Does Thermage Work for Jawline Sagging and Jowls?

I am 44 am just starting to have sagging in the jawline. Is Thermage right for me? My skin is in good condition otherwise, but the little jowls that are forming are a concern to me because they run in my family. I won't mind looking like my grandmother... later, just not at 44. Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 12

Thermage - questionable benefits

Thermage is one of the least beneficial procedures in facial plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation today and the quickest way to waste your money. It does very little to address the problem of sagging skin. Little early jowls are usually best addressed by a mini facelift or Perlane/ Restylane injections.


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Questionable benefits of Thermage

I have personally done facelifts on at least 5 patients who previously went elsewhere for Thermage.  Each said it was painful and they "got nothing from it."  So, based on that experience I would say that if you want real and natural looking changes to reverse aging along the jawline, properly done surgery is the best answer.  Sometimes fillers can buy you some time before you go for surgery but these are temporary.

Please note that those who have enthusiasm here were dermatologists who cannot offer you surgery so their advocacy for Thermage has to be evaluated in that light.  Recall the saying that "when all you've got is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Thermage is Unpredictable

Is Thermage the best way to tighten your jowl?  I would say unequivocally, No.  A Facelift procedure is most likely to address your concerns.  Can Thermage provide some benefit?  It can.  However, the results on Thermage have been very mixed and it might not be the best way to spend your money.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Patient selection is key. Thermage is great for less severe sagging.

Many patients simply wait to long to seek age reversal treatments. You are smart to seek advice at the first sign of a problem. It is highly unlikely that someone 44 years old has laxity severe enough to justify the cost and risks of a facelift. On the other hand, someone who has done nothing and is in their 60's likely needs drastic treatment to see results. Please see a reputable doctor who will outline your options and weigh the relative need and risk for each procedure. In my hands a combination of filler along the jaw line, Botox into the upper neck and Thermage can be the perfect trio to help you avoid surgery.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Ultherapy vs. Thermage for lower face rejuvenation in Los Angeles

Although Thermage will work in this area, I would recommend the Ulthera treatment for the lower face and upper neck areas. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


Thermage is a non-invasive (no incision!) treatment that can tighten skin, renew facial contours, and stimulate your body to make healthier collagen—the building block that provides structure to your skin.

The procedure uses radiofrequency technology called ThermaCool that has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift skin to smooth out wrinkles and renew facial contours. Fast and easy, Thermage requires no downtime from normal activities. And unlike laser treatments, Thermage can be performed on patients of all skin types. Thermage can be used not only for sagging facial, neck, and eyelid skin; but also all over the body, including flabby arms, hands, and legs. Now approved by the FDA for improving cellulite. Tighten and lift without surgery, injections, or downtime.

However, Thermage can have variable results if not performed by an experienced doctor. The best way to protect yourself is to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who is professionally bound to engage only in techniques that have been deemed safe--after rigorous testing.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Thermage is the best non-invasive single treatment for jowels

If  your skin is in good and healthy condition and you dod not have a lot of aging in terms of loose skin then it sounds like you are an excellent candidate for Thermage.  It sounds like you are perfect both from your expectations and skin quality.  Good luck with the treatment and write back in!

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Does Thermage Work For Jowls?

Thermage is one of the best non-invasive, no down-time procedure for jowls.  When you perform a Thermage, if you do one half of the face first and show the patient the treated side versus the non-treated side, they are always impressed with the improvement and want to make sure you treat the non-treated side the same!  The beauty of Thermage is that it can hold off an more invasive procedure such as a face-lift if done early enough.  You are at the perfect age to start Thermage.  I will sometimes see a patient for a Thermage consult who has too much laxity or neck jowling that would be better served with a facelift or necklift and we will refer them to a plastic surgeon we trust.

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Thermage for Jowl and Jawline

We did a study (submitted for publication, presented at ASDS and American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery) comparing the improvement in the jowl and submental areas of 30 patients.  They were divided into 3 groups: Thermage alone, Smartlipo alone, Thermage and Smartlipo.  The best results(rated by physicians) were in patients with the combination of Thermage and Smartlipo.  The happiest patients were the ones with Thermage alone.  Since objective results were very close and patient satisfaction is the most important factor I stopped performing Smartlipo.

Thermage alone does work given appropriate is not a facelift but is a viable less invasive alternative for those not wanting surgery.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tightening the jaw with thermage

When I tighten the jaw line, to elevate the jowls, I treat the face to help lift, and the neck as well after I focus on the jaw and peform vectors of treatment from the jowl up the cheek. The neck treatment helps pull down at the angle of the jaw so the two different forces can help tighten the line

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 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.