Thermage Turns 10 – Hear What Our Community Has to Say!

A. Foley on 19 Nov 2012 at 9:00am

Thermage, created in 1995 by Dr. Edward W. Knowlton, received its FDA-approval 10 years ago this month and has since been performed 1 million times and received attention from Oprah, The Doctors, celebrities and our RealSelf community. Let’s take a look back on some of the top-asked questions, doctor insights and stats around this reported wrinkle-fighting treatment:

Average Cost: $2,425

Worth It Rating: 39%


User Q&A: If Thermage is So Great, How Come People Say They Don't See Results?

  • There is absolute scientific data that shows Thermage works for approximately 94% of properly selected candidates…The key then becomes who is a properly selected candidate? In my experience the best candidates are those with medium sized faces and modest amount of fullness along the jawline and upper neck. - Michael S. Kaminer, MD
  • Thermage generally disappoints patients since practitioners overpromise its benefits and do not choose appropriate candidates. Thermage can be somewhat effective for some patients although it fails for a large number of patients. - Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS


User Comments

  • Thermage is advertised as a one-time session, to help skin on stomach after pregnancy... well I tried it as I don't want a tummy tuck, but it didn't do anything. No change -- I'm 3 months out... I seriously doubt my stomach will change in the next few months. - Terri T


  • I had the procedure done in Houston for $2500. I had saggy eyelids, nasal folds and a series of wrinkles around eyes, lips and chin. Within 30 days everything had tighten, my jawline was very toned and defined, my cheekbones lifted to age 30 and the lines and sags at the corner of the mouth lifted. Looked 10 years younger. – bittone


All in all it seems, once again, the most important factor is meeting with a specialized doctor who can relay realistic expectations and deliver honest results. In the past 10 years, some people were happy, some people weren’t, but one thing is for sure – you’re not going to get Tummy Tuck results from a non-invasive treatment.

What’s your experience with Thermage? Are you part of the 39% who are all for it, or the 61% who say, save your cash! We’d love to hear your insight in the comments below.


photo credit: Dr. Mitchel Goldman, MD


Comments (1)

I had thermage about 3 yrs ago to my face followed my by tummy . Let me start by saying my job really does require me to look my best all of the time not just on the red carpet 2 days a year but rather every single waking moment . Here is my experience and take on thermage , I wanted to tighten my skin , hell if i could have tightened my entire body head to toe i would have . I started with my face , described as lower face meaning everything below the eyes . I went ahead in with hopeful expectations . I paid 2500 at that time and was more than excited . I found it to be tolerable in terms of pain .Clearly i was aware of her doing it but it was not bad. I found it did give me some tightening.The only person who noticed i had done anything at all was my hairdresser .Still i felt pretty good about having had some tightening without cutting or surgery , no downtime etc.I Had Zero downtime. I felt a little refreshed nothing crazy my mom did not notice anything at all . So i decided i would go a step further .I booked thermage for my tummy. Well let me just first say as it turns out there is more than 1 head for this machine . One the one they used on my face was for tightening exclusively , while the body head is used to do tightening as well as some of the fat is supposed to go a small nominal amount but still some fat I thought wow this is it can't even wait . Day comes i go , couldn't really be more excited if there was two of me .Same person was to perform the thermage this time so i was very comfortable and confident i knew what i was doing and what that might be like and feel like. I was so wrong. The head head does not feel at all the same as the face head, I have tattoos i was more comfortable when getting .I was jumping almost off the table could not believe how uncomfortable i was . But i sat there and let her finish somehow idk to this day how i did it . I have to say it was the most expensive mistake if that year maybe even any year to date.It was a huge mistake .The thermage head Did melt some fat sadly it was in no way even , like at all.You could see the shape of the head and indentations whihc i had Never had before ever . It was all lumpy dented i hadn't lost enough fat to make a difference in the dress size for sure and now i had about 100 indentations across my tummy . Awesome ~ ack! So i went and booked lipo to try and smooth it which did not help and then went ahead and did a tummy tuck to smooth it all in all that stupid one day mistake cost me?/ Survey says!! 2500 on thermage , 3500 on lipo to correct thermage , followed by a tummy tuck . Total time out of work for all this ????? Did i mention i have to look good everyday i work> yeah out of work for a total of 5 months due to either not being well or not looking well and that would end me if i do not look well so i pretending to be on extended vacation for what felt like forever .No pay 5 months ..great. It is 3 years later i have since had a full face lift and my forehead done although not really a lift ~ The results of thermage did not last 3 yrs or i would have had no skin to do a facelft with .I had that facelift at 2.5 years after thermage just 6 months ago ..Am i sorry i did it to my face ? No it held me over for about a year i guess and i needed something to hold me over until i was ready for the knife. I would Not suggest getting any head other than the tightening head for anything at all as it is possible it will leave you not able to be comfortable in a 2 piece swim suit again , ever , unless maybe you go ahead and get that tummy tuck we were thinking about . Hoping this helps someone somewhere ,Aquilt