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Clinical Indications

The ThermaCool TC System is used clinically for the noninvasive treatment of periorbital rhytids and wrinkles*, and works by tightening tissue with an advanced form of radiofrequency

What is the Thermage Procedure?

The Thermage procedure was developed to help the signs of aging skin. It works by tightening tissue. It is currently used for treating periorbital (around the eye) wrinkles. The Thermage procedure is sometimes referred to as ThermaLift, Thermal Lifting, Therma Plasty, and Thermoplastic contouring. The Thermage technology is being studied for other aesthetic uses on the face.

Patient treated and Photos provided by Neil Sadick

Before image showing the condition prior to the Thermage treatment

A promotional pamphlet displaying the results after undergoing Thermage treatment.

How does it work?

  • The radiofrequency (RF) energy uniformly heats the dermis while cooling and protecting the epidermis. It is designed to cause immediate collagen contraction followed by new collagen production which occurs over a period of time. The Thermage procedure is the only non-invasive method to tighten loose skin.

What does a Thermage Procedure feel like?

  • Each time treatment is delivered there is an immediate cool sensation, followed by a brief hot sensation, followed by a cool sensation. An anesthetic cream applied one hour before the procedure numbs the surface of the skin to help make the treatment more comfortable. Your physician may possibly offer additional measures to increase your comfort.

How long will the Thermage Procedure take?

  • Depending on the size of the area treated, the procedure itself may possibly take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Your physician may possibly require that you arrive an hour before your procedure for administration of an anesthetic cream. This patient had her forehead skin treated in about 25 minutes. Note the change in the appearance of her eyes.

Patient treated by Julio Barba and Javier Ruiz-Esparza

Before photo of a person undergoing Thermage treatment

A person appearing younger after undergoing a Thermage treatment.

When can I return to my normal activities?

  • You may possibly return to your normal activities immediately, as there is usually no "downtime". Minimal redness is seen in some patients but it usually disappears shortly after treatment. Heat-related complications can occur but are uncommon. There is no special care needed after treatment. As a part of good skin care, sunscreen is recommended.

When will I see results?

  • In most patients, results appear gradually over 2-6 months, although some patients see an earlier response.

Patient treated by Roy Geronemus 

Before image showing the effects of Thermage treatment

Before and after comparison pamphlet for Thermage treatment
4 weeks after treatment

How numerous treatments will I need?

  • A single treatment has produced good results in a significant number of patients. However, your doctor will assess the number and frequency of treatments required to achieve optimal results for your skin.

How long will the effects of the Thermage procedure last?

  • Recently published studies show that improvements continue for at least six months after a single treatment session. Other studies show that thermal collagen changes can last several years, depending on the rate of the aging process.

How safe is it?

  • The Thermage procedure is very safe. Although it is possible that skin damage can occur, this advanced treatment has been studied carefully in hundreds of patients with minimal reports of lasting adverse effects.

How does the Thermage Procedure change your skin?

  • This magnified picture of skin (before image) depicts diminished collagen density and a thinning epidermis (top layer of skin) which is typical of aging skin. Four months after the Thermage Procedure there is new and denser collagen and an appreciable increase in the thickness of the epidermis (after image)


Before and after image of skin changes. The left side shows the skin before treatment, and the right side shows the skin after treatment.

Image showing changes in the skin after undergoing Thermage treatment