One of the first places that our face can show aging is around the eyes — the windows to the soul. Skin and soft tissues around the eyes start to loosen and sag in the mid 30’s with loose, lax skin, hoods and wrinkles. Treatments for skin laxity and descent include blephroplasty,facial lifts and Thermage® which effectively tighten and lift the skin.

Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty is a surgical technique used to remove excess lax skin from the upper and lower eyelids. This surgical procedure is offered to the more severe cases of skin laxity around the eyes. The Thermage Non-Surgical System lifts and tightens sagging skin without surgery by radiofrequency heating of the skin.

Collagen Stimulation with Thermage

As we age, our skin loses elasticity and strength due to loss of collagen. This supporting material of the skin [collagen] deteriorates with time and age. If the body is tricked into replacing the collagen, the skin becomes thicker and firmer — creating a more youthful appearance. Most commonly used for face, and eyelid skin laxity, the Thermage procedure may also be used to tighten loose and sagging skin almost anywhere on the body. The procedure employs a patented radiofrequency [RF] similar to microwave energy to tighten and gently lift skin to smooth out wrinkles and renew skin contours. The sophisticated treatment tip delivers controlled amounts of RF energy which causes our deteriorated collagen to contract and be replaced due to simple heat denaturation of the protein.

With each touch to the skin, the RF device uniformly heats a volume of collagen in the deeper layers of the skin and its underlying tissue while simultaneously helping to protect the outer layer of the skin from heat with cooling. The technology is so precise, the outer skin is cooled while the deeper skin tissue is heated. This deep uniform heating action causes deep structures in the skin to immediately tighten. Without damaging the surface skin, the radiofrequency energy is absorbed by the deepest dermal layer of skin tissue where it tightens existing collagen and triggers new collagen production.

Unlike lasers, the RF procedure can be performed on patients of all skin types. A single treatment session is all that is needed. The tightening effect should last from two to four years according to skin types until the current aging process catches up and starts skin degradation again. Most patients experience a brief, deep heating sensation as the RF energy is delivered to the skin and underlying tissue.

The Procedure: What to expect

Normally, the complete procedure can be performed in just one session lasting from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on the treatment area and the desired result. General anesthesia is not required, but light sedatives are recommended prior to treatment. Most patients experience only minor redness, which subsides within an hour or so after the procedure. Over time, new and remodeled collagen is produced to further tighten skin, resulting in healthier, smoother skin and a more youthful appearance … that glow from the fountain of youth. The Thermage procedure is available only in the offices of qualified physicians who specialize in surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.