The latest advances in medical aesthetic treatments make firming up lax skin and adding a little perk to sagging sections a possibility without having to go under the knife. While non-surgical skin tightening treatments may still be a relatively new advancement that isn’t fully understood, there are already plenty of myths circling around the effectiveness of the technology, what these treatments can really address, and who might be an ideal candidate. For these reasons, skin tightening treatments can be a difficult treatment plan to commit to if you don’t know all the facts. Here, we break down the most common myths surrounding skin tightening treatments to set the record straight and better help you decide if they’re the right option for you.
How Do Skin Tightening Treatments Work?
To start, it’s beneficial to understand how non-surgical skin tightening treatments work. Skin tightening treatments that use radio frequency (RF) energy deliver heat deep below the surface of the skin to the fibrous tissue beneath. Composed mostly of collagen and elastin fibers, this tissue can lose its firmness as these elements degrade and production declines with age, UV damage, and other factors. Note that elastin fibers are what give the skin its elastic-like quality, allowing it to snap back when stretched and remain firm. By delivering heat to this tissue, skin tightening treatments kickstart skin’s natural collagen and elastin production, leading to firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin.
Myth #1: Skin Tightening Treatments Only Treat One Area
Some may believe skin tightening treatments are effective only on the face, others believe its best used on the abdomen, and some may believe it only helps firm up and define the chin and neckline. These assumptions are a little misled. There are certainly some areas in which skin tightening treatments are more commonly used than others, but they aren’t limited to those areas alone. A certified treatment provider can better speak to specific concerns regarding lax or sagging skin in different areas, but generally speaking, skin tightening treatments can be effective on the face, chin and neckline, chest, arms, legs, buttocks, thighs, abdomen, and more. One limitation to consider is that you may not be able to seek treatments in areas near any active inflammation or infection, implants, or tattoos. It’s always worth talking to a certified treatment provider who can speak much more accurately to your needs and whether or not skin tightening treatments are the right fit for you.
Myth #2: Treatment Results Are Temporary and Minimal
As mentioned earlier, the effects of an RF-based skin tightening treatment plan dive well below the skin’s surface for noticeable and natural-looking results. The outcome won’t be immediate, but the results are cumulative, meaning you’ll see optimal results about three to four months after your last treatment session. Unfortunately, we can’t stop skin from aging, meaning maintenance sessions may be required. By following your provider’s recommended post-treatment tips and regimens, though, it is possible to improve your overall results and extend how long they last. This will vary depending on your skin’s natural renewal process, its ability to build and maintain collagen and elastin, and the effectiveness of your anti-aging skin care routine. These same factors extend to any treatment areas on the face and body.
Myth #3: There Are Quicker Fixes Than Skin Tightening Treatments
Surgical options and fillers may offer more immediate results compared to non-surgical skin tightening treatments, but these options come alongside lengthy downtime and temporary results. In fact, it’s essential to note that fillers must be regularly maintained to sustain the appearance of firmer skin, as they simply provide a plumper appearance and don’t support the skin’s natural healing cycles below the surface. Fillers are also limited to smaller treatment areas, like cheeks or the neckline. Creams and moisturizers claiming results in just a few weeks’ time are also unlikely to provide any long-term outcome, with topical ingredients unable to penetrate deeper below the skin to provide any real benefit to your collagen and elastin levels. Remember that a decline in skin’s firmness stems from a gradual breakdown in skin cell renewal alongside collagen and elastin production. It’s a process that occurs over years so it’s unrealistic to expect results overnight from a non-surgical skin tightening treatment that is tapping into the skin’s natural processes for results. Having patience can offer real, optimal results without interrupting your schedule.
Myth #4: Skin Tightening Treatments Are for Sagging Skin
Skin laxity may be the main target, but the effects of RF-based skin tightening treatments extend to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as crepe-like skin. In fact, non-surgical skin tightening treatments may be used as a measure to prevent sagging skin and wrinkles to maintain a more youthful-looking appearance. Starting treatments early can give skin a better chance to maintain elasticity and firmness, meaning non-surgical skin tightening treatments may be the solution for more than just those wanting to treat loose skin alone.
Myth #5: Skin Tightening Treatments Aren’t Safe for My Skin Tone
Technology has come a long way since the early days of non-surgical medical aesthetic treatments. Whereas some laser technologies may still cause concern, skin tightening treatments that utilize radiofrequency energy are a safe option for darker skin tones. This is because RF energy does not target melanin chromophores in the skin, which is what increases the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in other laser-based treatments. As a result, RF technology is proven to be safe for all skin tones.
Myth #6: All Skin Tightening Treatment Providers Are the Same
Because treatments are performed using a device, it may seem like the person who holds the applicator and presses the buttons may not make much difference. However, differences in technology and treatment settings can lead to varying results that can very much be dependent on the person completing your treatments. For your best chance at reaching your aesthetic goals, seek out a certified treatment provider for your customized skin tightening treatment plan. Look for a clinic whose staff of specialists can prove a good track record of consistently reasonable results and who take the time to listen to your concerns and answer all your questions without pushing you to commit to a treatment plan before you’re ready to do so. You should feel excited and eager to start your treatment plan and you should be able to fully trust your treatment provider before starting.