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Our skin often shows the first signs of aging on the body. Whether it’s from hours in the sun or a natural slowing of collagen production in the body, our skin can begin to develop fine lines, pigmentation, and other undesirable changes. One of the natural developments that occurs due to the aging process is that of skin laxity. Overtime, as our body begins to develop less collagen and elastin, skin can begin to sag, leading to wrinkles and jowls that make us look older than we feel.

Thanks to the world of cosmetic dermatology, new technologies have developed to seamlessly and effectively tighten skin, improving overall skin texture for a variety of skin types. Treatments such as Thermage and BBL Broadband Laser are able to use laser skin tightening therapy to boost new collagen and elastin production deep within the layers of the skin, which in turn offers younger-looking, revitalized skin. Thermage laser skin tightening treatment relies on the use of radiofrequency energy to heat up the inner layers of the dermis, which is proven to stimulate new collagen production, helping the skin to appear both tighter and healthier on treatment areas throughout the body. BBL broadband light relies on infrared light energy to stimulate collagen production within the dermal layer of the skin, and offers excellent skin tightening results particularly along the lower face, jowls, and neck.

If you’re frustrated by the appearance of loose skin, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Based in NYC, Dr. Green specializes in minimally invasive anti-aging, facial rejuvenation, and skin tightening procedures. Laser skin tightening is the best non-surgical method for tightening the skin without the need for plastic surgery. Many patients today cannot afford the downtime involved in undergoing a facelift with a plastic surgeon. With the advent of non-surgical skin tightening, Botox, and dermal fillers, Dr. Green is able to treat and correct sagging and loose skin, on the face or body, and achieve the best skin tightening results. As a cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Green has over two decades of expertise in fractionated lasers, skin care products, cosmetic injections, laser skin tightening treatments and superior skin rejuvenation. At the forefront of new product formulation and skin care, Dr. Green is sought out internationally for her expertise in dermal fillers and laser skin tightening treatments. With no recovery time, and the ability to safely and effectively trade all skin types, laser skin tightening is one of the most popular treatments in Dr. Michele Green’s private New York City dermatology office.

What is Laser Skin Tightening treatment?

As a consequence of aging and sun exposure, we lose collagen in our skin, which makes our skin lose both volume and elasticity. Laser skin tightening is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that offers a solution to this problem. Through this laser treatment, it tightens the skin with no down time. There are several different modalities that utilize unique technologies to heat the collagen under the skin’s surface, allowing the dermal layer to build new collagen, and tighten the overlying skin. Skin tightening lasers have become increasingly popular from Atlanta to Los Angeles to New York, as they are highly effective and require no recovery time. The full rejuvenating effects from laser skin tightening begin immediately after treatment, but continue to improve over the course of several months.

Laser skin tightening has been FDA approved for the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. While the results of a facelift may be more dramatic, most patients want skin tightening results without the downtime that surgery requires. Laser skin tightening is the best nonsurgical way to restore a more youthful appearance to the face, as well as to skin almost anywhere on the body. The skin tightening effects improve several months after treatment, as the body produces new stores of collagen to create a more youthful appearance.

Can Skin Tightening Lasers be combined with other Lasers or Facial Injections?

Dr. Green utilizes both Thermage™ laser for skin tightening and the BBL™ Broadband Laser for skin tightening. These skin tightening lasers can be combined with chemical peels or other lasers for pigmentation such as the Fraxel® or Alex-Trivantage® after your skin tightening procedure. While Skin tightening lasers work on the deeper collagen in the dermis, the Fraxel and Vbeam lasers work on the epidermal layer of the skin to remove sun spots and redness. Many patients who have skin laxity and choose laser skin tightening treatment combine this procedure with Botox and dermal fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane, to rejuvenate the face in a process called a liquid face lift.

Before & After – Thermage with Voluma & Lyft

Which Skin Tightening Laser is Best for me?

When considering what is the best skin tightening laser, it’s important to note that there’s no one “best” skin tightening treatment for all patients. Rather, the best skin tightening laser treatment for you will be based on your individual needs and goals. The best laser for tightening your skin will be determined by an in-office consultation with Dr. Michele Green at her private, New York-based office. There have been many advances in dermatology in the field of laser technology in the last decade. The choice of a laser system is based on such factors as the area(s) of the body being treated, the time needed for the procedures, the number of treatment sessions, the recovery time, and the desired results.

How Does a Laser Skin Tightening Procedure Work?

Before the skin tightening session, all of your makeup, sunscreen, and products are removed from the skin with a gentle cleanser. Goggles are applied over the eyes to shield them from the effects of the laser. No topical anesthetic is required since the procedure is painless. It is also important not to numb the skin, as the heat and its effect need to be gauged during the procedure. No over-the-counter or prescription pain medicine should be taken before the procedure. If the procedure feels too warm or uncomfortable, the settings are continuously adjusted during the procedure to maximize the comfort level while still delivering the energy for the best possible results.

During the procedure, a grid is applied to the skin in the area of treatment. Using CPT technology, deep radiofrequency heat is delivered in pulses and “swoops” to uniformly heat up the underlying collagen and tighten the skin. Each pulse takes several seconds to deliver the needed energy to heat up the skin. Each pulse covers approximately one square inch of skin. Dr. Michele Green will treat you along a pre-marked grid pattern and deliver the needed energy to the deep layers of the skin to promote new collagen production, thus tightening and rejuvenating your skin.

Recent innovations in Thermage devices have led to the creation of Thermage FLX, which builds on the foundation of effective skin tightening treatment while improving patient comfort, speed, and precision accuracy. Thermage FLX has a larger treatment tip which offers both improved comfort and faster treatment time, meaning that patients can complete a full Thermage FLX treatment session in 45 minutes or less (rather than 90 minutes with the original Thermage device). Thermage FLX is also at the forefront of technological advancement with its patented AccuREP™ algorithmic precision. With AccuREP™, Thermage FLX is able to adjust treatment on a per-pulse basis, leading to a more comfortable and impressive skin tightening treatment experience. Dr. Green is delighted to offer this revolutionary skin tightening laser treatment to her patients.

thermage skin treatment

Ultherapy and Skin Tightening

Ultherapy is an FDA-approved skin tightening treatment that uses ultrasound energy (rather than radiofrequency energy) to heat the deepest layers of the dermis. Ultherapy can offer effective treatment to patients, as the ultrasound energy stimulates collagen production, and dermatologists can actually use the device to see the tissues in the treatment area while carrying out the procedure. However, Ultherapy is considered a rather uncomfortable treatment compared to Thermage FLX, and it is not always effective in the treatment of loose skin. For this reason, Dr. Green recommends either Thermage FLX, BBL Broadband Laser, or Vivace RF Microneedling as alternative and preferred skin tightening laser treatments.

Vivace and Skin Tightening

An exciting innovation in the use of radiofrequency, Vivace combines two highly effective cosmetic techniques–radiofrequency laser treatment and microneedling–to improve elasticity in the skin and create a more youthful appearance. It’s a minimally invasive treatment that requires no downtime, offers skin rejuvenation for all skin tones, and helps to reduce the appearance of skin laxity. Vivace is one of the newest FDA-approved cosmetic treatments that safely improves skin texture, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and tightens skin.

Vivace’s combined use of targeted radiofrequency energy and microneedling offers patients the best of both worlds. Radiofrequency laser skin tightening has been used frequently to improve collagen and elastin production in the body. Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, uses tiny pinpricks to the skin to activate the natural wound-healing properties of the body in order to rejuvenate the surface of the skin, as well as reduce the appearance of scar tissue and other imperfections. When these two techniques are combined, both the surface and the deeper layers of skin are enhanced, creating pan-facial rejuvenation.

skin tightening

Benefits of Fractional laser 

Another excellent skin rejuvenation technique is that of Fractional skin resurfacing lasers, such as the Fraxel Dual. The Fraxel Dual laser uses two wavelengths to offer fractionated laser skin resurfacing in a highly precise manner. The 1927 wavelength offers patients a non-invasive method to treat pigmentation, discoloration, age spots, and sun spots, while the 1550 wavelength improves the appearance of skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. With the flexibility of the Fraxel Dual, patents can receive custom tailored laser skin resurfacing treatment without the need for downtime or invasive procedures.

Fraxel Dual skin resurfacing treatment can be combined with Thermage FLX and other skin tightening treatments in order to maximize skin rejuvenation. Thermage FLX is a very gentle treatment for skin tightening, and can be combined with a variety of other revitalizing skin treatments during the course of a treatment plan to maximize patient satisfaction.

Does Laser Skin Tightening Treatment Hurt?

Laser skin tightening treatment should not be painful at all. There may be some heat and mild discomfort, but the procedure is generally painless. Many patients compare the heat applied during laser skin tightening to a hot stone massage, and the warmth from the laser is all you will feel in terms of sensation. Dr. Green uses Thermage and BBL which have virtually no discomfort. Because the laser doesn’t affect the top layers of skin, there is no epidermal damage, peeling, pain, or recovery time. Dr. Green does’t utilize Ultherapy because it is a very painful procedure without comparable results.

Who is a Good Candidate for Non-Surgical Skin Tightening?

Laser Skin Tightening such as Thermage® is designed for patients who are noticing the first visible signs of aging such as sagging jowls, brows, eyelids, cheeks, or deep nasolabial folds. One of the first signs of aging is the loss of definition of one’s jawline.  A good candidate for this procedure is someone who wants to “get ahead” of the aging process, tighten the skin, improve skin tone, and tighten the jawline. Laser skin tightening treatments are like having a “collagen bank” and producing new collagen to decrease fine lines and wrinkles. It is also ideal for patients who have already had a prior face lift and want further skin tightening without more surgery. Poor candidates for Thermage® would be those patients who have an excess amount of skin and sagging and need results which can only be achieved through a surgical facelift.

For patients who are just beginning to notice skin laxity, treatments such as Thermage FLX and BBL Broadband Laser can be an excellent option. Patients who are experiencing sagging skin around the jawline or submental fat (double chin) may opt to explore additional facial contouring options such as dermal fillers for chin or cheek enhancement, or CoolSculpting for fat reduction. If you are dealing with a large amount of skin laxity, you may need to engage with surgical solutions in order to achieve best results. However, for many patients, non-invasive laser skin tightening techniques offer a wonderful solution to issues of loose skin along the face and body.

in your 20s skin care dermatology

How Long Does Laser Skin Tightening Last?

The effect of a skin tightening procedure will last up to two years in duration. Some patients opt to have Thermage® repeated annually as new collagen and a more youthful appearance will be the main benefits. The BBL Forever Young ™ procedure takes five treatments spaced one month apart and requires maintenance of twice a year to have the best results. A facelift is a more permanent solution and the results can last more than ten years, but this surgical procedure requires general anesthesia, incisions, and downtime for recovery. Most patients prefer to repeat Thermage® treatment for non-invasive skin tightening every two years, as opposed to a surgical facelift.

What are the side effects of laser skin tightening?

In general, laser skin tightening has virtually no side effects and no recovery time. Patients can resume normal actives immediately after a laser treatment session. Some patients have some slight redness in the treatment area immediately after the procedure which resolves in one hour. There is no bruising or bleeding associated with non-surgical skin tightening procedures, which is in part why laser skin tightening has become such a popular option for skin rejuvenation.

What are the Potential Side Effects from laser Skin Tightening?

Though side effects from laser skin tightening are extremely rare, some patients can experience redness or swelling for an extended period of time, up to a few weeks. Additionally, though extremely uncommon, some patients have reported a burning sensation on the treatment area after treatment. In less than 0.1% of patients, patients can experience surface irregularity along the treatment area. Overall, for the large majority of our patients, the potential benefits from laser skin tightening far outweigh the potential risks.

Can laser skin tightening cause cancer?

Laser skin tightening with Thermage and Thermage FLX are safe, FDA-approved methods to tighten skin, and do not have any correlation or causative relation to cancer. Of all cosmetic laser skin treatments, only ultraviolet rays–such as those used in tanning beds–have a risk of rapid skin aging and increased likelihood of cancer. Nevertheless, when engaging in any laser skin tightening or laser skin resurfacing treatment, it is imperative that you work with a board-certified medical professional in order to ensure safe and effective treatment.

What Other Areas of the Body can Laser Skin Tightening be Performed?

Laser skin tightening is most popular for the face, and especially for treating the jawline, jowls and neck.  However, laser skin tightening, such as Thermage®, is commonly performed on other areas of the body such as the abdomen, buttocks, arms, and thighs, as well as the face and neck. The skin tightening treatment is often combined with other treatments as well such as Coolsculpting, which is a non-invasive method to reduce stubborn pockets of fat in the neck, abdomen, thighs, arms, buttocks, knees, or back fat. Kybella® is another modality that Dr. Michele Green uses to reduce fat in the chin/neck area (submental fat), and she commonly combines these injections with Thermage®. This ideal synergy of non-invasive fat removal and laser skin tightening can be performed in the office with no downtime and no anesthesia.

PD thermage abdomen 9m FRONT MGwatermark

Before & After – Thermage in abdomen area

Laser skin tightening treatments are exciting as they are complementary treatments with a variety of non-invasive methods to revitalize the appearance of the skin. Thermage FLX can be combined in a treatment plan with dermal fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse to boost volume in targeted areas of the body, including the arms, décolletage, hips, and buttocks, to create comprehensive body contouring that can help patients to look and feel like their best selves.

Does laser skin tightening work on the neck?

Laser skin tightening is a highly effective treatment to revitalize the neck, helping to reduce skin laxity and improve skin texture. Laser skin tightening can be combined with dermal fillers for chin enhancement, as well as fat-eliminating technologies like Kybella and CoolSculpting, in order to reduce the appearance of a double chin or jowls. Additionally, Botox can be applied to the muscles of the neck to reduce the appearance of chords along the neck. Dr. Green often combines Thermage FLX treatment, Fraxel Dual laser, and Botox to create a non-invasive neck lift.

Does laser skin tightening work on the stomach?

Many patients choose to have Thermage® to tighten the tummy after a baby instead of a “tummy tuck” or invasive surgery. After weight loss, there may be loose skin which needs to be tightened. Laser skin tightening is the perfect solution for this problem after weight loss, both for the body and also for facial skin. Additionally, laser skin tightening can be combined with CoolSculpting on the abdomen for optimal body contouring.

Does laser skin tightening work on the face?

Laser skin tightening is safe to use on all areas of the face, helping to boost collagen production in the skin and create a firmer, smoother look to the face overall. Laser skin tightening is also used to give a nonsurgical eye lift, tightening skin in the area around the eye. A non-invasive eye lift can be performed with Thermage®, and can be combined with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers to help restore age-related volume loss along the midface, as well as Botox to reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles around the eye. Dr. Michele Green often combines this non-invasive eye lift with eMatrix® for eyes, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes.

Can laser treatment tighten jowls?

Laser skin tightening treatment and non-surgical skin tightening treatments like Vivace RF Microneedling can be a highly successful way to contour the jawline and reduce the appearance of jowls. Additionally, for some patients, jowls can be caused by a natural loss of volume in the midface, which can be corrected through the use of dermal fillers. When you work with Dr. Green, she’ll be able to create a custom treatment plan that best targets your needs, including laser skin tightening for jowls.

kybella jowls 1311824384

How much does laser skin tightening cost?

The cost of laser skin tightening varies by technology, as well as whether a board certified dermatologist or a technician at a medspa is performing this procedure. Different skin tightening lasers require only one session, such as Thermage, though some require multiple sessions, like BBL. The cost differs depending on the type of laser treatment, the area of the body being treated, and the desired aesthetic result.

Does laser skin tightening work?

Laser skin tightening works extremely well for facial skin, as well as the skin in other areas of the body such as the arms, legs, and buttocks. The laser emits infrared light to heat the collagen in the skin and make the skin firmer and tighter. Nonsurgical skin tightening promotes new collagen and elastin production in the treatment area. Laser skin tightening treatment is very popular and successful, with multiple clinical studies indicating improved collagen production and elasticity in the skin.

Is laser skin tightening permanent?

As we age, we lose collagen and elastin fibers. Thus, laser skin tightening cannot be permanent because our bodies continue to lose collagen. However, maintenance of laser skin tightening produces new collagen and will replace the collagen that we lose from aging. Through the use of maintenance laser treatments that are performed annually, patients can enjoy continued skin tightening benefits without the need for invasive procedures or recovery time.

Does laser skin tightening improve Cellulite?

Laser skin tightening with Thermage improves cellulite. Not only does laser skin tightening rejuvenate your neck, abdomen, buttocks, arms, and legs, it temporarily improves the appearance of cellulite on the body as well. Thermage FLX treatment can also be combined with Sculptra or Radiesse dermal fillers in order to increase volume in specific areas. One of the most popular treatments to improve cellulite is that of a non-invasive butt lift, which boosts volume using long-lasting dermal filler injectable treatment. When used in combination with Thermage skin tightening treatment, patients can see a reduction in the appearance of cellulite along the upper thighs and buttocks.

Cellulite has a variety of biological factors connected to it, but the primary factors are fat cells, skin laxity, and the thickening of fibrous bands. When it comes to the treatment of cellulite, Thermage is able to improve one of these biological factors: loose skin. However, there are several non-invasive treatments that can help to further reduce the appearance of cellulite on the skin.

VelaShape is a non-invasive body contouring procedure that is FDA-approved to reduce the appearance of cellulite. VelaShape treatment uses a combination of infrared light and bi-polar radiofrequency energy, administered in tandem with vacuum suction and deep-tissue massage, to heat the fat cells and massage thickened fibrous septae within the layers of the skin. This in turn is able to create new collagen and elastin production, improve the flexibility of the fibrous bands, shrink fat cells, and tighten the skin, thus reducing the appearance of cellulite.

As of 2021, the FDA has approved perhaps the most exciting cellulite treatment on the market, QWO cellulite treatment. QWO (aka collagenase clostridium histolyticum-aaes) is an injectable treatment that is designed to reduce the thickness of the fibrous septae in order to reduce cellulite on the surface of the skin without the need for any recovery time. QWO is FDA-approved to reduce cellulite in the upper thigh and buttocks, and Dr. Green is thrilled to offer this “game changing” treatment to her patients in her boutique NYC office.

qwo patient 2

What is the Recovery from Laser Skin Tightening Like?

Since Thermage® and the BBL® are non-invasive, there is no downtime from these procedures. The fact that there is no recovery time is the biggest advantage to laser skin tightening, as opposed to a surgical facelift procedure. Immediately after your laser skin tightening treatment, your skin will appear tighter and firmer in the treated area, and the results will build over the course of four months to tighten the skin. Since only one single procedure is necessary with Thermage® it is also more cost-effective than multiple repeat laser skin tightening procedures. You can return to your normal activities immediately after your procedure.

How many treatment sessions do you need for laser skin tightening?

When it comes to determining the number of treatment sessions needed, the answer will vary depending on the treatment option being used. For Thermage FLX laser skin tightening, results are visible after a single treatment session, and the majority of patients opt for “touch up” treatment sessions on an annual basis. For BBL, multiple treatment sessions are needed, and typically a series of six sessions, each spaced a month apart, will guarantee optimal results. When it comes to Vivace RF Microneedling, a series of three treatment sessions spaced four weeks apart is recommended,  and many patients opt for maintenance sessions about once a year after their initial Vivace treatments.

What is the difference between laser skin tightening and laser skin resurfacing?

Laser skin tightening heats the collagen under the surface of the skin with no down time, causing the collagen to heat, expand, and the skin to appear tighter. Laser skin resurfacing, on the other hand, works by removing the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, to treat such conditions such as sun damage, pigmentation, and acne scars. Dr. Michele Green often combines such skin resurfacing (Fraxel®), with Thermage at a later date to remove sun damage and improve elasticity, which work together to make the skin look younger and healthier.

How do I get started with laser skin tightening?

Laser skin tightening is one of the most popular procedures in the office of Dr. Michele Green. By combining radiofrequency skin tightening, Botox, the best skincare products, fractional lasers, Botox, and dermal fillers, Dr. Green will help provide you with the best facial rejuvenation results. Dr. Green is consistently voted one of the best dermatologists in NYC by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. To schedule a consultation for laser skin tightening with Dr. Michele Green in her Upper East Side NYC office, and learn which treatment plan is best for you, please call us at 212-535-3088 or contact us online today.

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