AN ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY?
It’s said that forty is the new thirty and sixty the new forty. Also, with aging Baby Boomers fighting aging tooth and nail, there are a number of procedures available to help tighten the skin.
Often, when people think of this they focus on the face, and the old fashioned facelift is an option. However, it’s a surgical procedure – with the associated risks and costs, and it only helps the face.
In terms of non-surgical procedures, and ones that can help the whole body, there are several available. First, there’s laser skin tightening. It uses an infrared laser to heat the collagen beneath the skin, and this then causes the skin to contract. Unlike a facelift, no hospital stay or downtime is needed. Care must be taken around the eyes, and the treatment does tend to redden the skin and/or make it darker or lighter for a time.
Also, there is a slight risk or scarring. While most often applied to the face, the procedure can help to firm up the neck, abdomen, arms, legs, and buttocks. It’s particularly useful for women following childbirth to firm their abdomen. Results are seen almost at once, and three to six months sees the full results manifest.
Generally, a series of up to six treatments is needed to get the best results, and the cost ranges from $500 to $2,000. Most often, insurance companies will not cover it. One session with the laser can be completed in under an hour, but times do vary depending on the area of the body being treated. Properly done, the results can last for up to two years.
In a related skin tightening procedure, an infrared light is used instead of a laser. This has the virtue of not being as potentially harmful to a patient’s eyes and does not cause quite the redness to the skin. A slight reddening does occur, but generally fades quickly. The light is used to heat the deep dermis later, and gives the same results as the laser treatment. Cost is also about the same range as the laser, and a session takes no more than an hour. tighten up loose skin exercise and a healthy diet alone may not be enough
Another skin tightening process involves the use of radio frequencies, and is known as Thermage. Found to be an effective means of firming up sagging skin, it can be applied to any area of the body. Much like the laser, the radio energy gets into the deep layers of the skin, heats the collagen, and a gradual tightening is the result.
A treatment will run from $1,000 to $3,000 and insurance typically doesn’t cover it. It can usually be done in under an hour, depending on the area of treatment; times can vary from as little as twenty minutes to as much as two hours. No recovery time is needed, and the results take about one to four months to become completely apparent, and then last from six months to two years.