Skin laxity and the loosening of the structure of the skin on the face is one of the most frustrating parts of aging for many individuals. While some turn to surgical intervention, many prefer non-surgical alternatives including skin tightening treatments. Skin tightening procedures use targeted energy to heat the layers of the skin below the epidermis. This stimulates the production of key proteins such as collagen and elastin, and overtime improves skin tone and texture. Skin tightening treatments can also be used to address fibrous tissue that causes cellulite in various areas of the body.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Skin Tightening?
Patients who have pre-existing health conditions may not be good candidates for the procedure and should consult closely with a doctor. Some pre-qualifying conditions could include:
Those who have started to notice a looseness in the skin around their face, jawline, knees or thighs can be good candidates for skin tightening.
Those who have gone through bariatric surgery or experienced significant weight loss are also good candidates for this intervention.
You should not undergo skin tightening if you expect to lose more weight. Pregnant women should avoid laser tightening procedures, and those with skin conditions such as cancer or herpes should consult with their physician before undergoing treatment.
Are There Side Effects to Skin Tightening?
Most side effects from skin tightening procedures are mild to moderate and resolve shortly after the procedure. Patients who undergo skin tightening procedures may experience mild side effects such as redness, bruising, blistering and swelling. On rare occasions, more serious side effects such as scarring, subcutaneous loss of fat or infection can occur.
What Equipment is Used?
Ellman Pellevé® uses monopolar radiofrequency and is best at treating thin skin areas, most commonly around the eyes.
Alma vShape™ uses unipolar and bipolar radiofrequency and is used to treat laxity of the lower face, neck and body.
What Will the Procedure Feel Like?
During the treatment, the radiofrequency gently warms the skin. Most patients find the treatment comfortable and pleasant, similar to a hot stone massage.
Do I Have to do Anything to Prepare in Advance?
We recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water per day for the two days prior to treatment. The radiofrequency energy is more evenly distributed throughout the skin when it is well hydrated. If you have a history of cold sores, be sure to notify your provider prior to your appointment and he or she will prescribe a medication to take the night before that will reduce the likelihood of a breakout. You may use regular skin care products before and after the treatment. Although we always advise sun protection, this treatment is safe to schedule during summer months and on tanned skin.
What Will I Look Like Afterwards?
There is no downtime. Patients leave the office and return to work or other activities immediately. The treatment area may be pink for a few minutes but resolves very quickly. Some patients notice what appears to be improvement in the few days following the treatment. This is temporary, due to the initial collagen contraction and mild swelling. True results will develop in the months following the treatments. You may apply makeup immediately after and continue your regular skin care products.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
Treatment around the eyes involves an initial series of four treatments with the first three treatments scheduled four to six weeks apart. The fourth treatment should be scheduled three months later. For the face, neck, and body, we recommend a series of five treatments scheduled two to three weeks apart. Maintenance treatments are then recommended, one treatment every four to six months.
When Will I See Results?
Collagen building takes time, typically three to six months, though it can continue up to two years following treatment. Therefore, results will develop gradually in the months following the initial series. Maintenance treatments are required to maintain the results.
Who Cannot Have the Treatment?
Tissue tightening is safe for all skin types and colors. Patients who cannot have the treatment are those with a pacemaker/defibrillator or large metal implant in the treatment area and those who are pregnant. Patients who have a history of radiation treatments, collagen/vascular diseases or autoimmune disease may not respond as well. In addition, smoking, excessive alcohol and excessive sun exposure limit results.
Before + After Photos
PELLEVÉ FOR THE EYES
PELLEVÉ FOR THE EYES
VSHAPE FOR THE NECK
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