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Thermage results are subtler and not as immediate as results after a facelift. The thermage technique was first approved in 2002 for the eye and forehead areas. In August 2004, the thermage results were able to extend to the entire face, after the FDA approved clearance. While people with severe facial wrinkling and photoaging may not be able to achieve noticeable and satisfactory thermage results, people in their mid-to-late 30s or older with just a little wrinkling and photoaging may find thermage results can achieve their aesthetic goals.
Utilizing RF technology to non-invasively generate deep, uniform volumetric heating of surface tissue, thermage results in smoothing out the wrinkles and rhytids by tightening both skin and underlying tissue. In order to protect the skin's outer layer by allowing for the deep heat to promote collagen contraction beneath the skin surface to generate new collagen growth over time, the doctors will simultaneously use a cooling cryogen spray. Some patients have described the thermage procedure to be uncomfortable but short and over before the pain becomes bothersome.
The RF device is what eventually creates the thermage results. Since it can take weeks or months before patients realize noticeable thermage results, the effect is more natural. Committing to a major surgical procedure, such as a facelift, can be daunting for some. In addition, facelifts are associated with much greater risks, costs and downtime, which thermage results can achieve without actually going under the knife.
Immediate before and after comparisons will not portray noticeable thermage results, but after weeks or even months the skin's natural collagen will contract. Due to the recent addition of thermage to the market, it is not yet known how long the thermage results will last, though doctors estimate it ranges from six months to two years. Unlike a more invasive procedure, many patients have reached satisfying thermage results without having to disrupt busy schedules. Taking just an hour or so, patients are able to return to their normal activities without anyone knowing they underwent a cosmetic procedure.
Patients may later choose multiple sessions over time to reach the desired thermage results or to have a facelift if the wrinkles and skin require more dramatic work to achieve aesthetic satisfaction. The ability to choose a non-invasive procedure if never having had a surgical cosmetic procedure has created more options and greater availability for a greater range of people to benefit from cosmetic procedures.
The quickly growing popularity of cosmetic procedures has been in part due to the large group of aging baby boomers trying to regain a more youthful appearance. More and more procedures have been focusing on anti-aging techniques and patients have been pleased with thermage results. The more revived appearance by achieving tightening and smoothing of the skin using the thermage results has been so successful that over 1,000 systems have been installed worldwide in just over two years on the market.
As more technology is discovered, researchers will find safer and more aesthetically pleasing ways of performing cosmetic surgery, in addition to less invasive options, like thermage results have achieved. Non-surgical procedures have grown in popularity as patients are constantly looking for more ways to achieve a more youthful and healthy appearance.