What is the difference between Thermi Smooth, thermi Tight and thermiRF?

I am interested in one of these for facial tightening including eyes. Can't tell what is the difference between these. Also, is there something better out there that can target both tightening of the face and eye area and broken capillaries?

Doctor Answers 19

Thermi Procedures Defined

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Thermi Aesthetics is a company that has a new and innovative product that treats a number of candidates using Radio frequency called ThermiRF.The specific treatments are as follows:

1.) Thermi Tight: a small probe used under the skin to create significant tightening of areas such as: neck, abdomen, arms and breasts.This is a single treatment.

2.) Thermi Smooth: a smooth round probe used on the surface of the skin of the face such as crepey skin around the eyes or lines around mouth. This requires 3 treatments, 3 weeks apart.

3.) Thermi Rase: Toxin free disabling of nerves that can smoothen lines of the face, laxity of the neck muscles with long term results (up to 1 year or more).Alternative to Botox or Xeomin.

4.) Thermi Va: Female tightening of internal vaginal laxity or external laxity. Completed in 3 comfortable surface treatments.

ThermiRF provides ThermiSmooth and ThermiTight skin tightening in my NYC practice

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ThermiAesthetics, a company, has produced ThermiRF, a radiofrequency energy source that can be delivered to the dermis underneath the epidermis, by an external energy delivery without downtime using ThermiSmooth.  An injectable form of this energy is done with ThermiTight using local numbing first. There is some down time with this procedure, mostly associated with some visible swelling for several days, and is usually done as one treatment but ThermiSmooth is done as a series of treatments, often done every two weeks but does not cause swelling. 
There is also ThermiRaze which is entirely different but also from the same energy delivery as ThermiTight and this is designed to produce a Botox-like effect for frown lines and this causes swelling temporarily too.
I appreciate the amount of research this company has done and provided physicians with internal and external safety mechanisms that are unparalleled and also provide doctors an opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge frequently which helps all of us develop the best protocols possible.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Thermi - ThermiTight vs ThermiSmooth

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ThermiRF is the general machine that can perform ThermiTight, ThermiSmooth, and ThermiRase.  ThermiTight is for tightening *under* the skin which can be performed of the face and neck, arms, abdomen, and other body areas.  ThermiSmooth is *topical* radiofrequency and heat and can also be used on many body areas.  You can use ThermiSmooth for tigthening of the face and eye area.  Thermi will not help broken capillaries.  Both modalities are very effective for non-surgical tightening of the targeted areas.  

Kian Karimi, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

ThermiSMOOTH or ThermiTIGHT for eyes and face

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Dear ssl:

Facial aging occurs differently at each level of the skin.

  • An accumulation of scaly cells creates the dry, rough surface with fine lines at the epidermal level.
  • Passive reduction of regeneration occurs in the dermis causing thinning, laxity, wrinkling and folds. This is the primary layer for skin firming and tightening. Controlled injury to the dermis will upwardly stimulate regulation and exfoliation of the epidermis.

ThermiSMOOTH uses  controlled monitoring of RF (radio frequency) energy to deliver heat through the epidermis to the dermis.  This differs from other sources of energy using laser which must “blast” high energy to a chromophore to generate heat; either creating intolerable pain or ineffective heat to tolerate the pain.  ThermiSMOOTH delivers a gradual heating to the proper thermal point for contracture of the dermal molecules and controlled inflammatory collagen production.

ThermiTIGHT uses the same controlled RF generating and heat monitoring devices via a subcutaneous needle-sized probe to deliver heat directly to the subdermis. This allows a more efficient and tolerable procedure as it uses lidocaine to fully control pain as well.

  1. ThermiSMOOTH best delivers around the eyes and lips. I find it synergizes well with Sculptra dermal collagen stimulation.
  2. ThermiTIGHT is terrific in the loser tissues of the submalar cheek, jowl and neck.
  3. IPL is best for broken capillaries and any telangiectatic capillaries created from collagen stimulatory procedures such as those above.

I hope this is helpful. Always consult with a talented and skilled, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who may properly evaluate and recommend those non-surgical, minimally invasive and surgical procedures selected best for you. All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

ThermiTight/Skin Tightening/High Definition procedures

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Thank you for your question.  I recommend a combination of procedures for optimal results.

ThermiTight utilizes a small electrode inserted under the skin to heat tissue to a selected therapeutic temperature.  Literature has shown that elevating skin to a therapeutic temperature level can contract collagen molecules and stimulate collagen production, which may give the appearance of lifting or tightening.   Fat reduction is rare, unless set to high temperatures and kept at high temperatures for a significant amount of time .

To best answer your question,  it  depends on how much skin laxity you have.   ThermiTight can work well in the thigh area to tighten skin that is mild to moderately laxity.  Surgery may be a better option, if you have excessive laxity.   Results with ThermiTight vary from patient to patient.  You should experience some overall improvement.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon




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All the procedures you've mentioned involve use of radio frequency for heating tissues. The various names (ThermiSmooth, ThermiVa, and ThermiTite) all differ from the anatomic site they're treating and in the temperature of the probe. While ThermiVa and Smooth are externally applied energy (to the vaginal tissues or skin) the ThermiTite procedure applies the energy using a probe placed under the skin. Hope that helps. By the way, none of these procedures is optimal for broken blood vessels. Meeting with board certified plastic surgeon will help figure out what you need. Good luck.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

What is the difference between Thermi Smooth, thermi Tight and thermiRF?

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Thermi is a radiofrequency energy that treats the connective fibers under the skin with heat. It causes secondary tightening. It's minimally invasive and is usually performed in the office.

ThermiVA is for vaginal rejuvenation. It is done without any anesthesia and is painless.

ThermiTight treats the subcutaneous tissue directly with a RF probe and is done under local anesthesia.

ThermiSmooth is for external delivery of RF heat for thinner skin areas such as the eyelids. This is also painless and non-invasive.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

ThermiTight and ThermiSmooth both use the ThermiRF system

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ThermiRF is the general radiofrequency energy system that all of the Thermi devices utilize. ThermiTight is a skin tightening device that uses a probe inserted under the skin to deliver radiofrequency energy to deep tissue, and is most often used to reduce the appearance of jowls and tighten skin on the neck, arms, thighs, abdomen and other areas of the body. ThermiSmooth can be used to tighten the skin on the face including the eye area. It delivers radiofrequency energy topically, without the probe, and is best for smoothing fine lines and subtly tightening the facial skin. The Thermi 250 is a more advanced tightening system like the ThermiSmooth and is used to tighten skin on the abdomen and thighs in addition to minimizing the appearance of fatty deposits in those areas.As for broken capillaries, ThermiRF will not treat those. A treatment such as IPL (intense pulsed light) or PDL (pulsed dye laser) should be used instead.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

I Love Thermi Everything!

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Great question, thank you!  It can be a little confusing with so many similar names.  ThermiRF is a general term that can refer to the company, or any of their treatment devices or protocols.  "Radiofrequency" is what the "RF" stands for and that is the energy modality upon which the entire platform is based.  The full list of Thermi treatments is as follows:  ThermiTight, ThermiRase, ThermiDry, ThermiVa, ThermiSmooth, and Thermi 250, formerly ThermiSmooth 250 prior to FDA approval, which occurred in November of 2015.  ThermiVa, ThermiSmooth and Thermi 250 are all non-invasive, non-painful office procedures that may be performed by an esthetician, nurse, or other licensed health care provider (HCP).  All the others are minimally-invasive and require local anesthesia to numb the area being treated and must be performed by an HCP.  In my career, I have not seen a radiofrequency device live up to all its claims like Thermi has.  For the face, you could use Thermi 250, ThermiSmooth, or ThermiTight.  ThermiTight will likely give the most dramatic result, but is also a bit more expensive and does require local anesthesia.  None of these will do anything about spider veins.  Nothing currently on the market will tighten skin like ThermiRF, I am convined.

Difference between Thermi treatments

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ThermiRF is a radiofrequency energy delivery system developed by Thermi Aesthetics. ThermiSmooth is a non-invasive device that uses ThermiRF to help tighten and smooth the skin on the face, including around the eyes. ThermiTight uses a probe inserted under the skin to deliver the RF energy, and can be great for helping to reduce jowls and loose skin on the chin and neck, as well as for reducing fat. Broken capillaries around the nose are best treated with IPL or V-beam, which specifically target red pigmentation.

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 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.