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Thermage


Thermage in New York City by Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

What is Thermage?

Thermage is a non-surgical procedure that uses a unique radiofrequency treatment to heat deep into the layers of the skin to tighten and smooth skin as well as soften wrinkles and lines. For those seeking non-surgical solutions for skin tightening, body contouring, and pigmentation, laser dermatologists provide an expertise that’s unsurpassed. Unlike traditional laser treatments targeted at smoothing and tightening the skin, Thermage heats beyond just the superficial layers of the skin into the dermis layer where collagen is created.

The noticeable signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and sagging due to a loss of skin elasticity are some of the most common skin developments. By understanding what causes aging skin and why it develops the way it does will help you take preventive measures to keep your skin young and healthy. Every day the cells of the outer layer of your skin die off, shed, and regenerate new skin layers. However, when you’re young your skin cells turn over quickly.

As a person ages, the turnover rate becomes slower and slower and as a result your skin loses its once youthful appearance and begins to look dull and worn out. The two building blocks that are integral to the skin’s age appearance are collagen and elastin. Collagen is the structure protein within the skin that gives it its youthful cheeks and bright open eyes. . Elastin gives your skin elasticity, plumpness, and resilience; however both also need to be replenished. As your skin ages, the replenishing process slows down and as a result being less elastic, your skin has a harder time bouncing back and will start to show fine lines and wrinkles.

Thermage is an effective non-invasive treatment to smooth, tighten and contour the skin into a more natural and youthful appearing skin. A smooth hand piece delivers treatment with radio frequency technology, which safely heats the deep layers of skin and stimulates collagen while also promoting new collagen growth. The new and tightened collagen will strengthen and tighten the skin’s foundation into a younger face, and results will improve over a two to six month time period gradually following a single treatment session.

One of the most well known treatments for tightening and lifting the eyelid, reducing fine wrinkles above the eye and reduce hooding eyelids that characteristically droop, is Thermage. Thermage uses radiofrequency technology to deliver heat into the lower layers of the skin and tighten internally. The skin lifts and smoothes out wrinkles to renewal facial contours. Immediately after treatment, the skin may feel tighter, smoother and appear more youthful, and will increasingly tighten overtime because of the progressive collagen production. Results can last two years or longer depending upon the patient’s natural aging process.

How does Thermage work?

Thermage works in two ways: First it causes a contracture of the collagen support structure beneath the epidermis, resulting in immediate changes of the skin’s surface. Secondly, it stimulates the production of new collagen, which over the next 2 to 3 months, rebuilds the support system beneath the top layer of skin, for a gradually rejuvenated and refreshed appearance. Since the radiofrequency penetrates deep into the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, patients can often achieve the full benefits of the procedure with only a single treatment.

Am I a good candidate for Thermage?

Good candidates for Thermage have sagging skin, an undefined jawline, wrinkles around the mouth and nose, undefined lips, hooding on the upper eyelids, and/or crows feet. Thermage can even be used to treat wrinkled or sagging skin on other parts of the body, such as the stomach, buttocks, arms, and legs, and can also treat cellulite.  Patients wishing to treat cellulite may also consider the Velashape procedure.

What happens during my treatment?

A series of pulses are administered over the area to be treated with each pulse taking about 2 to 7 seconds. The entire face can take from 400 to 600 pulses to treat; the number of pulses to treat other body areas varies.  Each pulse is preceded by a cooling burst to protect the superficial layer of skin from the treatment.  Most patients report that their skin feels as if it becomes hot, and that they experience mild to moderate discomfort.  Side effects of Thermage are rare and can include swelling, blistering, redness, and peeling, all of which are usually temporary.

Patients interested in tightening the skin of the face may also consider Ulthera or Fraxel Re:pair.

Ultherapy is FDA approved for nonsurgical brow lifts, which is an effective way to smooth out and tighten the skin around the eyes to achieve a natural, young looking set of eyes without turning to surgery alternatives. Ulthera uses ultrasound technology to tighten skin by thermally heating deep layers of the skin, which stimulates new collagen production. With new and healthy collagen, the skin will tighten and strengthen the foundational layers of the skin, ultimately smoothing skin from the inside out.

When Ultherapy lifts the brow and opens up the eyes, it reduces the excess skin that rests on the lids. This non-surgical alternative creates and maintains a more youthful appears in one 30 to 60 minute procedures that provides patients the ability to forgo invasive eyelift surgery.

Fraxel relies on fractional laser resurfacing technology, which utilizes a laser to improve skin texture and is used to treat a variety of cosmetic and medical conditions such as acne scars, traumatic scars, fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, and loose skin.

Fraxel Re:paire is one of the three Fraxel lasers available today; Fraxel Re:store, Re:pair and Fraxel Dual. Fraxel Dual is similar to the Fraxel Re:store system, which involves minor redness and swelling that can will decrease with after-care protocols, however the Fraxel Re:pair treatment is distinguished by its ability to treat tissue deep within the dermis, which is why the treatment requires more downtime (2 to 3 weeks) and results in red swelling. The Fraxel laser system is also an effective treatment approach for discoloration, sun damage, age spots, and acne and surgical scars. Dr. Rokhsar was involved in the development of the Fraxel laser and worked with the prototype in 2003.

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