How does laser skin tightening work


Plain and simple, laser skin tightening is the tightening of the skin of the face, neck or body using good old fashioned heat. According to a New York-based dermatologist Dr Marnie Nussbaum, this is one of the most effective methods for firming up loose, crinkled skin.

“After 30 years, we slow down our production of collagen and elastin, the two proteins that help our skin stay firm, plump and toned,” she explains. “What non-surgical skin tightening with lasers does is target energy in the layers of the skin to stimulate this production of collagen and elastin, which will gradually improve texture and tone.”

Coming up, hear more from Nussbaum about how it works, how long it takes, how much it costs, and whether the tightening hurts or not.

Lasers can almost firm the skin all over on the body.

According to Nussbaum, lasers can treat loose skin on the face, neck (and chin), cleavage, stomach, thighs, and basically anywhere on the body that you want to enhance. However, not all lasers are created equal – what could work magic on the butt won’t be the best option for tightening the area under the eyes.

Before and after the results of a neck lift with Ulthera (ultrasound)

Courtesy of Dr Nussbaum

Laser tightening is non-invasive, non-surgical and painless.

Phew! Aside from mild discomfort from the heat produced by the lasers during the procedure, your skin tightening is virtually painless. You might even enjoy the feeling of warmth, which Dr. Nussbaum likens to that of a “hot stone massage”.

There are three main methods.

While there are literally hundreds of “brand name” laser treatments out there, they all fall into three main categories, by Nussbaum: ultrasound, radiofrequency, and radiofrequency microneedling.

Ultrasound isn’t just for pregnant women, apparently. According to Nussbaum, ultrasound laser treatments (Ulthera being the most popular brand name treatment) are extremely effective for patients looking for a heavy lift. “[The ultrasound method] focuses ultrasound energy to heat the skin to a deeper depth than other modalities, so you tighten and lift deeper under the skin, ”she says.“ The treatments are delivered by a portable device that delivers waves ultrasound and usually you can only really do one or two spaced treatments, depending on your plasticity. ”

During the procedure, your doctor will use ultrasound technology to examine the deep layers of the skin as they heat up to make sure you get a facelift exactly where you want it. Do this during your lunch break, as it only takes 45-90 minutes. Just warning though, you’ll have to be patient: “You really start to see the best result after 3 months,” adds Nussbaum. “You get an immediate facelift, but it takes three months to see the best result. ”

Recovery: No recovery time

Cost: $ 500 to $ 6,000 depending on the body area

Radio frequency also uses a hand-held device to heat the skin for a firming effect. “With radio frequency, we heat the skin to a more superficial level to trigger the production of collagen. There is really little to no downtime. As with ultrasound treatments, it can get very hot, it is like a hot stone massage. This is also a gradual process, so while you can get in and out of the office in under an hour, you will generally need two to six treatments (depending on the size of the area you are treating, given at 7-10 days apart, “says Nussbaum. For the most popular modalities, you’ll hear your doctor talking about brands like Thermi and Therma, both of which use the radio frequency method.

Recovery: No recovery time

Cost: $ 600 to $ 1,000 depending on body area

Radiofrequency microneedling

No, not the microneedling you think of. Rather than going to Hemingway with a microneedling pen, Nussbaum says the radiofrequency microneedling tool is actually more like a tampon. “It’s not your typical microneedling with the pen. It’s actually a motorized tampon with 37 gold-plated needles,” she explains. “So you don’t destroy the epidermis and create micro-tears like with microneedling, you actually dab the skin to create microscopic holes which, when the needles are inserted, emit radio frequency to tighten the layers. ” Like most laser treatments, radiofrequency microneedling is quick, but the trade-off is that you need multiple treatments. Nussbaum says three to four sessions spaced four to six weeks apart usually do the trick.

Recovery: No makeup or exercise for 24 hours

Cost: $ 600 to $ 1,000 depending on body area

Water, bottled water,
Vivace wand (radiofrequency microneedling)

Courtesy of Dr Nussbaum

There is little to no downtime required.

“I always say that the advantage of non-surgical tightening is that there is no downtime… but it’s also gradual,” says Dr. Nussbaum. You have to wait until collagen and elastin are produced. So it’s usually a few spaced treatments, but little or no downtime. So you just have to be patient. “With ultrasound and radiofrequency methods, patients may experience minor redness and tenderness in the treated area. Radiofrequency microneedling is the only treatment with true post-care (if you can even call it that) – just no makeup or exercise for 24 hours after each treatment.

You will need several sessions to see the best results.

While there is little to no downtime (or pain) involved in laser skin tightening, the trade-off is that in most cases you need multiple treatment sessions spaced a few times apart. days (even weeks). A doctor may order between two and ten radiofrequency or radiofrequency microneedling treatments (which target the outermost layers of the skin), or just one to five ultrasound treatments (since this process targets the deeper layers of the skin just below). top of the muscle).

Face, skin, chin, neck, nose, cheek, jaw, lip, joint, ear,
Before and after results of an Ulthera facelift (ultrasound) under the chin

Courtesy of Dr Nussbaum

Basically, anyone at any age can benefit from treatment.

As a preventive measure, patients in their twenties whose skin does not require firming can always anticipate potential sagging by getting laser treatment. “[Lasers] helps the collagen bank, so it’s great even for young people for future gain, “says Nussbaum.” It also delays the need for surgical lifting. “

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