How is a skin tightening procedure performed?
Below outlines the general steps for skin tightening; however, these steps may vary depending on the type of treatment you and your aesthetic plastic surgeon choose.
- Before your procedure, your surgeon will clean the area being treated, removing makeup and skin lotions.
- Some treatments require a thin coat of ultrasound gel or other conducting gel during treatment.
- Your surgeon may administer topical, oral, or intravenous pain medication depending on the device, treatment area, and your individual needs.
- Your surgeon then uses the skin tightening device that is best for your unique situation to perform your skin tightening treatment.
What are my skin tightening options?
There are three general options for nonsurgical skin tightening. After evaluating your skin quality and the area being treated, your surgeon will choose the option that is best suited for your particular situation and recommend an approach based on your aesthetic goals.
Radiofrequency only heats the deep layer of your skin so that your outer skin layer is not damaged. Your body's natural wound healing response causes collagen production, which helps the skin tighten. Your surgeon may perform a series of treatments to achieve your desired results.
- With certain devices, your surgeon will need to measure and mark the treatment area.
- Your surgeon will cool your skin for comfort and safety and place a specially designed treatment tip against your skin.
- Radiofrequency energy penetrates deep into the skin's tissue, heating the treatment areas, and stimulating collagen production.
- You may feel a gentle vibration as well as cooling and heating sensations during each pulse.
- Some devices combine radiofrequency with the benefits of micro-needling.
- Your surgeon finishes your treatment by cooling the upper layer of your skin.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Broad Band Light (BBL)
IPL and BBL treatments are similar to radiofrequency in that they only heat the deep layer of your skin, and the treatment causes collagen production. However, these skin tightening treatments use light (intense pulsed light or broad band light) instead of radiofrequency.
- Your surgeon will provide you with eye covering to protect your eyes from the light.
- The surgeon then uses a handpiece to administer a continuous cooling of your skin. Simultaneously, the light heats the deep dermis (deep layer of your skin) and addresses dyschromias (brown and red discoloration).
- Your surgeon will make multiple passes over your skin during each treatment, and you will need multiple treatments to achieve your desired results.
Ultrasound treatments focus ultrasonic energy to the dermal layer (the deep layer of your skin). Your skin above the focus point and the tissue below the focus point are protected. New collagen growth is stimulated, which gradually lifts and tightens the skin. Like radiofrequency and IPL, you may need multiple laser skin tightening treatments to achieve your desired results.
- Your surgeon will measure and mark the treatment area and apply an ultrasound gel to your skin.
- The surgeon will place a smooth handpiece on your skin, and an image of the tissue beneath projects onto a screen so your surgeon can better see the treatment area and underlying structures.
- Small thermal bursts stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin without disturbing the skin's surface.
- Your surgeon will make multiple passes over your skin at varying depths within the skin during each treatment.
What are the brand names for skin tightening?
There are a variety of skin tightening devices. Depending on your unique skin concerns, your surgeon may choose one of the following:
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Broad Band Light (BBL)
- VelaShape (combines radiofrequency and IPL)
- Venus Legacy
- Exilis (combines Radiofrequency and Ultrasound)