In the past, surgery was the only effective option for loose, sagging skin. Today we have a variety of safe, non-invasive solutions, which can produce impressive results. Dermal fillers are useful when the skin is sagging due to loss of collagen, deep fat or bone, particularly on the face. Skin also loses its resilience and elasticity over time.
One of the longstanding goals of cosmetic surgeons has been the development of non-invasive tissue tightening procedures. The idea, as in many other cosmetic procedures, has been to produce a controlled injury to the tissues, which would result in tissue remodeling and tightening.
The first of these devices was the Thermage, which we have had in our office. The Thermage was developed in 1996. It is a radiofrequency device, using a radiofrequency current to agitate the molecules under the skin surface causing the tissue to heat up resulting in the production of new collagen and skin tightening.
The problems with the Thermage were that it was quite uncomfortable and the results were variable and often difficult to appreciate. Newer protocols were developed that decreased the pain somewhat, but this problem was never completely conquered. Because of the discomfort, it was difficult to raise the tissue temperatures enough to achieve optimal results. In our practice, we waited to get the Thermage until the less painful treatment protocols were developed, but even then, we used it infrequently because a significant percentage of patients could see no improvement at all, especially on the face and neck. We saw better results on the abdomen and extremities, with fewer improvements on the face, neck, and eyelids. Subsequently, other devices were developed using intense pulsed light (Titan) and ultrasound (Ulthera) to attempt to overcome the limitations of Thermage. But these newer devices did not produce significantly better results and, in some cases, were more painful than Thermage (e.g., Ulthera).
Tripollar Skin Rejuvenation
In 2006, TriPollar technology was developed by Pollogen, and its devices are now available in over 60 countries around the world. This device has now been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is currently in use in a limited number of cosmetic practices in the US. In the clinical trial for FDA approval, 136 treatments were performed without any side effects. Patients reported a pain-free experience with significant wrinkle reduction and fat shrinkage. There was extremely high patient satisfaction. It should be noted, however, that the results are not as impressive as laser resurfacing or liposuction surgery. Six to eight weekly or every other week treatments are necessary and, because the aging process continues, a touch-up treatment every 6 months is recommended.
The TriPollar radiofrequency current generates heat by vibrating molecules in both the skin and subcutaneous tissues. This selective and focused energy heats the collagen fibers — the basic building blocks of the skin’s structure — and causes them to contract, resulting in immediate tightening and smoothing of the skin. Furthermore, the fibroblasts are stimulated, leading to the creation of new collagen and elastic tissue. Due to its unique patented design features, the TriPollar does not require cooling to protect the skin from burns and requires no anesthesia. This device can be used on all skin types.
The skin heating by the Tripollar device has also been found to be beneficial in the prevention and reduction of acne breakouts.
- Facial contouring and skin tightening
- Fine line and wrinkle reduction
- Tightening and reduction of double-chin and chin fat
- Localized fat reduction
- Circumference reduction
- Stretch mark improvement
- Cellulite appearance improvement
- Acne improvement
- Tightening flabby arms and wrinkled skin
The Thermi provides much better tightening than devices like the Ulthera. Ulthera is very painful and requires several treatments. Thermi is generally one treatment and there’s minimal discomfort & downtime. It is most commonly used to tighten the neck skin, especially the upper neck and chin, and to sculpt the lower half of the face and remove jowls. It can also be used for the arms and fatty areas on the trunk & legs. It is very safe. There is a second treatment called ThermiSmooth that tightens skin and improves wrinkles around the eyes. It also lifts the brows.
Schedule An Appointment
These are just a few of the many ways we can help you look and feel your best. Just call California Skin & Laser Center at 209-751-4292 and schedule an evaluation. At that time, Dr. Bock will advise you whether you are a candidate for this procedure, and what other possibilities exist for improving your appearance.