Boston Plastic Surgery Specialists

Non-Surgical Skin Tightening

Dr. Brooke R. Seckel

Non-Surgical Skin Tightening in Boston

What is Non-Surgical Skin Tightening?

Nonsurgical skin tightening is the use of various types of laser, radiofrequency or RF, infrared or IR, or ultrasound machines to tighten loose or sagging skin of the face, belly, stomach, neck, chin or thighs.

How do lasers, radiofrequency, infrared and ultrasound machines tighten skin?

Skin tightening machines tighten skin by producing heat in the deeper layers of the skin which causes inflammation in the skin collagen and elastin. The inflammation causes the formation of new collagen and elastin. The new collagen and elastin are shorter and stronger, and pull the skin tighter to firm or tone the skin. These devices cool the surface of the skin so that the laser, radiofrequency, infrared or ultrasound energy passes through the skin surface without thermal injury.

Why do people have skin tightening done?

People who want tighter skin but do not want plastic surgery such as tummy tuck or liposuction, choose non-surgical or non-invasive skin tightening. The 2 major causes of sagging or loose skin are:

  • Aging
  • Significant or massive weight loss.
Non-Surgical Skin Tightening Boston
Before and after non-surgical skin tightening of the neck (Individual Results May Vary)

Does non-surgical skin tightening work?

Yes. However, patient reviews recorded only a 37% “worth it” vote. It does not work as well as a surgical lift. Patients often have to be shown a photograph to see the difference. Nonsurgical skin tightening is most useful to tighten minor loose skin folds that recur after a facelift or tummy tuck.

What are the benefits of non-surgical skin tightening?

The benefits are:

  • A non-surgical option for skin tightening
  • No surgical down time
  • Less expensive than surgery
  • Best for young patients with minimal sagging skin
Boston Non-Surgical Skin Tightening
Before and after tummy non-surgical skin tightening (Individual Results May Vary)

Does non-surgical skin tightening hurt?

Yes, the major reason patients stop treatment is pain. However, we use a topical numbing cream which helps control discomfort.

Is non-surgical skin tightening safe?

It is safe if done by an experienced physician or approved nurse or medical aesthetician.

What does non-surgical skin tightening cost?

A series of 4 costs $2500-$4000.

What is the best skin tightening machine?

Skin tightening machines are only as good as the operator. In my experience the best result that non-surgical or non-invasive skin tightening can achieve is 20% compared to that achieved by a surgical lift. There is no best machine.

Laser skin tightening

Laser resurfacing was the first non-surgical skin tightening technique used. Ablative Laser resurfacing and more recently combined laser resurfacing all can produce skin tightening.

Radiofrequency, or RF, skin tightening

Thermage®, now called ThermaCool NXT was the first. Other RF devices include Exilis® Elite, Accent XL®, Elos®, Matrix RF®. Viora Reaction® and Venus Freeze®.

Infrared, or IR, skin tightening

Titan®, LuxIR Deep®, and Sciton SkinTyte® are IR devices, Infrared skin tightening is less painful than RF.

Ultrasound, or ultrasonic, skin tightening

Ulthera® is the newest ultrasound skin tightening device. Accent UltraV® combines ultrasound and RF.

What happens during a skin tightening treatment? How long does it take?

The area to be treated will be covered with a cooling gel. The treatment tip will be pressed against the skin and a pulse of heat will be applied. This technique is repeated multiple times across the area to be tightened. Frequently a second pass is done. Small areas can be treated in 20-30 minutes, larger areas take an hour.

What will I look like after a skin tightening treatment?

The skin will be temporarily pink after treatment.

Will people know I have had a skin tightening treatment?


What is recovery after non-surgical skin tightening?

No recovery is required.

What are the risks of skin tightening?

The main risk is a skin burn. Proper technique with FDA cleared devices should avoid a burn. Some radiofrequency devices have caused depressions or deformity in the skin because the RF dissolved fat beneath the skin. Potential complications of the ultrasound devices include nodules or lumps beneath the skin, temporary numbness and nerve injury.

When will I see my final skin tightening result?

Final results take 6 months after last treatment.

Who should do my skin tightening treatment?

State law determines who may perform skin tightening treatments. In many states only doctors can use skin tightening devices. In some states, including Massachusetts, a trained, certified nurse, P A or medical aesthetician under physician supervision can do skin tightening treatments.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Boston Plastic Surgery Specialists is pleased to offer a range of body contouring procedures to help patients look and feel their best. Dr. Seckel is a leading provider of non-surgical skin tightening in Boston, MA, as well as laser resurfacing. To learn more about these minimally invasive treatments, please contact our office today.

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