Energize Your Skin: A Guide to Non-Surgical Skin Tightening
by Cosmetics Expert Mike Dune
Creams, lotions, serums, and masques — we’ve all tried our share of drugstore options to tighten that frustrating loose, sagging skin that hangs out along the lower face. And surgery, while effective, can be a drastic and time-consuming option for people who have only a mild amount of sagging.
Happily, there’s some middle ground between the cosmetics counter and the operating room. In recent years, non-surgical skin tightening options that use targeted energy have seen a big jump in popularity. Check out our quick primer to these types of treatments, and learn which one may give you the results you want.
The same energy that provides a peek into your body can also help tighten tissues. Used in procedures such as Ultherapy®, (read LipoAdvisor’s report on Ultherapy by clicking here) ultrasound-based skin tightening is completely non-invasive — which means no incision is made and no needles penetrate the skin. Instead, everything happens on the skin’s surface. Ultrasound treatments encourage the growth of fresh, new collagen beneath the skin to reinforce its natural support structures and contribute to skin that’s more supple and resilient.
During an ultrasound energy procedure, which can address the whole face and neck or a more specific area such as a sagging brow, a technician first measures and marks the targeted area for precision. He or she then applies gel to your skin to help conduct the ultrasound waves. The technician applies a handpiece to your skin. This handpiece transmits energy to the tissue below your skin in short bursts.
The ultrasound energy is delivered directly to the dermis, which is a deeper layer of skin. The tissue above and below the dermis remain unaffected, so ultrasound treatments don’t typically require any sort of recuperation period. Results gradually appear over the next 2 to 3 months as collagen development kicks into high gear. Ultrasound procedures are most effective when performed at the practice of an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili, who says on his website that Ultherapy is a suitable alternative to a facelift for those who are not ready for surgery.
Also recently Ultherapy took FDA approval for treating Decollete’s lines and wrinkles. So a decent Ultherapy Specialist can provide a huge variety of services by means of Ultrasounds.
Similar to ultrasound treatments, radiofrequency treatments use energy to stimulate collagen growth. Common brand-name treatments include Thermage® (find what LipoAdvisor says about Thermage by clicking here) and ThermiTight™, which can yield noticeable results throughout the face.
During a radiofrequency treatment, a doctor or technician first measures and marks the treated area. He or she applies a treatment tip, which goes to work heating the deep dermal tissues by transmitting radiofrequency, or RF, energy through the layers of skin. This heat stimulates collagen production. To maintain your comfort and safety, radiofrequency-based skin tightening devices also use temperature regulating methods that keep the surface of the skin cool and comfortable.
Some radiofrequency options go one step further by inserting a small, thin probe beneath the skin to transmit RF energy. This probe is able to target tissues directly, bypassing the skin’s surface for more immediate results. This approach is still considered “minimally invasive” and doesn’t require general anesthesia or an overnight stay.
Radiofrequency treatments, particularly those that do not use a probe, are generally more comfortable than ultrasound treatments, but keep in mind that different people have different pain thresholds. Regardless of the approach that you and your doctor decide is best, the results of your ultrasound or radiofrequency treatment can last for several years. Enjoy a sleeker, more streamlined profile and turn the clock back on your lower face with these unique options for tightening skin.