Nonsurgical (or non-invasive) skin tightening procedures help stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of skin to improve its tone and elasticity. Nonsurgical skin tightening is commonly done on the face and neck, but can be performed almost anywhere on the body where skin is loose or beginning to sag.
Most nonsurgical skin tightening procedures can be done in-office with little to no downtime, and results typically last up to one year.
Skin Tightening Methods
If you’re considering a nonsurgical skin tightening procedure, you typically have three choices for the type of method that will be used.
Ultrasound Skin Tightening
Ultrasound skin tightening procedures use focused ultrasound energy to heat the tissues just below the surface of the skin. In response to this heat, your body stimulates the growth of new collagen, which helps smooth wrinkles and improve the overall elasticity of the skin.
During the procedure, your provider will thoroughly cleanse your skin and apply an ultrasound gel to the treatment area. Then, they will smooth the gel using a hand-held ultrasound device, which delivers focused ultrasound energy to the tissues.
Ultrasound skin tightening can typically be performed in just 45 to 90 minutes with no recovery time, and you should be able to see some results of the procedure immediately.
Radiofrequency Skin Tightening
Similar to ultrasound therapy, radiofrequency uses a hand-held device to heat up skin tissue and promote collagen production. With radiofrequency, results appear gradually over several months following the procedure, and it may take anywhere from two to six treatments to achieve optimal results.
Other radiofrequency methods are administered by making a small incision and inserting a probe to target fat cells and deeper skin layers.
IPL/RF Combination Skin Tightening
Another type of nonsurgical skin tightening procedure uses a combination of Intense pulse light (IPL) and radiofrequency (RF).
Combining these two methods allows your provider to treat your skin at multiple levels and may even boost the effectiveness of radiofrequency.
Like the radiofrequency and ultrasound methods, this combination treatment can be performed in-office with very little downtime, and Results appear gradually as the skin produces new collagen.
Average Cost of Non-Invasive Skin Tightening Procedures
The average cost of nonsurgical skin tightening methods typically range from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the size of the treatment area, the specific type of skin tightening procedure, and your location/provider.
Is Nonsurgical Skin Tightening Right for You?
There are few serious side effects associated with nonsurgical skin tightening, making it a good choice for most people wanting to improve the appearance of their skin without surgery.
However, nonsurgical skin tightening is not recommended for those who are pregnant or have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications.
We recommend speaking with your doctor or provider about any questions you have about your specific circumstances.
4 Tips for Choosing a Provider
Typically, nonsurgical skin tightening procedures can be performed by a licensed, trained aesthetician or registered nurse working under physician supervision.
No matter what kind of procedure you’re interested in getting, we recommend following these 5 tips for choosing a reputable provider:
1. Do your research
Taking time to research a particular provider can help ensure you choose one who does good work and has a good reputation. [LINK TO THE FOUNTAIN]
2. Check out the facility
If there’s a particular facility you are thinking of going to for your procedure, feel free to pay them a visit beforehand to get a feel for its cleanliness and overall vibe of the office.
3. Talk to your friends
If you have friends who have gotten nonsurgical treatments, ask them about their provider and whether they would recommend them.
4. Ask to see the results of other patients
A reputable aesthetician or provider will have no problem sharing examples of their past work with you. Once you’ve narrowed your options down to a few choices, reach out to them and ask to see some before and after shots. In most cases, providers are happy to provide photos.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Nonsurgical skin tightening procedures require little prep, but you’ll want to ensure you remove any makeup or skin care products from the treatment area before your appointment. Your provider may also recommend that you take a pain-reducing or anti-inflammatory medication before your procedure to help make you more comfortable during and after your visit.
Questions to Ask Your Provider
Your provider should be happy to answer any questions you have leading up to your procedure. Some questions you may want to ask your provider include:
What’s your experience with this procedure?
If you didn’t get this question answered during your research, feel free to ask your provider in person. Although non-invasive skin tightening procedures are common, you want to know your provider has direct experience with administering them.
How long will the treatment last?
Although most nonsurgical skin tightening procedures take just an hour or two, your provider can provide you with more detailed information regarding your procedure and how long it will likely take.
Are there any side effects to this procedure?
Again, we go over some general side effects and complications later in this article, but your provider may be able to provide you with more personalized information based on your unique characteristics and circumstances.
How can I best maintain the results of my skin tightening procedure?
Skin tightening procedures can be expensive, so it’s important to understand how best to maintain the results. Your provider will be able to tell you what to do (and what not to do) to prolong the results of your procedure.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
One of the biggest benefits of nonsurgical skin tightening procedures is that they require little to no downtime, meaning you can return to your normal day-to-day activities immediately following your treatment.
You may experience some mild swelling, bruising or redness directly following the procedure, which can sometimes last up to two weeks.
In most cases, you’ll begin to notice some positive results from your procedure immediately, though full results can take anywhere from three to six months to see.
Possible Side Effects and Complications
Complications and side effects from nonsurgical skin tightening procedures are uncommon, but can include:
- Surface irregularities
- Fat atrophy
- Bumps under the skin
- Bruising or swelling
- Compression of the blood vessels