How does radiofrequency (Thermage & Exilis) compare with Ultherapy?

Hello Dr Irvin, I love your site so glad I found it! I would like to know how you think radiofrequency compares with Ultherapy for maintaining and building collagen in the face. I'm going to have either one or the other but just cannot decide Laura

I’m so glad you like the site.   This question comes up fairly frequently and there are some  differences in the technology itself but I think what most people are asking is…… do the results compare.  More on new devices, products and lasers. 

There have never been (to my knowledge) any studies that compare the results of the 3.  They all offer no or minimal downtime, some discomfort, and subtle results.  These technologies are NOT good for tightening jowls in most women/men who are 50 or more.  Or…..put it this way….the results (tightening) at 50 plus are unreliable, because jowls are caused more by volume loss in the mid and lateral face than by thinning skin.

All of them have been proven to improve collagen at the microscopic level and we know that keeping the skin ‘thicker’ with lots of healthy collagen is youthful.  The texture and structure of the skin is better in people who get these procedures done regularly.  Good preventive strategy.

In my opinion, here’s the bottom line:

  • Results:   They are all very similiar and none has emerged as a clear leader yet
  • Discomfort:   Thermage and Exilis are much more comfortable than Ultherapy
  • Cost:  Depends on your area but usually quite similar
  • Time:   Thermage usually one treatment then every 6-12 months (ok Hollywood every 3 months), Exilis and Ultherapy usually a series of 2-3 treatments then every 6-12 months.   Nothing (including surgery) is ever permanent.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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