Thermage Cost, Before and After Photos, Videos, Risks, Results

The cost of a Thermage treatment will depend on a lot of factors such as area treated the doctor performing the procedure, and the number of treatments required, but the national average is about $2,600 overall. However, the range for the cost of a facial treatment can be anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000.  This range will also be affected by where you are located and the number of trained professionals that are able to offer this type of treatment in your area. 

Thermage Explained by Dr. Gerrish

Often you will be able to find providers that will give a discount for a set of two treatments over a period of three to six months.  Since this is a cosmetic procedure, it is typically not covered by health insurance, but most providers are willing to work with their patients in regards to making payment arrangements when insurance is not an option. 

Many plastic surgeons work with groups that can offer financing and these doctors are usually willing to help their clients with the process of finding funding and working out payment arrangements.

What is Thermage?

Thermage is a relatively new cosmetic procedure where the skin is smoothed, tightened, and contoured using radio frequency technology.  The process can work on all skin types, skin colors, and on any part of the body; although it is most often performed on the face and areas of the body where there is cellulite.  Typically, Thermage only requires one treatment and the recovery time is quick. 

After a Thermage treatment the skin will not only look firmer, but sagging will also be reduced.  This happens because the radio frequency that is used is able to penetrate into the subcutaneous fat, which makes it good for sculpting underneath the skin and changing the appearance of cellulite.

The specific issues that Thermage treats are:

  • Sagging skin
  • Jowls
  • “Turkey neck”
  • Fine lines
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Adding definition to the lips
  • Removing under eye bags
  • Smoothing the texture around the eyes
  • Smoothing crepe like skin
  • Softening bulging skin
  • Smoothing cellulite

Thermage used for Cellulite Treatment on Buttocks

Thermage used for Cellulite Treatment on Buttocks


The Treatment

During Thermage treatments electrodes are attached to the body in different areas to allow the current of radio frequency waves to run as deeply as possible through the skin layers.  As the radio frequency heat penetrates deep into the layers of the skin and the collagen, the system also cools the top layers of the skin, allowing your body to stay protected from damage externally.  This process also triggers the body to start producing more collagen, which is what gives the body its more youthful appearance.

The use of radio frequency as a treatment for skin tightening has several different names and styles, but the most common treatment type is called Thermage.  The Thermage style uses equipment that has been patented and was FDA approved in 2002.

It is considered a midway treatment between topical procedures, like chemical peels, and more invasive surgical treatments like a face lift.  It is less dramatic in reducing facial sagging than a face lift.  The people who benefit from the Thermage procedure the most, are people in their late thirties and early forties who are only dealing with the beginnings of facial sagging and wrinkling.

Even with the government approval, Thermage is still considered a relatively new treatment.  There have been mixed responses from people who have received the Thermage treatments; ranging from seeing no change in their skin, to a complete transformation.  With few studies having been completed, it is difficult to determine what the real accuracy of these treatments could be.


The results from a Thermage procedure won’t offer a completely younger look, but it does change the contour of the face.  This is what leaves people looking fresher and brighter.  Some people who have had the treatment have expressed that they feel ten years was taken off of their face from a treatment, but this is not the normal expectation from a Thermage procedure.  In fact, half of the people who have received Thermage treatments noticed no change in their appearance at all.

Thermage before and after – Eyelids

Thermage Before and After Around the Eyes

Thermage Before and After Around the Eyes

Thermage is one of the only non-surgical procedures that smooths skin texture and reduces wrinkles and hooding in the eyelid region. It can help you achieve a younger, less tired, lifted look to your eyes. Thermage also works on crow’s feet and to soften fine lines.

The most exciting aspect of Thermage for eyelid rejuvenation is that patients are usually extremely pleased with the ease and safety of the procedure and satisfaction can be very high.

Thermage before and after – Face

Thermage Before and After

Thermage Before and After

Rejuvenating your facial skin with Thermage is like a non-surgical facelift. Thermage can make the facial skin look tighter and fresher by stimulating the body’s production of collagen. According to doctors, the best candidates for facial Thermage are those with medium sized faces with a modest amount of fullness. Thermage treatment may not work at all if your face is very thin or very heavy.

Thermage reportedly works well for sagging foreheads, deep smile folds, jowls and sagging necks. However, results are gradual and will become more evident as new collagen forms. This can be a 4 to 6 month process but you should notice the difference as time goes on. Again, patients are usually extremely satisfied with Thermage for alleviating problems such as laugh lines and skin sagging.

Thermage before and after – Stomach

Thermage on Stomach Before and After

Thermage on Stomach Before and After

Thermage can be a great alternative to invasive surgeries to help you achieve a smoother, tighter and more contoured body as long as your skin has good flexibility. After several months, you should notice the difference in your skin tone. It can reduce deep wrinkles and stretch marks, reduce the hooded look over your belly button, and improve the contour of your waist. You may expect to continue with maintenance treatment to achieve the best results.


Thermange Before and After on Hands

Thermange Before and After on Hands

Has aging caused the skin on your hands to thin out, loosen and take on a crepe-like look? Thermage can actually tighten and thicken this skin by improving collagen production, enabling you to turn back the “hands” of time.

How long does Thermage treatment last?

Some patients see improvement as soon as one month after treatment, while others take as long as 6 months. Results can last a long time – from 18 months to as many as 5 to 8 years, depending on your body’s aging process. You may need one treatment or multiple treatments to assist your body with collagen production. Ask your physician to take before and after photos you can track your progress and notice the changes.

Side Effects and Risks

Most people recover from Thermage treatments within just a few days.  The healing process can be uncomfortable, but is usually not considered painful.  The actual treatment on the other hand, is painful.  It can be used on the face, the hands, the belly, around the eyes, and on the lips, and even areas of the body where there is excessive cellulite.  Certain areas of the body will be more painful than others.

The side effects for this treatment are most often mild and quick to clear up.  Some of the issues that people run into are:

Typical Issues:

  • Redness of the treatment site.
  • Swelling of the treatment site and surrounding areas.

Rare Issues:

  • Changes in facial sensation.
  • Burns.
  • Blisters. 
  • Permanent scarring or pigmentary changes. 
  • Facial indentations.
  • Skin surface dimpling.
  • Other skin and surface irregularities.

Since the procedure is considered new, the biggest risk is getting the treatment from someone who hasn’t been properly trained in performing the procedure.  Not being properly trained can lead to over treatment or under treatment, which is most likely why there have been issues with people being unsatisfied with the results of their treatment.

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