Thermage vs Ultherapy – What is the Difference?

These days to get rid of laxity and wrinkles of the skin, surgery is not the only option. There are a variety of non-surgical treatments that can help you look more youthful and Thermage and Ultherapy are amongst them.

These two methods are gaining ground for people who want to minimize wrinkles and get tight and youthful skin.

Both the procedures, Thermage and Ultherapy, address similar issues, but it is important to known the difference to decide which one is best for you.

What is Thermage?

Thermage is a non-invasive procedure that can be used to tighten and contour the skin. It targets collagen in the skin and stimulates new growth and helps in achieving the desired effect.

Radiofrequency is used in this method. It induces heat into the skin and treats the outer skin and then extends inward.

Thermage is mostly recommended for the face, eyes area, abdominal area, and thighs.

Thermage is able to target a larger area. A single treatment takes 30 to 90 minutes depending on the area to be treated.

Procedure: How is Thermage Done?

A handheld device is used to deliver radiofrequency energy into the dermal tissue of the targeted area. A slight heat sensation is felt whenever it is used. Depending on the area to be treated the time taken is from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

A cooling spray is used on the skin surface to reduce the pain experienced during the procedure.(1)

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy can be best described as a non-invasive alternative to a facelift. The goal is to treat common signs of aging such as wrinkles, sagging in the face, brow area, neck, and chest.

Ultherapy uses ultrasound imaging to bypass the skin and stimulate collagen production.

It targets a smaller area and is able to penetrate deep into the skin. It is known to treat the skin inside out. Ultherapy is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive procedure to lift and tighten the area around the brow, chin, neck, and chest. It is mostly approved to be used on the area below the face.

Procedure: How is Ultherapy Done?

The Ultherapy procedure is done in a medical office and local anesthesia can be used to prevent discomfort.

The target area is cleaned and the ultrasound gel is applied. The Ultherapy device is placed on the area and an ultrasound viewer is used to determine the appropriate settings to deliver the ultrasound energy to the brow line, neck, and chest.

The Ultherapy procedure takes 30 to 90 minutes.

The person undergoing Ultherapy experiences heat and tingling during the treatment when the devices deliver energy into the skin.

Differences Between Thermage and Ultherapy

Both Thermage and Ultherapy are similar in many ways. There are a few notable differences that can help you in deciding which one is the right treatment for you.

Types of Energy

The main difference between the two procedures is the type of energy used to restore collagen production.

Thermage uses radiofrequency, while ultrasound is used in Ultherapy.

In ultrasound, the energy reaches a deeper level as compared to radiofrequency.

Treatment Areas

What method to choose, also depends on the area to be treated.

If someone is looking to target the neck and décolleté area then Ultherapy using ultrasound energy is the right choice. These areas cannot be treated with Thermage. Ultherapy is best suited for areas with more skin laxity.

A study reports radiofrequency-based systems are appropriate for any skin type.(1)

If looking to target skin other than face and neck, Thermage can be considered. Along with the face, Thermage can look after the sagging skin of the abdomen and buttocks. These areas are not approved for treatment with Ultherapy.

Timing of Results

Both the procedures take equal time to perform but the difference is in the showing up of full result.

Ultherapy shows complete results in 2-3 months while in Thermage it can take up to 6 months.

Who are Good Candidates for Thermage and Ultherapy?

Both of these are non-surgical procedures can be a very good option for those who do not want to undergo surgery.

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, these treatments are best for those with mild to moderate skin laxity and do not require dramatic lifting, which is possible only after surgery.(2)

Side Effects from Thermage and Ultherapy

Just like any other medical procedure, Thermage and Ultherapy also have a few complications.

Common and temporary side effects from Thermage fade away within 24 hours. These include:

  • Temporary redness
  • Minor swelling
  • Tingling

Common side effects from Ultherapy include:

  • Heat sensation
  • Redness
  • Swelling tenderness
  • Tingling on skin
  • Tenderness

Both Thermage and Ultherapy are popular non-surgical facelift procedures. They are safe and have minimal side effects.

If suffering from any medical condition make sure to get a clearance certification from a doctor before going ahead with any of these procedures.

Discuss all the possible options with a certified dermatologist before going ahead with any procedure.