Which is More Effective, Exilis or the New Thermage?

I have read a lot of doctor's opinions here on Ulthera being better than Thermage, but what about Exilis vs Thermage for tightening of the face (not discussing fat reduction). They both use RF, but I read that Exilis goes deeper. I am not discussing pain or cost, or that Exilis requires more treatments, just the bottom line results. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 3

Which is more effective for skin tightening on the face, Exilis or Thermage

Hi 4ever Young,

I want to respond to your question asked a few weeks ago about the difference in these treatments. Ulthera, which you mentioned, is ultrasound technology, and is an effective technology for many things, including skin tightening and fat reduction. The reason our practice has not selected Ulthera or Liposonix is primarily patient comfort. We haven't selected Thermage technology becasue it's been of mixed reviews from peers and patients for years. As we began to look at current technology for non-surgical body contouring, we were overwhelmingly pleased with CoolSculpting and began to look for a complementing treatment to further improve skin laxity without surgery. Fortunately, we had an option to use Exilis for a few months so as to see results after the recommended treatment series. We ultimately chose Exilis after seeing many terrific consistent responses when treating for skin tightening. We find the diverse and versatile Exilis system a gem in the office with endless uses. My recommendation to yo u is to visite practices near you who offer this treatment. It sounds as though you're doing all the right things a patient should do prior to selecting a treatment and the next steps are to have consultations to confirm that the treatments you're pursuing are ideal for you. Thank you again for asking your honest question. I wish you the very best of luck.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Exilis potential over Thermage for tightening

Probably the biggest advantage of Exilis over Thermage for tightening is the ability of the system to measure temperature increases in the skin from a technical perspective instead of patient feedback. The technician can see on the device screen the heat levels reached and be sure effective levels are achieved during the treatment process.

Any heat-based procedure that is designed to tighten the skin must create enough heat to spur collagen changes (referred to as remodeling).

Exilis has a built in temperature measurement system which Thermage has not had. This makes the process of achieving the clinically significant heat levels objective instead of subjective. 

The Exilis Elite system has another fail-safe in that it automatically adjusts energy levels as it senses tissue density and depth changes, so more energy would automatically be employed in the cheek area where there is more tissue, and less around any bony structure so as to prevent any over heating.


Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Exilis, Ulthera and Thermage

I find that Exilis works very well. I have been doing radiofrequency for over ten years starting with the first Thermage machine and progressing with a newer Thermage machine. I now have the Exilis machine. The radiofrequency  is the same monopolar type as Thermage which is important in differentiating each of them from other types of radiofrequency machines on the market. However, we have finally found a way to deliver the power in a safe, affordable, comfortable and effective manner. Although it takes more treatments than the Thermage, each Exilis treatment is far more comfortable (different than Ulthera which is high frequency ultrasound, not radiofrequency) and no pretreatment medication is required. For tightening the facial skin we use Exilis at a depth no deeper than Thermage. It is for fat reduction and cellulite treatment that Exilis goes deeper and is able to target fat cells. Exilis results tend to be more consistently good in my hands than what the Thermage results were. There are still a few patients who get less results than others but the more experience the office has with the machinery, the bmore consistent our results tend to be.

William LoVerme, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 32 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.