Your skin is your most precious clothes. And it has its glamorous look because beneath our skin surface, there is a network of natural collagen and elastin fibers, which are two proteins that help our skin stay plump, firm, and smooth to keep a dynamic and solid appearance.
Unfortunately, due to the aging process, the production of collagen and elastin slows down. Consequently, the skin starts to undergo certain changes that make it look old, loose, and wrinkled. So here one may wonder: “Is there any non-surgical way to tighten sagging skin, reverse skin aging, and make it look firm and smooth again?”. Let’s read and find out all about non-surgical skin tightening procedures.
What is a non-surgical skin tightening?
Non-surgical skin tightening is a cosmetic treatment to change the look of your face, neck, and stomach. Unlike facelifts and tummy tucks, this type of treatment is completely noninvasive. Besides, there are fewer complication risks and side effects. It is less expensive, and the recovery is simple.
Non-surgical skin tightening is based on newer technologies and it uses modern devices to deliver targeted energy to heat deeper layers on cellular levels of your skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
Why non-surgical skin tightening?
If you wish to address and treat loose skin on your face, neck, or tummy and do not want to undergo an invasive surgical procedure, then non-surgical skin tightening may be your first choice.
Non-surgical skin tightening procedures work best for people who have mild or moderate loose skin on the face, neck, stomach, or other parts of the body. Furthermore, it can eliminate any residual skin laxity that may present itself after a certain operation, weight loss, or pregnancy. Also, some people who had a facelift may consider skin tightening to prolong the results.
Types of skin tightening procedures
Depending on the technology used, skin tightening procedures can be categorized into four main types:
1. Ultrasound skin tightening
A micro-focused ultrasound device is used to deliver heat deep into your skin, up to 5 millimeters below the surface. Although it can tighten and lift skin on your face, neck, and tummy to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, this type of therapy is commonly used in non-surgical neck skin tightening.
The ultrasound therapy results may be visible after only one session. However, the final results can take up to 6 months to appear.
2. Radiofrequency (RF) therapy
During the procedure, a handheld device is used to send heat into your skin to trigger collagen production. Unlike ultrasound, radiofrequency targets only the outer layer of your skin. It is efficient for the face and neck, which makes it the best choice for people who wish to undergo a non-surgical neck skin tightening.
Typically, RF therapy may take from two to six sessions to achieve the desired results, which can last up to three years with the right skincare diet.
3. Laser treatment
Here, heat is delivered to your skin using handheld lasers, which destroy the epidermis to reach the underlying dermis.
Laser treatments have proven to be particularly effective on the skin of the tummy and upper arms. So one might consider it for non-surgical tummy tuck skin tightening procedure. The desired results may be achieved after three to five sessions.
4. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL devices transmit multiple wavelengths of light to deep layers of your skin. In most cases, multiple treatments are required in order for the final results to appear.
IPL and RF are often combined together because IPL allows the doctor to treat a large amount of skin like the tummy area, while the RF energy can be hyper-focused to treat deeper layers of skin.
IPL is most likely to be used in non-surgical tummy tuck skin tightening procedures.
Who is the right candidate for non-surgical skin tightening treatments?
Non-surgical skin tightening procedures are best suited for people who have mild skin laxity and do not wish to undergo lifting or skin removal surgeries.
On the other hand, non-invasive skin tightening is not recommended for pregnant women or patients who suffer from infection in the treatment area or blood-clotting problems.
Non-surgical skin tightening cost
The total costs of non-surgical skin tightening procedure depend on the type of treatment implemented, the patient’s condition, the part of the body being treated, and the number of sessions needed.
Generally speaking, skin tightening treatments cost about $2,000 for the face and from $3,000 to $4,000 for the non-surgical neck skin tightening and the non-surgical tummy tuck skin tightening. These costs include physician fees, tests, clinic costs, and local anesthesia if needed.
Side effects and possible risks of non-surgical skin tightening
Common side effects of non-surgical skin tightening procedures may include mild swelling, bruising, redness, tingling, and/or numbness. If this happens, then swelling or bruising will take up to one or two weeks to disappear, while redness typically resolves within a few hours after the last session.
Is non-invasive skin tightening painful?
Most skin tightening procedures are not painful and well tolerated by most patients. However, some patients can experience a little discomfort, depending on the experience of the dermatologist and the device being used to deliver heat to the skin.
In certain cases, local anesthesia is offered to the targeted area to make sure that discomfort is minimized.
What to expect before and after the procedure?
Before the procedure, your physician will review your medical history and run some tests. And a consultation is held to discuss your expectations and inform you of the potential risks and outcomes of the procedure.
Additionally, you should be in healthy condition, have realistic expectations, and avoid any blood-thinning drugs for at least two weeks before the beginning of the sessions.
After the procedure, results appear gradually as the skin produces new collagen and elastin. In general, the final results often take three to six months to appear. The number of sessions required varies based on the device used, the area treated, the energy source and level, and of course the age of the patient.
Non-surgical skin tightening procedures are aimed to tighten the skin from various parts of the body, including the face, neck, and stomach for people who have mild loose skin in these areas. These procedures have no downtime, but their results are not permanent and should be repeated after certain periods of time to reverse the aging process after previous rounds of treatments.