There are a number of new, FDA-cleared skin tightening treatments in the market. They all employ unique mechanisms to achieve the desired results. Most of them work by using targeted energy to heat deeper layers of the skin, stimulating elastin and collagen production. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons at Skin Deep Laser employ these new treatments to tighten sagging and lax skin on the face and body. They include radiofrequency, ultrasound, micro-needling and other surgical procedures.
Radiofrequency procedures earn many points for tightening excess skin in the tummy, thighs, and arms. It’s considered to be the king of energy modalities as it’s relatively more effective. It uses local anesthesia and leaves no scars since the incision made for the straw to pass underneath the skin is less than a quarter-inch. However, it’s not for everyone, especially if you’ve lost a lot of weight, as the skin may not contract enough. It’s a good alternative for people who’ve not qualified for liposuction. Additionally, it only requires one treatment.
Ultrasound Skin Tightening
With this procedure, ultrasound energy is used to achieve tighter skin. The ultrasound energy is delivered through a procedure known as Ultherapy where sound waves are used to boost the amount of collagen stored under the skin, resulting in firmer skin. Depending on how the ultrasound energy is focused, sound waves can penetrate at different depths. This procedure is commonly used for tightening the skin around the chin, brow, and neck. It’s generally preferred because it can skip the superficial layer of the skin and deliver energy deeper, delivering more heat without burning the inner part of the skin.
Microneedling Combined with Other Technologies
Some new treatments tighten skin by combining several technologies in one device. One example is Vivace, a new treatment that combines micro-needling, radiofrequency and laser light. The device uses a robotic motor to gently inject needles into the skin, ensuring the process goes smoothly and with precision, complete comfort, no downtime and with optimal delivery system post-treatment.
Both the radiofrequency and microneedling aspects stimulate collagen growth, resulting in skin tightening. The treatment is primarily used on the face, chest, hands, knees, and abdomen, among other areas of the body. The results are almost immediate and long-lasting as the skin appears tighter and smoother with reduced texture, lines, and wrinkles. Some have even reported increased pigmentation.
Surgical Skin Tightening
When it comes to skin tightening, plastic surgery is the gold standard. It’s the most effective procedure and treatment of choice for people with excess skin after childbirth or after massive weight loss. Examples of plastic surgery procedures include lower body lift, arm lifts, tummy tuck, and surgical mommy makeover, among others. Unfortunately, these procedures will leave scars, require general anesthesia, and have longer recoveries compared to other procedures. However, the results are immediate, dramatic and long-lasting, especially when they’re performed by a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon.
Spillover Skin Tightening
Some procedures achieve skin tightening as a side effect and bonus rather than a goal. Although the results may not be as dramatic as what will be achieved with a procedure designed specifically for skin tightening, the resultant benefit may make a meaningful difference. Examples of procedures that yield skin tightening as an indirect side effect include Coolsculpting and Kybella. These procedures are primarily done to reduce fat volume but end up also tightening the submental area (chin). Kybella injections slowly melt fat pockets away while Coolsculpting freezes and destroys fat cells.