Select Page

There are many treatments out there that are used to tighten the loose skin of the face and neck which occurs as a result of the natural aging process. It’s important to know the difference between these treatments as they do not all work in the same way and some are more effective than the others. The two most popular procedures that we get asked about are Ultherapy and Thermage.

So What’s the difference?

Before we get into the differences between Ultherapy and Thermage, let’s take a look at what they have in common. Both Ultherapy and Thermage are non-invasive, non-surgical procedures which are used to tighten the loose skin of the face, neck, and brow. They do this by stimulating the production of collagen in the skin. Collagen is what’s responsible for giving our skin it’s tightness and elasticity. However, Ultherapy and Thermage accomplish collagen stimulation in different ways.

Thermage uses radio frequency technology to tighten sagging skin and stimulate collagen production in a process which has been termed “bulk heating”. Bulk heating only affects the superficial layers of the skin, whereas most of the collagen is located in the deeper layers of the skin. Heating the superficial layers of the skin can be associated with quite a bit of discomfort and pain. This is a common complaint of many people who have had the Thermage procedure. Also, because the heat energy used with Thermage is delivered blindly, there is an increased risk of burning the skin and creating hyperpigmentation if the device is not used properly.

Ultherapy, on the other hand, is the only technology available that uses ultrasound to deliver focused heat energy to the proper layers of the skin. By using ultrasound we are able to stimulate collagen production in both the superficial and deep layers of the skin. The ultrasound images are displayed on a screen for us to see. This way we can directly visualize the layers of the skin and deliver the energy to the exact level that will create the most collagen production. The unique ultrasound technology also helps us bypass the most superficial layers of the skin, thus decreasing the risks of burning and hyperpigmentation that are associated with Thermage.

ultherapy vs thermage Ultherapy and Thermage: Whats the Difference?

The layers of the skin treated with Ultherapy compared to Thermage and other Lasers

So Which Is Better?

Both Thermage and Ultherapy have received FDA approval as cosmetic dermatology treatments, but don’t be misled by this. Only Ultherapy, has been approved by the FDA for both tightening and lifting the muscles and skin of the face and neck, including the eye brows. With great success in such a short time, Ultherapy is now also being used to tighten loose saggy skin in other parts of the body. Because Ultherapy targets deeper tissue levels, the procedure is as close as you can get to a facelift without having to undergo surgery.

Most importantly, Ultherapy has been shown to have a patient satisfaction rate that is almost twice as high as that of Thermage. Based on my own personal experience, Ultherapy is the safest and most effective way to provide a natural appearing lifting and toning of loose skin.

Remember though, with any cosmetic procedure the results will vary depending on the skill and experience of your treatment provider. This is also true for both Ultherapy and Thermage. Not everyone will be a candidate for either of these procedures, so it’s important to receive a proper cosmetic consultation prior to any procedure.


Do you have anymore questions about Ultherapy or Thermage? Post them in the comments section below, or feel free to give us a call to set up your own personalized consultation to see which treatment is the best for you.