One of the primary reasons that people have historically sought procedures like eyelid rejuvenation and facelift surgery is to correct the appearance of loose skin. Early facelifts operated primarily on the dermal plane, but there is more to facial aging than that. To achieve optimal results, surgeons discovered they needed to go deeper and reposition what is known as the SMAS, superficial musculo-aponeurotic system. While facelift surgery is known for its outstanding results, many people prefer not to address the signs of aging in this way. At Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute, we have an alternative, Thermage. As much interest as there is in nonsurgical skin-tightening treatments, patients also often have one question, “does it work?” Thermage works. Here, we discuss how.
How Thermage Works
Facial aging is primarily the result of the loss of various chemicals. Those that are essential for tissue firmness, volume, and elasticity are collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. The aging body does not produce nearly as much of these chemicals as is needed for a youthful appearance. Hence, the shape of the face changes over time.
Thermage is a powerful radiofrequence treatment that selectively increases the temperature of the skin and underlying layers of tissue. The device precisely targets the appropriate depth in which to deposit RF energy for the most profound effects. Where tissue is heated, the body interprets thermal damage and instigates a healing response that involves several actions.
- Collagen synthesis. Collagen is a building block for the extracellular matrix, non-living tissues that provide structure and shape to cells, and therefore structure and shape to the skin. The increase in collagen production also stimulates an increase in elastin, as one plays off the other. Together, these chemicals thicken and firm the extracellular matrix, which stays resilient as long as collagen production remains stable.
- New collagen. Thermal heating of deeper subcutaneous tissue doesn’t just increase the production of collagen, it causes existing collagen fibers to break down so a profound remodeling process may occur. The denaturation and remodeling of collagen can achieve several benefits, including increased tissue firmness, a more lifted appearance, smoother skin, and diminished scarring.
- Cellular turnover. Generally, it takes about 28 days for cellular turnover to occur. As we age, though, this process may occur only once every couple of months. The longer that nonviable cells sit on the epidermis, the more they contribute to a dull and tired-looking complexion. Thermage treatment increases the speed at which old cells slough off and new cells come to the surface, resulting in a healthy glow.
Thermage is a versatile treatment with minimal downtime. You may be a great candidate for treatment if you are interested in rebuilding the foundational layers of your skin without surgery. Some of the common Thermage treatment areas include the brows, eyelids, jawline, and neck. It can also treat sagging skin on the body. To learn more about Thermage skin tightening, contact Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute at 440-459-0007.