Thermage, a skin tightening device that has been available for over a decade, uses radio frequency energy to strategically heat the collagen in skin. Responding to the manufactured heat, lax skin tightens, wrinkles may be softened and in some cases lifting may occur.
However, previous iterations of the device made the procedure uncomfortable to the point of painful. The first generation Thermage hurt and the procedure was very slow. The newest version, the Thermage CPT does not hurt because it uses Comfort Pulse Technology, a type of vibration to increase patient comfort. Heat is also distributed over a wider area so there isn't focal point tenderness and heat buildup in one spot. The procedure may be performed without anesthesia or numbing cream and patients have been quite pleased with their results. 1-2 treatments may be necessary, depending on the severity of the loose skin and results may last up to 2 years. A new device to hit the aesthetic market, Exilis, also uses radio frequency energy to address skin laxity. The unique thing about Exilis is it uses a mono polar radio frequency that allows the radio waves to go deeper and exert more energy. Exilis uses a dual pulse to deliver controlled energy to promote collagen remodeling and skin tightening. A cooling system on the hand piece counteracts heat while Energy Flow Control (EFC) technology controls heat delivery, mitigating potential of burns and fluctuations in energy strength. Exilis doesn't hurt at all. It gets a little warm but most patients find it quite pleasant as long as the hand piece is being moved in the proper fashion around the face, the neck and the jowls and the forehead. The increase in warmth feels like a massage and the procedure is over in about 20 minutes. A series of treatments are necessary to get the best results. 4-5 treatments may be recommended, spaced a week to 10 days apart for optimal results that may last up to 2 years.