Aging can occur subtly in the features of your face, whether it’s more pronounced lines around your mouth, cheeks, and forehead or less definition in your jawline. Increased skin laxity may be the cause of these changes. If you are looking for a firmer, tighter appearance but aren’t ready for a facelift, explore your options with Thermage®.
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery offers the Thermage® CPT system to patients in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia as a non-invasive and effective way to improve the tightness of their skin. Our practice can treat almost any area of the body with Thermage®, including the face, neck, and abdomen.
Typically, a single treatment is all that’s needed to get features that are smoother and more youthful. Patients who see the best results usually elect to have the procedure performed annually or every other year.
The Benefits of Thermage®
Collagen helps give your skin a firm tone and appearance. Over time, this collagen breaks down, and your skin becomes lax as a result.
Thermage® uses radiofrequency (RF) technology to heat the deep layers of tissue. This contracts the existing collagen and promotes the development of new collagen, and the result is younger-looking skin.
Washington, DC-area patients choose to have Thermage® because of the many benefits it provides, including:
Flexible treatment. Thermage® patients can focus on a single feature, like the cheeks alone or the neck alone. However, they tend to get the most improvement when they have Thermage® in large adjacent areas during the same appointment. For instance, if your goal is to improve your jawline, your treatment should include the sites above and below your jawline (the cheeks and upper neck).
Effective in as little as one treatment. You should see noticeable improvement after Thermage® with peak benefits at six months. A second application a year or two later can offer even more substantial tightening.
Ongoing rejuvenation. Unlike a facelift, Thermage® will stimulate collagen development and encourage natural tightening in the months following treatment. Patients generally wait half a year to 12 months before considering retreatment so that they can see the full benefits.
A comfortable experience with no downtime. Thermage® doesn’t require needles, incisions, or sedation, and you can return to your normal routine immediately after the procedure. The device’s Comfort Pulse Technology (CPT) creates a soothing vibration that allows for increased energy delivery during the treatment.
CCFPS and Your Care
During your initial consultation at our Washington, DC-area office, you’ll meet with Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter to discuss your treatment. Together, you’ll talk about your goals, go over what you have tried in the past, and review the results that you have seen.
Following a comprehensive examination, Dr. Porter will recommend an approach that fits your needs. Our practice offers a range of solutions, including both non-surgical and surgical options. Good candidates for Thermage®:
- Will benefit from low to moderate improvement in their skin’s laxity.
- Have a limited tolerance for downtime.
- Are interested in improvement in various trouble-spots rather than comprehensive skin tightening.
If you decide to have Thermage®, Dr. Porter may recommend that you combine the procedure with dermal fillers or BOTOX®. Dual treatment can stimulate the collagen even more and tends to provide patients with the best outcome, particularly if they are targeting the nasolabial folds (wrinkles that run from the nostrils to the corners of the mouth) and marionette lines (wrinkles that follow straight down from the corners of the mouth.) Ideally, Washington, DC-area patients will have dermal fillers 2-4 weeks before their Thermage® appointment.
Treatment with Thermage®
On the day of your treatment, we will take some “before” pictures, clean and prepare your skin, and answer any questions you may have. Here’s what you can expect:
- The Thermage® device is a handheld applicator, which we will move along the areas you have decided to target for improvement.
- Thermage® creates a heating sensation that most of our Washington, DC patients describe as very manageable. CCFPS has invested in a Thermage® system that offers an excellent patient experience, and we can adjust the intensity of the applicator based on your comfort.
- Halfway through your appointment, we can look together to see how your face is responding. Most of the time, Washington, DC-area patients see lifting and tightening immediately after application.
- You may notice some skin redness during the treatment, which should be gone by the time you’re ready to leave the office.
We typically advise patients to wait 2-3 days before using skincare products, though it’s okay to put on makeup right after the appointment. There may be some minor swelling but not enough for others to notice. Within six months, you should see the full benefits of treatment: noticeably firmer and smoother features.
Thermage® Frequently Asked Questions
- How Long After Thermage® Can I Return to My Normal Routine?
A Thermage® treatment takes just 45 to 90 minutes, and the recovery after the procedure is just as brief. Patients won’t have to worry about extensive side effects or downtime. In fact, many patients schedule their Thermage® treatment on a lunch break and head back to work the very same day.
Recovery from Thermage® is so simple because it doesn’t require any sedation, incisions, or needles. There is no sleepy and disoriented period after the procedure, as the patient is never put to sleep. Additionally, there is no chance of infection and no limitations on what activities a patient can perform, as there is no open wound to worry about. There is also no aftercare regimen, special diet, or any other activity-based restrictions that could impede the way patients lead their lives.
This means patients can head to work, go to the gym, or complete any other activity they were planning on doing the day of their Thermage® treatment. The only real restriction is the use of skincare products. Dr. Porter recommends limiting the use of moisturizers, creams, and other topical lotions on the face for at least two to three days after treatment. However, patients will be permitted to use makeup on their face, which can used to cover up any lingering redness from the procedure (though most of this should vanish by the time the treatment is over). The face may also see a little swelling, but this won’t be a severe reaction, noticeable only to the patient
- How Much Tighter Will My Skin Be After Thermage®?
Thermage® is a great way to tighten loose skin related to aging changes. While every patient can experience slightly different results, most patients find they look far more youthful and refreshed than they did prior to treatment. While there is no exact measurement for how much tighter the skin is after Thermage®, patients will benefit from a revitalized appearance that helps to turn back the clock when it comes to their visage.
Thermage® can be used to tighten multiple areas of skin if the patient has sagging in the face or rest of the body. In fact, some of the target areas Washington, DC, patients seek treatment for include:
- Cheeks that are sagging or drooping, creating a jowling of the jawline
- Excess neck skin, which creates a double chin
- Ill-defined jawline, which makes the head blend into the neck
- Smoothing out extra skin around the eyes
- Lifting the forehead to provide slight enhancement of the brows
- Tightening up sagging skin around the thighs or abdomen
The great thing about Thermage® is that patients have the freedom to target one or all of these areas. It’s all about their personal needs, and Dr. Porter will discuss this with them during the initial consultation. She’ll devise a comprehensive treatment plan specific to each individual patient and their desired results. Often patients will combine their Thermage® treatment with other procedures, such as fillers and Botox or laser procedures, on a separate day. Combination treatments will get the patient to the next level a lot quicker than a single treatment by itself.
Get a more youthful appearance without surgery or downtime. Schedule a consultation online with CCFPS to learn more about Thermage®, or call us in the Washington, DC area at (301) 652-8191.