Thermage or CO2 Laser for Tightening the Skin on the Face?

I'm 41yrs old and considering Thermage or CO2Laser for tightening the skin on face, under eye and neck. I am starting to get a turkey neck. I'm not ready for surgery but I was told that in five years I'll be ready for surgery to git rid of the turkey neck. Also, I'm seeing fine lines around my mouth area. Also, I have got redness on my face except under my eyes. I think it's sun damaged. I was told by two doctors to get Thermage and one doctor to get CO2 laser.

Doctor Answers 5

Thermage and CO2 laser for loose skin

Thermage tightens existing collagen and stimulates the production of new collagen.  The placement of the pulses also causes lifting of the jawline and tightening of the eyelids.   If you are not yet ready for surgery, Thermage would be perfect for now but still allows for surgery in the future.

Fractional CO2 laser resurfaces the skin, gives some tightening (but not lifting as with Thermage) and minimizes fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation.  It can be used in combination with Thermage to give the best result.

Your redness will not be addressed by either Thermage or CO2 laser resurfacing.  You should consider intense pulsed light or pulsed dye laser treatments for the redness, perhaps combined with photodynamic therapy to help reverse your sundamage.

You should consult a dermatologist who offers all of these treatments and can propose a plan for you.

Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Thermage Skin Tightening

Dear patient, speaking as someone who offers both laser and Thermage, I can tell you that realistically neither treatment will help with your "turkey neck". You may be a candidate for surgery. CO2 would help with fine lines and improve any discoloration and skin. And Thermage would tighten your skin, but it will be subtle. 


Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Thermage vs. CO2

Thermage is a non-invasine, radio-frequency machine, that has no downtime and is used to tighten tissue and help stimulate collagen production.  CO2 laser treatment is invasive and has downtime of a week to two weeks.  It is not meant for tightening tissue but to resurface the skin. 


Hope this helps.


Dr. Grant Stevens        

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

CO2 laser, pixel, thermage, ulthera

Thermage is a non-inasive technique and C02 laser is an ablative technique. Co2 laser treatment will require a downtime of approcximately 3-7 days to heal the skin depending on the strength, depth and tightening required.. However, with the CO2 laser treatment results are a lot more pronounced in overall tightening the skin and even the skin pimentation. We routinely achieve excellent results in our patients.  There is a relatively new technique with no downtime and non-invasive known as Ulthera, which can also tighten the jwls and neck area. When you combine the two techniques together Ulthera or Thermage with fractional co2 laser (e.g Pixel) you get the best and most long lasting results in my experience – short of plastic surgery.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Thermage vs CO2 Laser

Thermage and CO2 laser are very different.  Thermage is a non-invasive procedure with no downtime and is intended for tightening of the skin.  It works best for the lower face and neck areas.  Most people see some degree of tightening, but the results can be subtle and it is not a substitute for a surgical face lift.  CO2 laser is an ablative laser that treats and heats the surface of the skin.  There is some downtime since the treated skin needs to slough off afterwards.  CO2 laser is the gold standard for improvement in fine lines and superficial sun damage such as brown spots.  It also tightens the skin due to collagen shrinkage and new collagen generation over time.  The exact amount of downtime depends on the intensity of the treatment and this can be adjusted to fit your expectations.  

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.