Cosmetic Procedures
Skin Tightening: What to Expect Before, During, and After

Would you like your eyes to appear more open and youthful? Do you want to diminish early signs of jowls? If so, your dermatologist may recommend a non-invasive tightening procedure that sends heat deep into your skin. The following explains what happens before, during, and after such a procedure.

What to Expect Before Non-Invasive Skin Tightening
A consultation is essential. During the consultation, your dermatologist will take your medical history and closely examine your skin to determine if non-invasive skin tightening can be effective. This procedure will not be effective if loose fat or muscle is involved.

This consultation is the time to ask what results can be expected. It is important to know that this non-invasive procedure cannot produce the same results as a facelift or other surgical procedure. Knowing beforehand what results can be expected will help avoid disappointment.

During the consultation also be sure to ask who will perform the procedure and how much experience the person has with the device to be used.

What to Expect During Non-Invasive Skin Tightening
If the device is one that causes discomfort, pain medication will be given. About 1 hour before the procedure, a topical anesthetic may be applied to the skin.

Once the skin is ready, a device that sends heat deep into the skin will be passed over the skin to be treated. Usually, multiple passes are made. The skin typically is cooled during the procedure to reduce associated discomfort. The procedure lasts anywhere from a few minutes to 1 hour depending upon the area to be treated.

What to Expect After Non-Invasive Skin Tightening
After the procedure, the treated area is generally red and may be swollen. This should not cause any downtime. Patients can usually apply makeup immediately after the procedure to hide the redness. While care is not required after the procedure, sunscreen should also be applied to protect the skin.

Some devices require 1 to 2 treatments to see results. Others may require 4 to 6 treatment sessions. Your dermatologist will tell you how many treatments are recommended.

Alexiades-Armenakas MR, Dover JS, Arndt KA. “Laser Therapy.”
In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP et al, editors. Dermatology. 2nd edition. Spain, Mosby Elsevier; 2008. p. 2113.

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Cosmetic Procedures: Skin Tightening





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Page last updated 11/13/08

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