Based in NYC, Dr. Michele Green specializes in anti-aging skin rejuvenating and skin tightening procedures.
What is Laser Skin Tightening?
Laser skin tightening is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that 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, allow the skin to build new collagen, and tighten the overlying skin. Skin tightening lasers have become increasingly popular since they are highly effective and require no recovery time. The full rejuvenating effects from laser skin tightening takes several months. Laser skin tightening has been FDA approved for the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. The results of a facelift are much more dramatic but for patients wishing a more moderate result without surgery, laser skin tightening is an effective way to restore a more youthful appearance to the face and the skin anywhere on the body. The effects improve over several months after treatment when the body produces new stores of collagen to have 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. Ulthera® is very painful and not utilized for this reason by Dr. Green. These skin tightening lasers can be combined with chemical peels or other lasers for pigmentation such as the Fraxel® or Alex Trivantage® at a week after the skin tightening procedure. While Skin tightening lasers work on the deeper collagen in the dermis, these other lasers work on epidermal changes to the skin to remove sun spots and redness. Most patients who have skin laxity and choose to have laser skin tightening also combine these treatments with Botox or facial injections such as Juvederm or Restylane to rejuvenate the face in a process called a liquid face lift.
Which Skin Tightening Laser is Best for me?
The best laser skin for tightening your skin will be determined by an in office consultation with Dr. Michele Green at her New York based office. The choice of a laser system is based on such factors as the area(s) of the body to be treated, the time needed for repeat procedures, and the desired results.
What is the Preparation and Expectation During a Laser Skin Tightening Procedure?
Before the skin tightening session, all of the makeup, sunscreen, and products are removed from the skin with a gentle cleanser. Goggles are applied over the eyes to shield the eyes from the laser. NO topical anesthetic is used since the procedure is not painful. It is important not to numb the skin since the heat and one’s 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 too uncomfortable, the settings are constantly adjusted during the procedure to maximize the comfort level while still delivering the energy for the best possible results.
The procedure itself can take up to two hours. Different areas of the body can take one to two hours as well. A grid is applied to the skin in the area of treatment. A full face Thermage® including the eyes can take more than two hours. 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 follow the grid and deliver the needed energy to the skin to promote new collagen production and rejuvenate the skin.
Is the Skin Tightening Treatment Painful?
No, the laser skin tightening treatment should not be painful at all. There may be some heat and mild discomfort but the procedure is generally painless. All you will feel is the warmth from the laser.
Who is the Ideal Candidate?
Laser Skin Tightening such as Thermage® are designed for patients who are noticing the first visible signs of aging such as sagging jowls, brows, eyelids, cheeks, deep nasolabial folds. It is also ideal for patients who have already had a prior face lift and want further skin tightening without more invasive surgery. Poor candidates for Thermage® would be those patients who want a dramatic effect that can only be achieved through a surgical facelift.
How Long Will the Results of the Laser Skin Tightening Last?
The effect of the 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 require anesthesia, incisions, and the downtime for recovery. Most patients repeat the Thermage® for non-invasive skin tightening every two years.
What Other Areas can Laser Skin Tightening be Performed?
Skin Tightening Lasers such as Thermage® are 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 a fat bulge 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 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 down time and no anesthesia.
Many patients choose to have Thermage® to tighten the tummy after a baby instead of a “tummy tuck” or invasive surgery. A non-invasive “eye lift” can be performed with Thermage® as well to tighten the skin around the eyes. Dr. Michele Green often combines this eye lift with eMatrix® for eyes which reduces fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes.
Recovery from Skin Tightening Laser
Since Thermage® and the BBL® are non-invasive, there is no down time from these procedures. This is the biggest advantage to Thermage® as opposed to a surgical facelift procedure. Immediately after the procedure your skin will appear tighter and firmer but 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.
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 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 make the skin look younger and healthier.
To find out more about non-invasive skin tightening lasers and which option would be best for you please contact us online today or call 212-535-3088