Thermage ThermaCool TC® is a non-invasive device that tightens the tissue of the face by targeting the collagen in the deep dermis of the skin. While many patients think that this treatment is a laser, Thermage ThermaCool TC® actually uses radio waves, and as such, is not a laser.
By combining the radio waves into a concentrated beam, ThermaCool TC® has been able to heat a deeper portion of the dermis, previously unreachable by non-invasive treatments. Other non-invasive laser treatments have been only able to penetrate half as deep as Thermage ThermaCool TC® can. The reason for this is that the laser light can only penetrate so deep before the light is absorbed in the area under the skin. Thermage ThermaCool TC® was not designed for the treatment of age spots, wrinkling around the mouth, or sun damaged skin, which are best treated with light based systems. The device was designed to provide a surgical result without exposure to the risks, downtime or costs associated with surgery.
Apart from providing a surgical-like tightening, patients can expect to have resolution of many of the troubling lines and wrinkles on the face. The lines patients can expect to resolve are the nasolabial (between the corner of the nose and corner of the mouth) folds, the marionette (folds seen between the corner of the mouth which slope towards the edge of the chin) lines, and crow’s feet.
Effects of heating the collagen in the dermis with Thermage ThermaCool:
- An immediate shrinkage of the collagen from the heat. This is called the “shrink-wrap” effect and can be seen by patients immediately after the procedure.
- Replacement of weakened and poorly tightened collagen (damaged by the heat) with new, strong, and tight collagen strands. Thiscan last up to six months and is responsible for the continued tightening affect.
By causing damage to the collagen with heat, the body then sends out collagen producing cells called fibroblasts to replace the recently damaged collagen. The heat-induced change to the collagen, which causes the initial shrinkage, does not go away.