When trying to decide on a treatment for skin tightening, and you are looking at the laser method and the radio frequency process, here are how they compare.
With the laser, it promotes the growth of new collagen under the outer dermal layer, and that makes the skin firmer. Also, new skin grows to replace what the laser takes away.
As it is new skin, it is smoother, and with fewer wrinkles, crow’s feet, worry lines, scowl lines, sagging of jawline and neck, and acne scars than the original skin. The breakup of the collagen also helps to erase stretch marks that may result from pregnancy or weight gain. When applied to the thighs, it can significantly reduce the wrinkling due to cellulite. The procedure is non-surgical, and recovery is fairly quick and easy. The results can last up to two years.
Now, on the flip side, the laser does cause the outer skin to peel away within about four days. The new skin is raw and often oozes, and then scabs over. Care must be taken to prevent infection. The typical recovery time is two to four weeks, and it can be about two months before the skin has completely healed. The side effects can include redness, soreness, blisters, pain, dilated capillaries, scars and infection.
There can also be a lightening of the skin around the eyes, what is known as the “reverse raccoon effect”, and/or the “doughnut” encircling the mouth. Also, care must be exercised around the eyes to protect them from the laser; it can be damaging to the internal structure of the eyes. In the case of people who have dark skin pigmentation, the treatment area(s) can lose its pigment and end up lighter.
Then, with Thermage, it has a number of positive aspects. It tightens the skin to reduce wrinkles and also stimulates the growth of new collagen. In terms of acne, it helps to clear that by making the oil glands in the skin shrink. As it employs radio waves and not light, it is very safe to use on the face and eyes. In lieu of a breast augmentation operation (the so-called “Boob Job”), it can firm and tighten the breasts, and make them a bit perkier.
If the person has had any other sort of cosmetic surgery: a tummy tuck, liposuction, a facelift etc, Thermage can improve the body’s appearance by making the skin softer, suppler, and more toned and taut. The treatments can be done in no more than an hour or so, and the patient goes home the same day.
As to the negatives, the treatments can cause redness, swelling, small bumps or depressions in the skin, and scar and blisters. Too many treatments to the same area of the body can cause dents or bumps to become permanent. While useful when used in concert with surgical procedures, it is not as effective as a facelift, liposuction and/or other more invasive procedures.