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Ultherapy Skin Tightening vs. Thermage: The Key Differences Between the Two Treatments

Posted by September 11th, 2019 in News

The Ultherapy skin tightening treatment is known today as one of the most effective ways of restoring skin to youthfulness. There is, however, a slightly older treatment known as Thermage that also enhances the look of your skin.

The FDA-approved Thermage and Ultherapy skin tightening procedures share several similarities. They both tighten and tone the skin to reduce signs of aging such as sagging and wrinkles. They’re both non-surgical and non-invasive treatments and rejuvenate the skin by promoting collagen production.

However, Ultherapy and Thermage aren’t the same, with each treatment having its own specific advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide which treatment is for you, we’ll be discussing below what makes each unique.

Procedure and areas treated

Ultherapy stimulates collagen regeneration by using high-intensity ultrasound energy to target the deep and middle dermal layers (the tissue just beneath the surface of the skin). Because of this action, the fascial layer called the SMAS, deep layers of the skin, and wrinkles are treated by Ultherapy. This results in a lifting effect with improvements in skin texture. Skin tightening effects include firmer skin and a reduction in wrinkles in the brow, chin, neck, or chest area.

In contrast, Thermage uses radiofrequency technology to reach the top and middle layers. Because of this, Thermage can treat loose skin and wrinkles in many areas of the body, including the eyelids, face, neck, arms, hands, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs.

Procedure duration

The Ultherapy skin tightening procedure can last between 30 and 120 minutes depending on the area being treated.

The Thermage procedure can last from 45 to 90 minutes.

Pain and safety

Ultherapy causes only medium pain, while Thermage causes slightly more pain. Both, however, are made more comfortable through various means, such as anesthetics and new developments in the procedures.

Overall, because Ultherapy skin tightening procedure uses ultrasonic imaging to guide the energy pulses precisely to its desired target, it is safer than Thermage.


After 3 to 6 months, Ultherapy results in a more dramatic improvement than what you can expect from Thermage.

The full effects of Thermage are seen in few months.

Duration of effects

Ultherapy using ultrasound technology can penetrate many skin layers that in the past, was only possible using invasive methods. Because of this, Ultherapy results tend to last much longer than those of Thermage.

For many patients, Ultherapy and skin tightening have become synonymous with each other. But if you’re new to non-invasive cosmetic treatments, we encourage you to check out our website’s Ultherapy section, where you’ll find photos of Ultherapy results as well as more information about the procedure. Please call (408) 740-5320 once you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tang.

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