So you want to look younger but don’t want to go under the knife? Fear not; nowadays people have effective non-surgical options that can make them look at least ten years younger without any scars or downtime. In fact, some of these procedures can even be done during lunch hour, because if done well and by an experienced dermatologist, there is little to no swelling or redness.
A recent Los Angeles Times article focused on the rapidly growing popularity of new skin-tightening treatments, because people are increasingly looking for options that are less expensive, less invasive and less risky than plastic surgery. The results will never be as dramatic as a facelift, but most patients seem to be extremely happy with what they get. The best part about these treatments is that you look like yourself, just better and younger. The look is always completely natural, since all you’re really doing is turning back the clock on your skin.
The top three skin-tightening procedures are Thermage CPT ( not to be confused with the original Thermage, which wasn’t very effective), Ulthera and Exilis. Thermage CPT uses radio frequency waves to stimulate collagen production. The more collagen skin produces, the tauter it is; collagen breaks down over time, which is why, as we age, our faces start to droop and sag. With Thermage CPT, one session is usually enough. Ulthera is slightly different because it uses ultrasound to increase collagen. Exilis uses radio frequency and is less expensive than Thermage CPT, but requires several treatments. I don’t find Exilis’ results to be as noticeably beneficial as Thermage CPT or Ulthera. In my own practice, I have found Thermage CPT to be the most effective of the three. The results themselves last a couple of years, but the treatments can be repeated indefinitely.
With Thermage CPT and Ulthera, patients see an improvement within a week (Exilis takes longer), but the wonderful thing is that their appearance will continue improve over the next six months as their skin tightens naturally. One delighted patient told me that it was like losing a couple of years off her age every month without having to do a thing.
Just doing radio frequency or ultrasound around the eyes can make a huge difference in appearance. As the skin tightens, the droopy eyelids that make people look so tired start pulling up and crepe-y eyelids get smoother. That alone makes anybody look at least a decade younger. All three procedures can be used anywhere on the body. After all, if you have a youthful face, you want a body to match. Thermage CPT, Ulthera and Exilis can be used on wrinkled middle-aged elbows and elephant knees. Amazingly, they can also make a considerable difference in sagging bellies, too, whether they’re the result of age, pregnancy or weight loss. No wonder radio frequency and ultrasound treatments are becoming such hot items.