Thermage: What it is, How it Works and 5 Benefits Skip to content

Thermage: What it is, How it Works and 5 Benefits

Thermage is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure for individuals who want to firm and tighten their loose skin for a smoother and younger look. Using advanced radiofrequency (RF) technology, this treatment gently heats the deeper skin layers and causes collagen fibres to remodel and contract.

Thermage has become increasingly popular for its versatility, allowing it to be used on various body parts, including the face, eyes, neck, arms, knees, legs, inner thigh and buttocks.

What is Thermage?

Thermage is a non-invasive skin tightening procedure that uses the power of controlled radiofrequency (RF) energy to tighten skin by targeting its deeper layers. The concept of RF in aesthetics revolves around using energy waves to heat the deep, collagen-rich layers of the skin. This process doesn’t damage the surface but instead encourages new collagen growth, which is crucial for the skin’s firmness and youthfulness.

Key Features of Thermage:

  • Non-invasive: No surgery or injections are required.
  • Targets Deeper Skin Layers: Penetrates beneath the skin’s surface to stimulate collagen production.
  • Stimulates Collagen: Enhanced collagen production leads to tighter, smoother skin.
  • Versatile: Can be used on various parts of the body, including the face, neck, and stomach.
  • Little to No Downtime: Patients can go back to their normal activities immediately after treatment. 
  • Versatile: Can be used on various parts of the body, including the face, neck, and stomach.

How Thermage Works

young skin aged skin

Collagen is a protein that is responsible for maintaining the skin’s structure, elasticity, and firmness. Its production slows down as we age, which leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. Thermage, using radiofrequency (RF) energy, contracts and remodels fibrous collagen to improve the appearance of loose skin. This results in further tightening and improvement of skin texture over time.

Below is an overview of the Thermage process:

  • The procedure begins with the application of RF energy, which safely penetrates the skin, focusing on the deeper, collagen-containing layers.
  • The heat from the RF energy stimulates the skin’s natural collagen production process. This not only tightens existing collagen fibres but also promotes the growth of new collagen.
  • The immediate tightening effect, with the gradual improvement from new collagen formation, results in firmer, more youthful-looking skin over time.

The Thermage Procedure

Thermage procedure involves consultation, preparation, treatment with a handheld device, aftercare and results and recovery. A treatment session usually takes 60 minutes, depending on the area covered.


The consultation is the initial step in the Thermage procedure. It is to make sure that each patient’s unique aesthetic goals and needs are thoroughly understood and evaluated. 

Potential candidates will discuss their objectives, ranging from skin tightening to contouring specific areas of the body or face. The doctor will also assess the patient’s skin condition and health to determine their suitability for the Thermage treatment. 

This is also the ideal time for patients to ask questions, express any concerns, and learn about what the procedure can really achieve for them. Information on the preparatory steps, anticipated results, potential side effects, and post-treatment care will also be provided during this consultation.

What are some alternative non-surgical treatments that might be more suitable for patients with very sensitive skin?  Thermage is generally very safe and can be used for patients with sensitive skin. An alternative non-surgical skin tightening treatment that one can consider would be the HIFU treatment.


Before undergoing the Thermage procedure, patients are advised to follow preparation steps to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness of the treatment. This preparation typically includes:

  • Cleansing: It’s important to have a clean face or body area prior to starting treatment. Free of any makeup, creams, or lotions, to avoid any interference with the device’s ability to accurately target the treatment area.
  • Numbing Cream: For enhanced comfort, a topical numbing cream may be applied to the treatment area to alleviate any discomfort that might occur during the treatment.
  • Medication: After the consultation, the doctor may recommend avoiding certain medications or supplements that can increase the risk of bruising.


Treatment with Handheld Device

thermage procedure

The heart of the Thermage procedure is using a specialized handheld device. This device emits radiofrequency energy that deeply penetrates the skin’s layers, heating the collagen fibres beneath the skin’s surface.

As the collagen is heated, patients may experience a sensation of deep warmth or brief, intense heating in the treatment area. It is then quickly followed with a cooling sensation which is feature built into the system, providing a comfortable experience. The tip keeps the surface skin cool while radiofrequency energy penetrates the deeper layers. This helps to create a comfortable and safe treatment experience.


Thermage does not affect the skin surface, so you can go on with your daily activity as per normal after the procedure — remember to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated. This protects your skin and maintains its hydration level. Additionally, ensure you get adequate rest to support the collagen renewal triggered by Thermage. Avoid harsh soaps to prevent skin irritation.

Results and Recovery

Thermage procedure has minimal downtime, where patients can typically resume their daily activities immediately after the treatment. Any side effect, usually mild swelling or redness, from the treatment usually subsides within a day or two.

The improvement in skin tightness and texture does not happen overnight but rather evolves gradually over time. Initial improvement can be noticed within weeks, and its optimal results typically develop over a period of up to 6 months as the body generates new collagen.

Patients should learn to have realistic expectations and understand that results can vary significantly among individuals. Factors such as age, skin condition, and lifestyle can influence the outcome.

Benefits of Thermage

Thermage is efficient in skin tightening, wrinkle reduction, and improving facial contours without invasive surgery. Patients also often note a subtle lifting effect, particularly in areas like the eyelids, cheeks, and jawline.

1. Wrinkle Reduction

wrinkle reduction

Thermage uses radiofrequency technology to heat up the deep, collagen-rich layers of the skin to encourage new collagen production over time. As new collagen is produced, it fills in wrinkles from within, leading to a smoother, more youthful appearance.

2. Improved Skin Texture

Thermage stimulates the natural regeneration process of collagen by tightening collagen fibres, which causes the skin’s texture to continue to improve for months following the treatment.

3. Tighter Skin

Collagen production declines naturally as we age, and skin loses its tightness and elasticity. Thermage encourages new collagen to be produced over time, which results in a more lifted and tightened appearance. This is the act of the new collagen that reinforces the skin’s structure, reducing sagging and improving firmness.

4. Defined Facial Contours

Asian young woamn portrait. Skin care,Beauty treatment and spa concept.

Firming and precisely targeting specific areas of the skin, like jawline, cheeks, and brow can help to contour skin and improve facial definition. This leads to a more sculpted and refined look.

5. Natural-Looking Results

Thermage stimulates your body’s natural collagen production, resulting in a subtle yet gradual improvement in skin texture and tightness for a more youthful and naturally radiant appearance. Unlike more invasive procedures that leave the skin looking stretched or unnaturally smooth, Thermage enhances your skin naturally, allowing you to age gracefully.

Comparison to Other Procedures

Compared to other non-surgical or minimally invasive skin tightening treatments such as fillers, Thermage stands out due to its unique, natural-looking approach to improving skin texture and tightness. Below is a simple table that highlights key differences:

Target Area
Face & Body
Minimal to none
Gradual tightening over 2-6 months

Risk and Side Effects

Ideal candidates for Thermage treatments encompass individuals who are experiencing: 

  • mild to moderate skin laxity
  • noticing early signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, or sagging skin

This non-invasive treatment is well-suited for those in their thirties to sixties looking to achieve a more youthful, lifted appearance without getting under a knife. However, pregnant women, individuals with certain skin conditions, those with implanted medical devices, or severe skin laxity might not be ideal candidates for Thermage treatments. Consult with a doctor to assess suitability and discuss potential risks or limitations based on individual health profiles and aesthetic goals.


Thermage is a skin-tightening treatment that effectively addresses wrinkles, fine lines, and skin laxity. Its radiofrequency technology stimulates collagen production, leading to tighter skin, reduced wrinkles, improved skin texture, and defined facial contours. Thermage offers a natural-looking lift without the downtime associated with invasive procedures. 

Given the variation in individual skin types and ageing processes, you should consult with a qualified professional to determine your suitability for Thermage and set realistic expectations to meet your unique needs and aesthetic goals.

If you’re concerned about wrinkles, sagging skin, or would like to have a younger-looking appearance, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Get in touch

Contact us at +65 6815 9922 or Whatsapp/SMS +65 8866 9922 or email us at [email protected] to book an appointment or to find out more!

Important Information

*prices stated are exclusive of 9% GST.

Nothing in this website constitutes or is intended to constitute medical advice and readers rely on the statements contained herein at their own risk. Treatment results, experiences and downtime (if any) may vary by individuals. Please make an appointment with our clinic for a thorough medical assessment of your condition and treatment requirements.

Dr. Kellyn Shiau
Dr Kellyn Shiau graduated from University with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Family Medicine from the National University of Singapore. After graduation, she practiced medicine in various major restructured hospitals and also privately with a well-established medical group in Singapore. She is experienced and has trained extensively in medical aesthetics for many years.
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