4 Reasons Thermage Has Negative Online Reviews

MakenzieR on 17 Dec 2013 at 9:00am

Thermage before and after

Thermage has been making a splash in the past few years as a non-invasive option to tighten and firm skin. Stars like Demi Moore are said to be big fans, and it’s often named as a favorite pre-red carpet treatment.

But if it’s such a miracle worker, why do only 4 out of 10 RealSelf reviewers say it’s worth it?

Plastic surgeon Dr. George Beraka is not surprised it has a such lackluster reputation with everyday consumers.

While he believes that “Thermage is the best way to tighten sagging facial skin without surgery or downtime,” he says “dissatisfied Thermage patients are not the result of the technique itself, but of improper applications.”

Here are Dr. Beraka's 4 reasons Thermage may be getting a bum rap:

1. Used on the wrong patients

“Patient selection is critical. If Thermage is tried on a patient who has a great deal of jowling and skin laxity in the neck, it is quite predictable that the improvement is going to be insufficient, and that a patient like this will really only be helped by surgery. There is no age cut off, but younger patients do better with Thermage.”
(Think of it this way, if you weigh 300lbs and lose 10, it’s not that noticeable. But if you weigh 150lbs and lose 10, it’s very noticeable.)

Thermage photos

2. Inexperienced providers

“Thermage has to be done just right. It requires a great deal of experience and a good eye. As with anything else in cosmetic medicine, the machine is only as good as the person using it.”

3. Cutting corners

“Very often, not enough energy is used in an effort to save money. An individual head has to be bought for each patient, and heads come in different sizes... The problem is that the larger heads...cost more money, and there are practices that cut corners and use small heads which provide inadequate energy. Predictably in this situation, the result will be disappointing.”

4. Unrealistic expectations

“Patient education is important... You can expect very significant improvement, but the results will not be as dramatic as with a well performed, scar-less mid-facelift, or with a short scar facelift.”

If you are interested in Thermage, remember Dr. Beraka’s tips to ensure the best outcome possible.

One last thing to consider -- although Thermage advertises results in “one easy treatment,” many members of our community have found that they needed more than that to see results. And as a few of them have pointed out, at around $2,600 a pop that can quickly add up to the price of a surgical procedure.

Would you try a product or procedure if it had bad online reviews? Let us know in the comments below.

thermage before and after

Photo credits: Grant Stevens, MD; Grace liu, MD; RealSelf member b7507503

Comments (7)

I also check on line reviews....toss the extremes from over the top manic to miserably dissatisfied. I take in the general consensus of what users of a product say and this has been quite helpful in my decision making. Users are more honest than marketers.
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I've had Thermage done and my technician used 1200 pulses at 3.0 on my face and 2.5 under my jaw and neck. She used different techniques in her movements and manually moved my skin from the most sensitive areas, I found that there was very little pain. My MD said the treatment does not have to be painful if the technician has the most up to date techniques. Thermage definitely contoured my jaw and face more but I do need a neck lift. After I lost 62 pounds I had Vaser Lipo on my severe neck fat which really made it a lot smaller but my neck skin is lax. Thermage definitely did smooth it out some. I'm in South Florida the office has clients coming from all over the world to get Thermage treatments with several repeat clients every year or two.
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Thermage is very painful!!! That may be another important reason why it doesn't have a good reputation.
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Thermage hurts a LOT!!!! The doctor did not mention that!!!
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Will I was considering Themage, Liposonix and possibly Fraxel...but after reading the reviews. I will do much more research. Even thought these procedures are less expensive than surgery they are still costly especially if littel or no results is achieved. Thank you for posting.

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I always check online before I make any purchase decision. I cannot imagine shopping by marketing brochures when it comes to your body.

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I totally LOVE the before and after photos that were reversed. Check out some plastic surgery websites and see how many facelift after photos suggest no difference. I definitely use on line postings in my decision for anything elective.
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