What is the Difference Between Thermage & Ematrix?

Went for a consultation for old white stretch marks removal on buttocks and ematrix was recommended. But what is the difference between thermage & ematrix? By reading the descrip it sounds the same to me.I'm getting a good deal on ematrix though;$300/session. Also, should I look into something more 'invasive' for these stretch marks? Please see pic attached. (I searched this website and couldnt find the answer.I didnt ask at the office because I didnt know about thermage then.)Thanks!

Doctor Answers 2

Thermage & EMatrix Differences

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Both Thermage & EMatrix use radiofrequency (RF) energy, it is the way the RF energy is delivered that differs between the two. The way the energy is delivered determines what conditions the device will be able to treat.

Thermage uses monopolar radiofrequency. With this techinique the RF energy is delivered through the treatment handpiece and then the energy flows out through a grounding patch which is placed elsewhere (not in the treatment area) on the body during the treatment. The monopolar RF energy heats deep into the skin and fat layers, and allows it to be effective in skin tightening and improving the appearance of cellulite.

EMatrix works on the principle of bipolar RF energy. The EMatrix handpiece has multiple blunt tipped pins, some which have a positive pole and others which have a negative pole. The RF energy flows in and then out of the skin through these pins and is delivered to the collagen-containing portion of the skin, called the dermis. The bipolar RF energy doesn't flow as deep as the Thermage's monopolar RF. Bipolar RF in the EMatrix creates tiny columns of heat-treated tissue, very similar to a fractionated laser, to resurface the skin. This allows the EMatrix to help with scars, wrinkles, and strech marks because the underlying abnormalities in these conditions are all in the dermis.

Thermage vs Ematrix

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Interesting question.  At my center, the Aesthetic Laser Group, we have both the eMatrix and Thermage devices.  While they are both devices that use RadioFrequency (RF) energy, they use the energy in very different ways.  As with any energy, there are ways to 'tune it'.  The eMatrix is designed to work at the surface level whereas  Thermage is tuned to focus the energy into the deep layers of the skin just above the fat layer...and to basically spare the surface of the skin.  Thermage is aiming at those collagen fibers deep in the skin that, with time, cause the skin to lose it's elasticity.

When it comes to stretch marks, there is both a surface and a deep component- but it is the surface component that bugs you...how it looks.  Both technologies will offer you some potential benefit but I would start with the eMatrix and see how it looks.  It will likely give you some change- but it's not going to simply erase the marks.  I'd be curious to hear some follow-up from you afterward.  Good Luck!  Scott Newman, MD FACS

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.