Advances in Non-Invasive Skin Tightening

Are you bothered by areas of loose, sagging skin? If so, and the issue is mild to moderate laxity, new non-invasive treatments may be able to tighten your skin without surgery.

Once we pass the age of 30, our bodies naturally slow down the production of collagen and elastin, proteins that help keep our skin looking firm and smooth. The new skin-tightening technologies work by stimulating the production of these two proteins, temporarily halting the loosening process and restoring skin to a younger tone and elasticity. Some treatments use ultrasound or radiofrequency energy to heat precisely targeted layers of skin. Others use microneedles to reach the inner layers of skin. All of these work by mildly disturbing the inner skin tissue and triggering the body’s own protein-generating repair response.

Ultrasound Skin Tightening

Most of us are familiar with ultrasound as an imaging method during pregnancy. Ultrasound as a skin-tightening therapy focuses those sonic waves with more intensity on specific inner layers of the skin to heat the tissue. The strength of this technology is its flexibility in reaching deeper layers of the skin with precision, without affecting surface skin. It is best suited to treating the early stages of skin looseness on the face and neck.

Ultherapy is the main branded ultrasound skin-tightening treatment and is ideal for use on the brow, chin, neck, and chest. Liposonix, a related form of ultrasound treatment, is used to destroy fat cells rather than to tighten skin.

What to expect: The plastic surgeon will use a handheld device to beam sound waves through the top layer of the skin and focus energy on lower layers, guided by the ultrasound imaging. The procedure typically takes only 45 to 90 minutes and requires no downtime afterward for recovery. You may feel some discomfort during the treatment, and some patients have mild side effects after, such as temporary redness, bruising, or numbness. The skin-tightening response takes two to three months to show its full effects and lasts for up to a year.

Radiofrequency (RF) Treatments

Radiofrequency (RF) energy can also be focused on the skin to tighten it. RF treatment also works by heating precisely targeted areas of tissue below the skin’s surface to trigger the production of collagen. Unlike ultrasound, which can penetrate more deeply, RF treatment is typically applied to the outermost part of the skin — the epidermal layers. 

Venus Versa is one of the proven RF treatment techniques. It is administered with a handheld device and a cooling spray to keep the skin surface from heating. Pelleve, another RF treatment, is ideal for small areas of skin, such as the eyelids. 

Some of the newest treatments combine RF emissions with other forms of energy. Venus Legacy, for example, emits both multipolar radio frequencies and pulsed magnetic fields.

Other treatments involve the insertion of microneedles or probes to apply the RF emissions to deeper layers of the skin. 

What to expect: RF treatments are administered in the doctor’s office and require no downtime afterward for recovery. Most patients experience little or no discomfort during the treatment and no side effects. The skin-tightening response takes several months to show its full effects and can last for up to two years.

Collagen Induction Therapy or Microneedling

In collagen induction therapy or microneedling, a device is rubbed over the skin to create tiny puncture wounds that trigger a collagen-producing healing response. Anti-aging serum or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may be applied to the skin as part of the treatment. As with ultrasound and RF treatment, the skin responds over a period of weeks and months with a higher level of collagen production, leading to improved skin tone and tightening.

Experience and Skill in Treatment

All of these new skin-tightening techniques require skill and experience for the precise application required. Dr. Stephen Bresnick, M.D., is one of the most extensively trained and highest-rated plastic surgeons offering procedures in the Los Angeles area. The Silk Medical Spa, conveniently located in Encino, CA, operates under his supervision to provide these treatments. To find out more about how he can help you with skin tightening, and whether you are a candidate for these non-invasive procedures, call us at (818) 981-3333 today to schedule a consultation.

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