How Effective is Photomodulation (LED Skin Treatment) for Skin Tightening?

How effective is photomodulation for skin firming - neck, jowls, etc.? If desired results obtained, what will maintenance look like?

Doctor Answers 4

LED Skin Tightening

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Red light therapy activates collagen production to improve the visible signs of aging, to restore glowing, healthy-looking skin. It can also be used to reduce age spots, sun damage, and overall redness, flushing, and dilated capillaries. Red light therapy can also reduce the appearance of bruising and reduce healing time. Results are often immediate.
Depending on your skin type, we also have a new treatment called the 3-D Laser which firms, tightens and lifts the face, neck and/or chest area. My patients have seen amazing results with this treatment.

New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

LED treatments offer rejuvenation benefits

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LED treatments are an excellent way to stimulate the skin to refresh itself by "super-charging" the cells and speeding up repair mechanisms. Because it is a minimally invasive procedure, a series of treatments is ordinarily required to get any visible results. Certain LED lights and settings are excellent for enhancing the penetration and effect of anti-oxidant topical medications. as far as skin tightening is concerned, I doubt that LED is going to give you enough change in the health and fitness of your skin to see real skin tightening.

Currently, there are only 2 primary non-surgical means of skin tighenting: Thermage (results are very variable and usually mild) and laser resurfacing. Fractional laser such as Fraxel can give very mild tightening and full classical CO2 laser can give very good facial skin tightening but requires a long healing and recovery phase.

if skin tightening is your primary goal (because you have laxity in cheeks neck or jowls) your best results are likely to lie with a surgical approach: facelift or neck lift, even a minilift if your laxity is mild.

unfortunately, despite the proliferation of non-surgical treatment, non of them measure up to surgery for skin tightening.

if i were you i would get a consultation with a good plastic surgeon who can examine you and outline your options. if you want to stick to nonsurgical options, see if thermage is an option and if skin texture issues are also a concern add Fraxel laser resurfacing. if those options are too mild for your situation, consider surgery.

Mary C. Herte, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Skin Tightening Treatments

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LED doesn't work for skin firming or tightening. LED treatments are really great for surface rejuvenation of the skin, but won't help much for tightening loose or sagging skin. 

It really takes a deeper heating element, such as from ultrasound or radiofrequency to achieve more of a tightening effect. For ultrasound devices, we use Ultherapy to tighten the neck and the face. Radio frequency devices include Exilis, Pelleve and Thermage, all which could be used for skin tightening on the neck and face, as well as the thighs and abdomen for some of the devices. 

Margaret Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Facial Skin Tightening

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Thank you for your question. I would suggest Ultherapy for facial skin tightening, not Photomodulation. Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen. As a result, skin will actually begin to lift and tone over time. Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned and elastic. Plus, the treatment is completely non-invasive and does not require downtime. I have seen excellent results with the treatment.

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