Exilis Treatment-What Are the Risks? Is It a Laser?

I am interested in tightening up some wrinkles under my eyes and also removing some cellulite. Is the Exilis a Laser treatment? All I can find is that is uses heat. WHat are the worst side effects short and long term? Thanks for any input.

Doctor Answers 8

What Is Exilis?

   Dear Tylie,

      Exilis is the newest FDA approved non-invasive treatment for body shaping and skin tightening. It uses monopolar RF (radio frequency) to deliver controlled heat approximately 1-3 cm under the skin. We have used Exilis to tighten skin and lose inches in problem areas (neck/jowls, arms, bra strap area, abdomen, male chest, thighs and knees). Everyone is different, but some people start to see results as early as 1-2 treatments. Most will see significant results after 5-6 treatments. Those who wish to have larger volumes reduced may need 6-8 treatments. We schedule the treatments every 7-14 days with no down time or limitations. There is no pain and most patients describe the treatments as warm and tingling. The risks would include minor discomfort and minor burns (these reportedly heal quickly with no long term problems). These risks are minimal in our practice. We consider this a very safe procedure.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 176 reviews


Exilis Ultra is an outstanding treatment for skin tightening that combines two of the best technologies available for this purpose: radiofrequency (as found in Thermage) and ultrasound (as featured in Ultherapy). That means you get the best of both worlds!

Those two forms of energy heat up the collagen in the skin causing it to contract leading to skin tightening in the treated area. They also stimulate collagen production which will lead to further tightening visible within 4-6 months so you get an immediate and long-term benefit. The most common areas I treat are the eyelids, lower face (for the jowls), neck, and abdomen but any body part can be treated, including private areas. It also works well for cellulite especially when combines with our Cellutone treatment.

The treatment feels like a hot stone massage and is usually performed every other week for a total of four treatments. There is zero downtime and you can return to your regular activities immediately. There are no short term side effects other than the sensation of heat and there are no long term side effects other than tightening of the skin! No aftercare is necessary though I do recommend a combination of skin care products to further boost and support collagen production. There results aren't permanent; we are simply turning back the clock but the clock will keep ticking. After your series of four, I recommend maintenance treatments once or twice a year depending on your age, genetics, starting point, and lifestyle considerations.

With all the amazing treatment options at our disposal, there has never been a better time in history to grow old gracefully!

Peterson Pierre, MD
Thousand Oaks Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Exilis Treatment

Tylie, Exilis is a radio-frequency device that is a FDA approved skin tightening device.  Radiofrequency is a form of energy that causes your skin to heat up and stimulate collagen and tighten skin.  In regards to your question of "what are the worst side effects" Exilis is a very safe procedure.  We have not seen any worse side effects aside from some mild tenderness.    Hope this helps!

Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Exilis - a new skin tightening device

Exilis is a monopolar RF or radiofrequency device.  It has two separate heads, one for the body and one for the face.  Skin temperature is monitored as RF energy is delivered.  It is FDA cleared for wrinkles around the eyes.

We have seen excellent results with:

  • Facial skin tightening - especially around eyes and jawline
  • Arm skin tightening
  • Thigh skin tightening
  • Improvement in cellulite

We have not seen side effects with use over one year.

Robert A. Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Exilis What is it?

Exilis is not a laser. It is a device that delivers high energy in a controlled fashion to the dermal and subcutaneous layers of the skin resulting in skin tightening and fat melting. In regards to the eye and facial area, only skin tightening is applied. Exilis is not a treatment for cellulite .

There is no down time associated with the treatment, and side effects are minimal. Dr Steil             

Christina Steil, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Exilis treatment and side effects

We have found excellent results in our practice with Exilis. It is ideal for skin tightenting particularly of sagging skin of the face , around the eyes and even the hanging skin of the arms. It is a safe treatment with only the very uncommon side effect of a minor localized skin burn from the heat f the device. This is reported but rare and we have not seen it in our practice. 

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Cellulaze Best for Cellulite Reduction

Thank you for your question. I would suggest Cellulaze to reduce your cellulite. Cellulaze is the only minimally invasive laser procedure designed to attack the structure of cellulite beneath your skin. Cellulaze is backed by many years of clinical research. Studies have shown it increases the thickness of your skin by 25% and the elasticity of your skin by 29%—significant claims that haven't been made by any other treatments. Thicker and more elastic skin can help flatten and smooth the skin surface to improve the appearance of cellulite. In addition, 93% of patients surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their results at one year post their procedure, and all would recommend the Cellulaze cellulite laser treatment to a friend.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Exilis is Safe

Exilis is a noninvasive, nonsurgical device that uses RF, or radiofrequency, waves to heat deep tissue below the surface of the skin. This heat shrinks the fat cells as well as stimulating new collagen production, leading to smoother, firmer skin. Exilis is extremely safe and has almost no side effects though in some cases, a patient may 

Melda A. Isaac, MD
Washington DC Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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.