It’s no secret that our appearances change with age. Skin sags and wrinkles develop, causing a once plump and youthful face to grow tired and lackluster. But before you think surgery is your only option to correct these effects, at Hanna Facial Cosmetic Surgery, Ltd., in Hinsdale, IL, we urge you to reconsider. Thermage CPT (comfort pulse technology) is a non-surgical treatment that can tighten skin to smooth away wrinkles and correct sags.
What Is Thermage CPT?
This therapy represents just how far we’ve come in cosmetic treatments. Using radiofrequency energy – rather than invasive knives and other surgical instruments – that turns into heat, treatment is designed to target your skin’s deep tissue layers. This is much more effective at smoothing the skin than surface-level treatments that only temporarily address your concerns.
The heat forces collagen chains, held together by hydrogen bonds, to shorten and thicken, causing an immediate tightening effect throughout the face. In other words, tension between tissues increases as collagen fibers become shorter. Meanwhile, heat-stable hydrogen bonds are maintained so collagen keeps its rubber-elastic properties.
New Collagen Synthesis
But the rejuvenating process doesn’t stop there. Heat-modified tissues are subject to remodeling as fibroblasts produce new and healthy collagen polymers. It is the treatment itself that provokes fibroblasts to behave in this manner. Once collagen is degraded, as happens after the targeted application of heat, fibroblasts secrete the precursors necessary for collagen formation.
Fibroblasts perform several functions within the body, but their primary role is to safeguard the structural integrity of the skin and assist with tissue repair. This is the science behind thermage CPT – it stimulates fibroblasts to improve collagen quality and quantity.
Collagen and Your Appearance
Collagen is responsible for giving skin its healthy structure. In a broader sense, it is the body’s “glue,” providing tissues with strength and elasticity yet still retaining mechanical function (such as in facial skin). To help paint a more vivid picture, visualize collagen interlocking with elastin, another protein, to form a flexible but extremely strong foundation beneath the skin, like a net.
This net freely moves even as it supports the skin. We are thus able to enjoy smooth, radiant skin up to around age 35. At this point, we’ve already lost around 10 percent of our natural collagen base owed to fibroblasts that age as we do. They produce less collagen, and that which does exist grows weaker. The foundational net also gradually loses its integrity until we see the formation of lines, wrinkles, and sags.
The Goal of Treatment
Treatment is designed to ignite the body’s natural healing processes, which pose less downtime and far fewer complications than more invasive techniques. The body is designed to instinctively know what it needs to heal. A process that stands in this way is aging because it slows internal responses.
By providing an external stimulus, treatment overcomes the aging hurdle in a way that maintains your comfort and delivers subtle, natural-looking results. Heat provided by the Thermage device feels like a warm massage as it penetrates through your skin. The device also has a cooling mechanism that interrupts the heat pulses. This increases the treatment’s safety so it can be used on patients of all skin types, from sensitive to dry.
The Many Details
Areas that can be treated with Thermage include:
More specifically, treatment can lift the cheeks, jawline, and eyebrows to refresh your overall appearance. It also smooths skin to eliminate lines and wrinkles. Many refer to this treatment as the non-surgical facelift because it does indeed tighten and sculpt sagging skin. It can even reduce the appearance of cellulite.
One of the greatest benefits afforded by this treatment is the natural improvement of skin texture. Initial results also show immediately, usually in just one day, but deeper and longer-lasting improvements take more time. Contouring, for instance, can continue to evolve over six months as the collagen matrix thickens. While 80 to 90 percent of patients experience visible results at six months, all show increased collagen levels in biopsy studies.
Number of Treatments Needed
In addition to collagen, blood flow in the skin’s fatty layer also ramps up. This delivers nutrients that improve skin’s thickness, resiliency, and brightness. You can enjoy these effects for a long time, up to several years, depending on how your body responds.
Some patients need only one treatment to experience the full benefits, while others need more. As a general rule, those under 50 usually need one session, and those over often benefit from two. After their initial treatments, most patients then go on a maintenance regimen of one session every two years.
Thermage CPT is a painless procedure that can be customized to your needs and tolerance. The device employs a tip that is wide enough for smooth and easy application; in fact, each disposable applicator tip emits 1200 pulses, enough to treat the sides of the neck, face, and under the chin. While many patients ask that attention be paid specifically to the mid-face, you can choose the area where you want the most focus.
To provide additional comfort, the radiofrequency can be adjusted to several different settings. The handheld device also features a vibration that stimulates and soothes the skin. To this end, treatment is safe; radiofrequency has been used for well over 10 years and requires no recovery time. It is non-ablative, which allows for controlled damage that does not disturb your skin’s surface layer.
No Recovery Necessary
You can expect each Thermage session to last around an hour. Immediately after, you can proceed with your normal routine, including applying makeup. If we feel you need specific aftercare instructions, we’ll provide those during your session. Your face will look normal, although some patients experience a soft, rosy glow. Your skin will also instantly feel smoother
Subtlety Is Key
A basic tenet of cosmetic therapy today is to avoid the overdone look that can alter a patient’s appearance. Thermage provides this while still firming your skin for a cleaner, softer canvas. Additional benefits of undergoing Thermage on your face and neck include:
- Fewer lines in the forehead and around the eyes and mouth
- More youthful contours along the jawline
- Smoother skin in the neck
Now is a great time to mention treatment also prevents further laxity and wrinkles from developing. The boost in collagen production protects your skin from the additional effects of aging. This remains true for as long as collagen levels stay elevated, meaning treatment gives your skin a much-needed break from the hands of time.
Few cosmetic treatments are safe to use near the eyes, but this therapy can safely tighten and refresh skin in the fragile eye area. It reduces wrinkles and lid folding without dangerous injections or prolonged periods of recovery. The results are:
- More vibrant-looking eyes
- Less creepy skin near the eyes
- Reduced appearance of undereye bags
- Softer skin free of crow’s feet
We protect your eyes throughout the procedure using small, plastic eye shields. You won’t need to contend with swelling or bruising, and you can apply makeup immediately after if you wish.
Thermage CPT improves skin tone and contours to provide a younger-looking appearance. It is therefore ideal for lax skin in the knees, tummy, and arms. Benefits to the rest of the body include:
- Thicker texture so skin looks smoother
- Better definition to enhance natural curves
The Answers You Seek
It’s normal to have questions before cosmetic treatments. For instance, you’re probably wondering if all patients experience the same results. The answer is no because many different variables factor into therapy. A session may deliver 600, 900, or 1200 radiofrequency pulses, depending on a patient’s tolerance and individual needs.
Keep in mind that more radiofrequency pulses equate to more collagen production in treatment sites. Your results may therefore differ greatly from those of your friend or relative.
Is Thermage Superior to Other Skin Tightening Options?
Every treatment offers its own advantages. Thermage is highly beneficial in a number of ways, including the comfort it affords patients. And because it’s nonsurgical, this treatment doesn’t require incisions that may leave scars or require time to heal. It is thus well-suited to patients who want to tighten their skin without resorting to invasive techniques.
How Does This Treatment Compare to a Facelift?
Patients choose Thermage over a facelift for any one or a combination of the following reasons:
- They aren’t ready for surgery
- They want more subtle results than surgery can provide
- They don’t want the risks involved with general anesthesia
When Is the Right Time for Treatment?
Because this treatment stimulates collagen regeneration, we recommend you elect to have it at the first signs of wrinkles or sagging. This will keep you looking younger for longer. You can, of course, wait if you want, but if you wait too long, you may not achieve the results you want. You may even need maintenance sessions sooner than you would have otherwise.
Is Treatment Permanent?
We touched upon the long-lasting results you can expect with this treatment, but we want to clarify they are not permanent. Most patients elect to have maintenance sessions, as mentioned earlier. This helps extend their results and also prevents additional signs of aging from developing.
What About Men?
Yes, Thermage CPT can rejuvenate a man’s facial contours the same as it can a woman’s. It is especially ideal for chiseling the jawline and chin, both of which are key masculine features. And, unlike a surgical eyelid lift that can make eyes appear too wide, this treatment lifts lids without altering their shape. This, too, is ideal for maintaining a masculine appearance.
Can I Have Treatment If I’ve Had Dermal Fillers?
These treatments work independently of each other, meaning Thermage will not alter previous injections of Botox or Juvederm. Likewise, dermal fillers will not alter the effects of Thermage. When done correctly, these treatments can actually be complementary; Botox, for instance, can help preserve your results following Thermage. So, to answer your question, you can have one if you’ve already had the other.
Any Other Points I Should Know?
You should avoid anti-inflammatories immediately before and after treatment. During your session, we will place a grounding pad on your back so the radiofrequency waves don’t travel back to the handpiece. A gel will also be applied to the treatment site that may get into your hair, so keep this in mind when scheduling your appointment. Finally, we don’t recommend Thermage for patients with pacemakers or defibrillator implants.
The Power of Heat
This treatment uses heat energy to stimulate the growth of new collagen. Visibly, this means tighter, smoother skin with fine lines and wrinkles all but erased. Results are long-lasting, and you won’t have to suffer through lengthy or painful recovery times. Schedule your consultation today by calling Hanna Facial Cosmetic Surgery, Ltd., in Hinsdale, IL.