Where once your jawline was firm and defined, it may be now jowly and heavy, your eyelids may have started to droop, and your stomach mightn’t be as toned and tight as it used to be.

While these are all signs that the process of ageing is beginning to take hold, they do not necessarily call for major surgical intervention. Thermage  is a non-surgical

and effective way to treat these problem areas and return youthfulness to both the face and body.

‘Thermage treatments are most commonly performed for firming the jawline, smoothing skin around the eyes and treating loose or crepey skin at the front

of the neck,’ explains Melbourne plastic surgeon Dr Chris Moss. ‘Thermage can also treat poor skin tone in many other

areas, including the stomach after pregnancy and loose skin on the arms or legs.’The different Thermage handpieces can be used to address areas that are

traditionally very difficult to treat – for example, rejuvenating the eyelids without surgery, or reducing the appearance of cellulite.

‘By far the most popular area to treat is the face,’ explains Danielle Ellett, a dermal clinician at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery. ‘Eyelids can be

targeted for reduction of laxity and increased eyelid show. As well, skin tightening can be achieved on the legs, buttocks, arms and abdomen, with some degree

of improvement with cellulite.’ The Thermage system uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to stimulate the

production of new connective tissue in the dermis. This helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, smooth the skin’s surface and – quite literally – rebuild

the skin from within. ‘One advantage of using RF to reduce wrinkles and tighten skin is that it is non-invasive, so doesn’t require needles like those used in injectable treatments;

there isn’t the downtime that can occur with laser resurfacing; and it is great for people who don’t have time, or the inclination, for multiple treatments and visits,’

explains Perth plastic surgeon Dr Anh Nguyen. ‘There are minimal risks, and the results are gradual, natural-looking and subtle so others cannot pinpoint that

treatment has been performed – a factor important to many patients.’ The system works by delivering RF energy to the skin’s deeper layers. This

causes a thermal effect and triggers the process of coagulation – or tissue tightening – in the dermis.

The heat also kick-starts the body’s natural healing processes, increasing blood flow and collagenases (the production of new collagen) at the site.

Importantly, the heat energy is focused at a precise depth within the skin and cooling technology is used to protect the upper epidermal layers.

‘Thermage skin firming treatment is scientifically proven to work by heating the deeper layers of the skin to tighten and stimulate collagen,’ says Dr Moss.

‘Thermage effectively stimulates collagen and elastin levels in the skin to improve skin tone and elasticity without surgery, needles or downtime. It can deliver highly

pleasing and lasting results.’ A key benefit of RF energy is that it can be used on all skin types without the

risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation, which sometimes occurs in darker skin types following collagen-inducing treatments.

‘All skin colours can be treated with RF as Thermage is essentially “colourblind”,’ explains Ellett. ‘Because RF follows the path of least resistance,

which is collagen and collagen-based structures, the whole dermis is heated. This triggers an inward pull to reduce areas of bulk, such as the jowl area. The

only patients that cannot receive Thermage treatment are those with internal cardiac devices (ICDs) and we don’t treat pregnant patients.’

A typical client is male or female between the ages of 30 and 60, in good health, a non-smoker, and interested in a preventative approach to combating

the normal ageing process.  During treatment, patients usually experience some mild discomfort due to the thermal response in the skin. The newest evolution of Thermage includes

a patented Comfort Pulse Technology, which uses gentle vibrations and interspersed cooling to increase the comfort of treatment, now available at Duquessa Skin Sanctuary


Results following Thermage treatment arise gradually, and continue to improve for up to six months following the procedure. This is because neocollagenesis,

or the production of new collagen, typically takes around 12 weeks to occur. ‘Results can vary from immediate skin firmness to gradual tightening over six

months,’ says Tasmanian cosmetic practitioner Dr Asha Ram. ‘There seems to be tightening in spurts at times, and some patients continue to see improved

results past the six month period. The results are long lasting but we counsel our patients on the most appropriate time to re-treat, based on their age and

skin condition.’ Thermage can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other modalities to optimise results. ‘Thermage works brilliantly when combined

with light therapies, anti-wrinkle toxins and dermal fillers, as well as a good cosmeceutical home skincare plan,’ Dr Ram explains.

‘It produces a natural, slowly evolving rejuvenation process that suits most patients in a broad range of age groups. Typically, patients are very excited with

the degree of skin tightening and improved texture following treatment with Thermage,’ she concludes.

Duquessa Skin Sanctuary in Carlton North offers Thermage treatments to both the face and body. For all enquiries please call 03 9388 9500 or email info@duquessa.com.au