The advanced technology behind the thermage procedure can be understood by a plain language explanation of the diagram shown below. To understand this we first must have an anatomy lesson.
Your skin is composed of the epidermis which is the outermost layer, the dermis is next and then the fat tissue as shown at the bottom half of the diagram Although not shown the muscle layers are next.
Collagen is a structural component of your skin, which like little molecular fibers hold the fabric of your skin together. This can be thought of as the weave in the fabric of your clothes.
As we age, these fibers become less compact and less organized and your skin becomes loose and saggy.
One way is to think of this is to imagine a stretched out polyester sweater which has lost its tight weave. Your skin like the sweater, becomes less attractive and looses its crisp appearance and sags with age.
The Thermage procedure works by first cooling the epidermis (surface layer) with a computer regulated cryogen spray. Next high energy radio waves are sent into the tissue passing through the epidermis. The energy field then generated is thought to denature the collagen matrix of your skin deep to the epidermis. This disruption stimulates and causes the collagen to reform in a different way which tightens up over a period of time.
Just imagine a loose worn out sweater with fiber weave stretched out, then with some device by using only an energy wave tighten up the fibers and the sweater starts to look like it did when you bought it.
This explanation should help you understand the basic mechanics of why the Thermage procedure works. It is not meant to be a complete scientific presentation, but provide you with a basic conceptual understanding of the technology involved.
- Authored by: Michael Pasquale