Principles and Effects of Four Laser Therapies, and Introduction to Combined Anti-Aging Treatments
What is Thermage? Thermage, approved by the U.S. FDA as early as 2002, entered the medical skincare market. Thermage employs a monopolar radiofrequency technology that requires the application of electrode pads to create a circuit. Radiofrequency generates a high-frequency electromagnetic field in the treated area of the body's skin, causing the water molecules within the skin to oscillate and rapidly rotate, generating heat. When a certain temperature is reached, it induces the contraction and regeneration of collagen fibers, thereby achieving skin tightening, lifting, and wrinkle-reducing effects. What are the principles of Thermage? Thermal Response: By forming a focused surface through the radiofrequency electric field at a depth of approximately 2.6 to 3mm beneath the skin, the skin is stimulated to undergo reversible damage. The process of repairing this damage results in the production of collagen fibers, leading to skin tightening and wrinkle reduction. Ion Permeation: The radiofrequency electric field can alter the concentrations of electrons and ions around cell membranes. Through the process of ion dissociation caused by the radiofrequency electric field, water ion channels in cell membranes are opened, enhancing intercellular permeability. Simultaneously, under the influence of electromagnetic wave focal gravitational forces, ionized water and nutrients on the epidermis can more easily permeate into the dermal tissue. Lipolysis Reaction: When the radiofrequency electric field acts on subcutaneous tissue, the ratio of temperature increase between subcutaneous fat and dermal tissue is about 8:1. After absorbing energy, fat tissue softens, contracts, and breaks down, resulting in firmer and more elastic skin. Thermage treatment can help you achieve the following: Facial Anti-Aging: Using the facial treatment head can improve static facial wrinkles, address double chins, and enhance skin firmness. Eye Area Anti-Aging: The eye treatment head can tighten loose skin around the eyes. After treatment, collagen protein contracts, immediately displaying tightened and lifted skin. New collagen protein production takes 3 to 6 months, with effects becoming more noticeable around 3 months after treatment. What is Ultherapy? Ultherapy is a type of ultrasound with excellent penetration capabilities, categorized into medical and cosmetic devices. In the realm of cosmetic applications, the high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) of the Ultherapy targets the skin at depths of 1.5-4.5 millimeters (in the fascia layer). It achieves this by emitting 600-1200 pulses of ultrasonic nanowaves during focal point convergence, generating high-frequency friction that results in thousands of thermal coagulation points. This process instantly generates temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees Celsius. The thermal stimulation produced by the Ultherapy induces a three-phase response in the fascia layer cells: Cellular Thermal Injury Accumulate Self-Energy for Repair Generation of New Cells
After undergoing these three stages of cellular repair, the tightened skin repositions firmly onto the fascial collagen framework, gradually aligning and forming ordered collagen structures. This process truly stimulates cell regeneration and fascial repair, achieving the goals of lifting, tightening, and smoothing the skin. In comparison to other photoelectric procedures, the greatest advantage of the Ultherapy lies in its depth of action.
So far, the only non-invasive cosmetic method that can target the SMAS fascial layer is the Ultherapy. The main characteristic of the Ultherapy is its ability to simultaneously affect both the fascial layer and the dermal layer, providing deep lifting of the fascial layer and superficial tightening of the dermal layer.
In addition to the therapeutic micro-focused ultrasound, the visual ultrasound imaging of the Ultherapy ensures that treatments are maintained at the appropriate depth, preventing inadvertent heating of other tissues and minimizing unnecessary pain and side effects. Currently, the Ultherapy is approved for applications such as browline lifting, improvement of sagging or wrinkles in the lower face and neck, and enhancement of fine lines or wrinkles on the chest. Additionally, the Ultherapy can also be used on various body parts, such as the buttocks, outer thighs, and abdominal loose skin, with great effectiveness. The results of an Ultherapy treatment become evident within 1-3 months, and the full effects may take 3-6 months to manifest.
What is Fotona4D?
Fotona4D Pro is a non-invasive anti-aging and sculpting laser device developed in Germany. It boasts four proprietary technologies that can simultaneously address a variety of skin issues, including skin tightening, fat reduction, dark circle elimination, wrinkle reduction, anti-aging, skin whitening, rejuvenation, and firming effects. With certifications from the European CE, China CFDA, and the U.S. FDA, it is a high-tech, non-invasive anti-aging solution. Overall, it offers a comprehensive anti-aging treatment for the face, eyes, and neck. Fotona 4D utilizes four laser modes, targeting different layers such as the fascia, subcutaneous fat, dermis, and epidermis. This multi-dimensional approach uplifts contours, improves skin texture, and reduces wrinkles, resulting in a broad yet gradual effect that requires multiple sessions. Moreover, the treatment process is relatively gentle, without the need for anesthesia, providing a comfortable experience. It's suitable for beauty seekers who are sensitive to pain and for post-Thermage maintenance. An impressive feature of Fotona 4D Pro is its achievement of combined internal and external treatments through intraoral therapy. The intraoral treatment targets the mucosal tissue, which is closer to the fascial layer. By employing the Smooth tightening mode, it effectively addresses wrinkles such as marionette lines and nasolabial folds, resulting in skin tightening. Below is a detailed explanation of how Fotona 4D Pro achieves the best anti-aging results through a four-step process: Smooth Fast Tightening Mode: Intraoral Operation, this mode differs from other anti-aging devices as it targets the deep fascial layer, rapidly tightening the mucosa from within the oral cavity. By tightening loose skin and diminishing marionette lines and corners of the mouth, this intraoral operation is closer to the fascial layer, allowing for quick heating to 65 degrees Celsius. Research indicates that 65 degrees Celsius is the optimal temperature for tightening collagen fibers and restructuring collagen proteins, resulting in noticeable improvements in nasolabial folds. FRAC3 Three-Dimensional Dot Matrix Mode: The FRAC3 mode targets the dermal layer, using specific pulses to break down localized pigmentation, redness, acne scars, and more to improve uneven skin tone, making the skin appear cleaner. Simultaneously, these pulses create a three-dimensional dot pattern damage in the dermal layer, stimulating the secretion of collagen proteins, achieving firming, rejuvenation, and brightening effects. This mode is suitable for individuals who seek anti-aging while desiring skin whitening and improvement of dull, yellowish skin tones. Piano Super Long-Pulse Heating Mode: Primarily targeting the jawline and areas with more facial fat, this mode employs "super-long pulse width laser" design. It is designed for individuals with an undefined jawline or excessive localized facial fat, effectively uniformly heating the dermal and subcutaneous fat tissues, promoting fat reduction through burning, while also providing a tightening effect. It's ideal for dealing with excess facial fat. Superficial Micron Resurfacing: The Superficial mode targets the epidermal layer, utilizing a cold ablation technique to reshape the epidermis and smooth out fine lines. The principle involves controlled exfoliation, addressing surface-level skin issues. It's particularly effective for concerns such as enlarged pores, rough skin texture, marionette lines, and neck lines, offering significant improvement in fine lines. What is 5GMax?
The first generation of 5GMax was introduced to the market in 1998. After more than 20 years of updates and iterations, we now have the current 5GMax. It employs a long-pulsed 755+1064nm laser to achieve rapid elevation, wrinkle elimination, localized tightening, overall skin whitening, and facial slimming through five steps. Leveraging the versatile characteristics of laser technology, this approach accomplishes the improvement of various flaws in a single treatment. 5GMax divides the anti-aging process into five steps, addressing the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissues: Step1: Lifting Step2: Smoothing Step3: Tightening Step4: Brightening Step5: Slimming
The 5GMax is an exceptionally efficient facial fat reduction and tightening device, offering simultaneous benefits of skin whitening, rejuvenation, facial hair removal, and redness reduction. It's a versatile device that addresses the three key skin concerns of improving skin texture, complexion, and signs of aging. First of all, when it comes to facial anti-aging, there's no need to overthink the choice between Fotona 4D and Thermage, as their lifting approaches are entirely different, each with its own advantages. Thermage is a radiofrequency tightening and anti-aging device that uses radiofrequency currents to penetrate the skin tissue and create a heating effect, stimulating the synthesis of new collagen protein. This results in improvements in wrinkles, skin tightening, and contour lifting and reshaping. Both Fotona 4D and Thermage can enhance the skin and reduce wrinkles, but which one provides better facial anti-aging results? The fundamental difference between Fotona 4D and Thermage lies in the treatment depth and the sensation of discomfort during treatment. Thermage uses thermal conduction to uniformly affect the deeper layers of the dermis, achieving overall collagen stimulation from within. The effects of purely tightening and lifting can last 1-2 years. Topical anesthesia is applied before treatment, and some discomfort may be experienced during the process. Some people find it more painful, especially around the jaw and cheekbone areas, although it's generally tolerable. Typically, within a certain range, higher energy leads to better results, but this depends on each individual's pain tolerance. In simple terms, Thermage is more focused on the deeper dermal layer, emphasizing firmness. It's a one-time procedure with precise and robust effects. On the other hand, Fotona 4D operates on different levels with its various modes, requiring four sessions for treatment. It involves a course of treatment with broader and more comprehensive effects, albeit with slightly slower results. Combined Anti-Aging Treatment Can Thermage and Ultherapy be used together? Both treatments have their advantages. Thermage is like the cement used in building a house; it permeates the entire structure, affecting all layers it passes through. On the other hand, Ultherapy acts like steel reinforcements, targeting specific points, depths, and positions to stimulate the fascia. It operates at a deeper depth with higher temperatures. Both devices offer contour improvement, lifting, and skin tightening effects. The difference lies in Ultherapy being more suitable for individuals with higher facial fat content and sagging who want to achieve a firmer contour and lift. Thermage is tailored for younger individuals with mild sagging and mild drooping, focusing on mild tightening. In simple terms, one emphasizes lifting, while the other emphasizes tightening. To differentiate, Ultherapy leans more towards fat reduction and contraction. It's capable of reducing fat, making it more suitable for younger people with higher fat content. Those with lower fat content might experience sagging or depressions after Ultherapy . Thermage provides better lifting effects and suits individuals with less fat content and beginning skin sagging. It's ideal for those who want to combat early signs of aging, achieve fullness in the face, and stimulate collagen production. In reality, Ultherapy and Thermage are not conflicting methods. If conditions permit, a "strong combination" of the two can be considered. By combining the distinctive effects of each treatment, a comprehensive anti-aging approach can be achieved that wasn't possible with a single device. Ultherapy uses high-intensity ultrasound energy to focus energy at the skin's deeper layers, generating heat and promoting collagen regeneration for increased skin elasticity. Thermage uses high-frequency waves to conduct high-energy heat to the skin fibers and subcutaneous tissues, causing collagen contraction. These two treatments can complement each other effectively in combating aging. If possible, it's suggested to space the treatments 1-3 months apart. Due to the force of gravity, our facial/body muscle tissues tend to sag as collagen and elastin production decreases. The process of anti-aging is like a parabolic curve, similar to a game of catch. When you choose an anti-aging treatment, it's like throwing the ball upward. However, without proper maintenance and combined treatments, the ball will eventually fall down over time. Here are some common misconceptions: 1. Medical aesthetic procedures, one-time lasting forever: While the immediate lifting effects of current medical aesthetic procedures can be noticeable and have a lasting impact, usually around 1-2 years on average, the aging process itself is irreversible. Factors such as age, collagen loss, and the level of daily care all influence the duration and effectiveness of maintenance. No device or product can achieve permanent anti-aging results with just one treatment. 2. Using luxury skincare products is enough, no need for Ultherapy/Thermage: Wrinkles are categorized into two types: deep wrinkles and fine lines, also known as true wrinkles and expression wrinkles. Expression wrinkles are superficial and result from facial movements. Long-term use of skincare products can improve them to some extent. However, as we age, collagen loss weakens the support structure of the dermal fibers, causing skin sagging and the formation of true wrinkles. Skincare products cannot replace the fundamental effects of Thermage's high-energy stimulation of collagen in the dermal layer or Ultrasound Knife's fundamental solution for sagging and aging issues from the SMAS layer. Ultrasound Knife and Thermage are genuine non-surgical methods for skin tightening and lifting. 3. Can I get Ultherapy after Thermage? Will the skin get burned? Yes, you can. Thermage achieves tightening by heating and contracting collagen proteins, leading to firmer skin. However, it involves external-to-internal volumetric heating. Depending on individual circumstances, temporary redness and warmth may occur. Ultherapy utilizes the principle of HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) to target the SMAS layer. The treatments have different mechanisms, and it's possible to have both procedures, as they address distinct layers of the skin. 4.After undergoing Thermage/Ultherapy, there's nothing to worry about? This question is extremely important. Firstly, post-treatment sun protection and moisturization are crucial. UV exposure and cellular dehydration can significantly accelerate skin aging, so developing an effective, methodical, and not overly complex skincare routine is of utmost importance. Additionally, we recommend considering laser-based anti-aging treatments such as Fotona 4D Pro or 5GMax about 3 months after the initial procedure to maintain optimal skin condition. This completes the "game of catch" and ensures that you stay at the forefront of anti-aging efforts. Furthermore, laser-based anti-aging treatments are recommended in cycles of 3 sessions, with a 2-3 month interval between each treatment based on the skin's recovery progress. Additionally, incorporating appropriate aerobic exercises into your lifestyle—maintaining a heart rate above 100 for 30 minutes, five times a week—can help maintain healthier skin.