Skin laxity is common as we age and affects all of us. It is often associated with symptoms of loose skin, drooping, sagging or crepey skin, or crinkles and wrinkles. Thanks to advanced radiofrequency technology, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jason Emer tightens and smooths loose skin with Thermage, a no-downtime, non-invasive skin tightening procedure with minimal pain. Our patients can even go out the night of their treatment with lifted, tighter skin and a more rested appearance.
So, what is Thermage?
Thermage is a wake-up call for your skin and a go-to treatment for celebrities and patients looking for immediate improvement in skin quality with minimal downtime and without “noticeable enhancements.” This FDA-approved, non-surgical procedure is clinically proven to help reduce skin laxity, smooth wrinkles, reduce the appearance of mild cellulite, and achieve a more youthful appearance with natural-looking results. Think of this procedure as “preventative maintenance.”
Thermage will not give you a face or neck lift, but it will help slow the aging process and tighten the skin, providing lift and contour in the treated areas. We advise our patients to book this treatment once or twice a year; as you age, you will appear younger, and you will require less surgery down the road (or require surgery at a much later age) as compared to those who did not undergo the procedure.
How does Thermage work?
In the procedure, Dr. Emer (or one his expertly trained staff members) meticulously applies the Thermage tip to the desired areas, such as the face, neck, chest, stomach, arms, elbows, legs, knees, and buttocks. The device emits radiofrequency (RF) energy to the deep, collagen-rich sublayers of your skin. Throughout the procedure, the tip of the handpiece measures the amount of heat applied to avoid burning the skin. While this procedure has minimal pain, patients will be asked to provide feedback during the treatment so that the temperature can be adjusted accordingly.
That being said, some degree of pain is required; otherwise, the treatment will be marginally effective. Patients who can tolerate a stronger RF energy often experience more tightening and collagen stimulation. RF energy stimulates new collagen formation and fibroblast cell production, resulting in reduced sagging, improved texture, and smoother, tighter skin over time. It also slows the aging process by decelerating the degeneration of collagen. With regular treatments, you can maintain a youthful lift and contour for an extended period of time, postponing the need for surgery.
With over a decade of experience in skin tightening and rejuvenation techniques, Dr. Emer combines Thermage with complementary aesthetic treatments and procedures to achieve astonishing results.
What kind of results can I expect with Thermage?
For many of Dr. Emer’s patients, Thermage helps:
- reduce the appearance of loose, drooping, dimpling, sagging, crepey, or wrinkled skin
- give the appearance of smoother-looking and tighter skin
- reduce the appearance of mild cellulite
- improve skin texture and radiance
- slow the aging process
Improvements should be noticeable within a few months, but most patients observe an immediate lifting effect and glow to their skin. You’ll also find that, after several years, your friends and colleagues will have aged at a regular pace while your skin appears more youthful and reveals fewer signs of aging. Keep in mind that Thermage is a preventative treatment that should be apart of your yearly or twice-yearly anti-aging treatment plan for skin tightening and sagging prevention.
Thermage for Eyelid Rejuvenation
As we age, our eyelids naturally sag and droop due to overuse, genetics, hormones, and sun exposure, giving the appearance of tired, weathered eyes. To improve this, Dr. Emer uses Thermage to heat the skin around the eyes (including the eyelid skin itself), stimulate collagen production, and tighten the skin, resulting in lifted upper eyelids and eyebrows, improved circles and bags beneath the eyes, reduction in crepey lower eyelid skin, and brighter-looking eyes with reduced hooding.
Dr. Emer also uses fillers to provide additional volume in this area, giving lift to the eyebrows, improving hollows of the upper and lower eyes, and reducing the appearance of “tear troughs.” Botox may be used around the eyes to lift the eyebrows and help prevent crows feet (fine wrinkles of the lateral eye). When used under the eyes, Botox can improve crepey skin and give the eyes a more “open” look. Dr. Emer also combines Thermage with Ultherapy to lift the brow and tighten the forehead muscle, which thins and sags as we age. For additional, subtle improvements, Dr. Emer can insert internal threads in the temple and eyebrows to lift both areas and give the eyes a more open, lifted appearance.
Thermage for Neck & Chest Rejuvenation
Treating wrinkled and lax skin on the neck and chest requires a combination approach in order to see real improvement and improve sun damage. A pioneer of unprecedented combination procedures, Dr. Emer’s unique combinations include:
1 or 2 times each year to tighten the area and prevent sagging and wrinkling:
- Thermage to bulk treat the area with heat and stimulate long-term collagen production
- Ultherapy, a microfocused high-intensity ultrasound treatment, to stimulate muscles in the area and cause immediate contraction and tightening
- Sculptra injections to stimulate collagen production and improve the results of the RF and ultrasound treatments
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to stimulate collagen production and promote healing of the RF energy in the skin
Every 6 to 8 weeks to improve texture, color, and fine lines:
- Non-ablative treatments, such as the Fraxel laser or Venus Viva RF, to improve texture and color with minimal exfoliation
- Ablative treatments, such as the CO2 or Erbium lasers, can improve the targeted area in a single treatment but involve more downtime with redness, swelling and scabbing
- Microneedling with PRP and stem cells to improve the outcome of the laser treatments and further reduce sun damage
- Vascular lasers, such as Aerolase, Excel V, Vbeam (pulsed dye laser), Laser Genesis (YAG laser), or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy — either combined with the above treatments or used as a solo treatment every 3 to 6 weeks — to improve redness, dilated vessels, and superficial brown spots
Monthly treatments for added improvements:
- Medical grade facials with DermalInfusion (formerly “SilkPeel”) and the SaltFacial to exfoliate the skin, hydrate, plump, and infuse antioxidants and growth factors into the skin
- Chemical peels like RevePeel to further improve the quality of the skin over time
- Similar protocols performed on other areas with crepey skin and wrinkles, such as the arms, knees, and thighs
Thermage for Arm Toning and Tightening
A popular treatment for men and women looking for tighter skin, improved skin texture and tone, Thermage is also commonly used by brides-to-be who want to have smooth, toned arms on their wedding day. Dr. Emer uses a unique combination of Thermage and Sculptra injections on the desired areas to stimulate collagen production and subtly lift, tighten and tone the area.
Ultherapy can also be combined with radiofrequency and Sculptra to further tighten the skin by stimulating deeper muscle layers. Crepey skin, sun damage and discoloration on the arms can be improved with lasers, peels, and microneedling. To achieve optimal results, Dr. Emer combines these treatments to tighten existing wrinkles, tone the arms, and give the skin a smooth appearance.
Thermage for Stomach Skin Tightening
Patients who have crepey or wrinkled skin in the stomach area often need minor tightening and lifting. This is also true for moms who don’t necessarily need or want a surgical tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or a Hi-Definition Liposuction procedure after childbirth — but instead wish to simply tighten the skin around the abdomen. Even patients who exercise regularly and have great muscle tone can have loose skin. Using Thermage, Dr. Emer can tighten and lift any crepey or loose skin to improve the appearance and texture of the stomach. Oftentimes, Dr. Emer will combine other modalities to further tighten the area, such as:
- Vanquish, which not only tightens the skin but also decreases fat Ultherapy ultrasound to areas that need more contoured lifting, such as the all-too-common skin fold above the belly button
- internally placed threads or sutures that immediately lift the skin and build collagen in the long-term
Thermage for Knee & Thigh Skin Tightening
The knees and thighs are a problem area for almost all of us. Because we lead such active lives, the signs of aging seem to affect the knees and thighs more than other parts of our body, making us self-conscious about wearing shorts and skirts. Dr. Emer uses Thermage in combination with ThermiRF, Renuvion (J-Plasma), Ultherapy, and Silhouette InstaLift to prompt skin tightening and lifting in the knee and thigh area and reverse the signs of aging.
Thermage for Aging Prevention
As someone who cares deeply about his patients’ long-term care and maintenance, Dr. Emer advises his patients to schedule Thermage treatments 1 to 2 times each year for global skin stimulation; the heat prompts your own fibroblast cells to produce collagen and tighten tissue, thereby slowing the aging process. One 45 to 60-minute treatment every 6 to 12 months can keep your skin tighter, smoother and as wrinkle-free as possible. Of course, additional treatments can be done at 3-month to 6-month intervals to see improved results.
How does Dr. Emer do it differently?
As always, it’s the unprecedented combination treatment combinations that separate Dr. Emer from the competition — as well as his unique ability to craft a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan for each of his patients. When using Thermage to address skin laxity, wrinkles, mid cellulite, and loose or crepey skin, Dr. Emer will often combine the Thermage RF treatment with:
- Sculptra, an injectable collagen stimulator. The internal collagen stimulation combined with the external heating gives you more collagen production and tightening long-term. (Frequency: 1 to 2 times each year after a series of initial treatments)
- Ultherapy, an ultrasound treatment that tightens the deeper tissues and muscles. The contraction of the deep tissue combined with superficial heating produces both immediate and long-term skin tightening for up to 12 months. (Frequency: 1 to 2 times each year)
- radiofrequency devices such as Venus Legacy or Exilis Ultra. These superficial RF treatments provide constant heating simulation to the skin so that we maintain the benefits of the Thermage treatment over time. (Frequency: 1 to 2 times per month)
- deep laser heating devices, including Aerolase or Laser Genesis, to stimulate more skin tightening. These devices heat the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating cells to not only tighten immediately but also to lift the tissue and remove pigmentation and vascularity. (Frequency: 1 to 2 times per month)
Am I a good candidate for Thermage?
Thermage is safe for all ethnicities and all skin types. However, it is best to see an expertly trained cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Jason Emer for a formal evaluation to determine if you are an ideal candidate. Patients with early signs of aging, such as crepey skin, cellulite, looseness, or textural changes, are all potential candidates for this treatment.
In some instances of more severe skin laxity, Dr. Emer may recommend internal surgical heating to produce more significant tightening. ThermiRF, Renuvion (formerly J-Plasma), and InMode FaceTite/BodyTite are all “supercharged” skin tightening procedures that must be performed in the operating room or procedure room under local or general anesthesia. The downtime is still minimal, and skin tightening results last longer (often up to 2 or 3 years).
I want tighter, smoother, less crepey skin!
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Emer in Beverly Hills / Los Angeles / West Hollywood, California, please reach out to our concierge to schedule an appointment. Call 424-800-4140 or email us at [email protected].