulses of radio waves to tighten and re-contour loose, wrinkled skin. It’s most often used to treat the face and neck (including sagging “turkey neck” skin under the chin), but it can also help tighten skin on the abdomen, thighs, arms, and hands. Women often request the procedure to tighten a post-pregnancy abdomen or to minimize the appearance of cellulite. The treatment works on all types and colors of skin.
How Thermage Works
The Thermage device delivers radiofrequency energy into the deep layers of the skin (the dermis and subcutaneous tissue), where its heat triggers the production of new collagen. (Collagen is the all-important protein that gives skin its firm structure. Over time, repeated exposure to the sun causes collagen to break down — and skin to sag.) As it heats the skin’s deeper layers, the device emits a cool spray that protects the epidermis, or surface layer, from damage. Because this layer is protected, the procedure requires no recovery time. You can return to your daily routine immediately.
A treatment session may last from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how much of your skin is being treated. Because you may feel some discomfort from the heat, your doctor may recommend an oral analgesic before the treatment begins.
Possible Side Effects
Generally, no follow-up care is needed. Side effects from Thermage treatments are rare, but may include redness, swelling, blisters, and bumps at the treated area. These usually go away within a few days. If they persist or become troublesome, call your doctor.
What to Expect
Results vary from patient to patient. You’ll notice that your skin is tighter right after the procedure, but most results will emerge gradually, over several weeks, as new collagen forms.