October 3, 2022

woman looking to side

As we age, our skin becomes less firm. As a result, cosmetics treatments have been created to address this loss of firmness. One such treatment is ThermiTight. The non-surgical skin-tightening treatment is beloved by many for its multifaceted approach that allows it to treat not only sagging skin on the face, but all over the body. And, since it doesn’t leave scarring, it’s becoming more and more popular as an anti-aging solution. Intrigued? Ahead, you’ll discover everything there is to know about ThermiTight, including what it is, what the benefits are, what it feels like, and more.

What Is ThermiTight? 

According to the ThermiTight website, the treatment is controlled subdermal tissue heating. “The device uses radiofrequency energy heat to stimulate the skin to rebuild collagen and elastin giving our skin structural support,” says Beverly Hills-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban. As we age, our natural structural support degrades, and things like lifestyle, weight fluctuations, UV exposure, and other genetic factors can play into how quickly (and noticeably) it does. By applying heat to the body, Shamban says that Thermitight is able to cause an inflammatory and defensive response that triggers cells to generate collagen and elastin fibers. In doing so, ThermiTight is able to directly improve the appearance of sagging, laxity, and loose skin, making way for a tighter, more defined look—whether on your face or or other areas of the body. “It is a non-invasive way to skin tighten, lift, and create a more youthful, supple look to skin naturally without any cut, sew, puncture, or incisions, using only the heat of the probes to penetrate deep through to the dermis,” Shamban adds.

Now that you know the what, it’s important to weigh the cost, as well. On average, ThermiTight costs between $2,000 and $4,000 per treatment, depending on where you go for treatment. The more reputable the practice, and the more metropolitan the location, the higher the cost you can expect.

Benefits of ThermiTight

  • Improves appearance of loose or sagging skin
  • Improves the appearance of wrinkles
  • Can reverse jowls and slack jawlines
  • Non-invasive
  • No scarring
  • No down time

“ThermiTight is an essentially non-invasive way to target loose, sagging skin and wrinkles with minimal to no downtime,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Rachel Maiman of Marmur Medical. “For stubborn areas like the jowls, jawline, and neck, which can be sometimes difficult to improve with injectable dermal fillers and which previously required an invasive face lift, radiofrequency devices such as ThermiTight offer the possibility for significant improvement.”

ThermiTight doesn’t only benefit the face, though. Maiman says that the radiofrequency treatment can be used on the body as well. “ThermiTight can improve loose skin and texture on the abdomen and to tighten skin on the arms, knees, or thighs,” she explains.

While the primary purpose of ThermiTight is for skin tightening, rather than fat reduction, Maiman says that the delivery of radiofrequency to target layers of skin has been shown to induce a process called adipolysis, death of fat cells, which are slowly metabolized over ensuing months. “As a result, many patients do also notice small improvements in localized fat deposits,” she says.

How to Prepare for a ThermiTight Treatment

First and foremost, Maiman says it’s important to be incredibly hydrated pre-treatment. For this reason, it’s best to drink at least eight ounces of water—if not half your bodyweight in ounces—every day for a week leading up to treatment. Additionally, Shamban says to come to the appointment with clean skin, free of moisturizers, oils, and other topicals. What’s more, she advises to stop using any retinoids or prescription topicals for 48 hours prior to treatment to avoid any adverse reaction between the ingredients and the radiofrequency. And, as with most cosmetic treatments, she says to cut alcohol (and other blood thinners) from your diet for 48 hours beforehand to reduce the risk of excess bruising.

You should also be clear about what other treatments you’ve had ahead of your ThermiTight treatment. “I advise avoiding the procedure on any areas treated with injectable dermal fillers or toxins such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin for at least one month following injection,” Maiman says.

What to Expect During a ThermiTight Treatment

Depending on where you get ThermiTight, the treatment can take anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes. “As far as the procedure itself, you will first be provided with a local anesthesia that’s administered just under the skin to eliminate any pain that you would otherwise experience throughout the course of the treatment,” Maiman says.  Once the anesthesia kicks in, an incision is created and a small probe is placed right beneath the skin in the area of treatment. “The procedure is then performed and creates a warm sensation similar to a hot stone massage,” she explains. “Once the procedure has been completed, the probe is removed and the small incision(s) are generally left open to heal. Once healed, they are extremely small to nearly imperceptible.”

Side Effects

As with most cosmetic treatments, localized mild redness is to be expected post-treatment. “Most patients experience a bit of redness for up to 24 hours afterwards and a few days of swelling or mild tenderness as well as bruising are not uncommon,” Maiman says. “Many patients begin to notice the results within two weeks, but the skin and underlying tissues continue to improve over a six-month period.”

Generally speaking, both derms say that the results can last for two to three years, though, Shamban says that several treatments are sometimes necessary depending on the person, as results are subjective.

What’s not subjective, however, is how ThermiTight works on different skin types and tones. “This treatment is color blind in that it works for all skin tones types and ethnicities,” Shamban says.

Aftercare

It’s best to take it easy post-ThermiTight treatment. Specifically, Maiman says to rest for the first 12 hours after the procedure and to only engage in mild activity for two to three days following the treatment. To prevent long-lasting swelling and soreness, she says apply ice for two hours post-procedure, and to do so in 20-minute on-and-off increments.

Soreness and downtime aside, Maiman points out that drainage is totally normal. “It’s a common and expected occurrence and so changing dressings every four to six hours for as long as drainage persists is often recommended,” she says. “Incision sites should be washed with warm soap and water and drainage typically subsides within 24 to 72 hours.”

Lastly, it’s equally as important to stay hydrated post-procedure as it is pre-procedure. So, if you need an excuse to hydrate, let this be it.

ThermiTight vs. Ultherapy

ThermiTight isn’t the only treatment on the market to target deep levels of tissue. “Ultherapy and Thermitight both induce deep tissue heating, which activates collagen production by triggering the body’s natural healing response,” Maiman says. “These procedures differ in the method they use to tighten skin.” Where Ultherapy uses external application of ultrasound waves to generate detailed images of the treatment area before gently warming it from the surface downward, she explains that Thermitight is a radiofrequency procedure that heats targeted tissue directly into the deeper layers of the skin. “Because ThermiTight can generate a higher temperature than Ultherapy, many argue it is a better alternative for treating advanced skin laxity,” she adds. “Moreover, by producing more heat, ThermiTight has the additional effect of inducing death of fat cells while simultaneously tightening loose skin, so improvements in localized fat deposits are sometimes seen.” That said, the primary disadvantage of ThermiTight vs. Ultherapy is that it is comparably more invasive considering it requires an incision.

A Final Word

As effective as ThermiTight can be, Shamban points out that it’s a cosmetic treatment that lends the best results when other lifestyle factors are implemented. While it tightens the skin, she says that focusing on a healthy lifestyle, building muscle, focusing on overall fitness, never skipping sunscreen, and committing to topical skin care can make the results even more noticeable. “Done solo, no one approach accomplishes all,” she explains.

Double-board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles J. Galanis, agrees with this, noting that he only uses ThermiTight in tandem with other procedures. I do use these treatments, usually in tandem with other procedures. “If we’re talking about the body, the best combinations are usually some combination of advanced liposuction fat grafting, radiofrequency skin tightening, injectable Sculptra, and subcision (cutting) of cellulite bands.