Why is Thermage rated so low, and why is there such a disparity in what different clinics charge?

I m interested in thermage but have a few concerns. First , why does it get such a low worth it rating on realself.com? The satisfaction rating is just over 30% . Secondly, one clinic in my area charges $4000 while yje other charges $1600 . What could the disparity be because? I am loking to tighenting up my face but not sure if thermage is the answer.

Doctor Answers 5

It's important to pick someone with high skill level

Thanks for your question and I think it is important to know that because there are so many clinics that have performed Thermage, you need to realize that some are really good at it – they learned it correctly, they are skilled at using at, and they get great results. Others have it and use it – more like a point-and-shoot device and have no clue what they are doing or how to maximize it. And in clinical results that have been published, there are some that do not seem to do as well with Thermage, no matter how skilled the provider is. You need to make sure you have this and all procedures done in offices of board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons – and that you get what you pay for – cheaper prices in clinics that are point-and-shooters versus higher prices by skilled board-certified derms or plastics.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


I think there are a variety of factors at play here.  We use Thermage frequently at our practice, and have had great results with it.  That said, it's important to note that Thermage is a noninvasive procedure, and while it has minimal side-effects and recovery time, it will not provide results comparable to a surgical lift.  Unfortunately, some patients do opt for this procedure expecting surgical results, and are disappointed by the more subtle lift that they achieve.

Moreover, Thermage is highly technique dependent.  Although it looks like a simple procedure, each pulse must be mapped out along a series of vectors to provide the best lift.  If you do opt for Thermage, please consult a practice with extensive experience in its use, and who can provide you with their before and after photos to give you a realistic idea of the results you can expect.  

Jody Comstock, MD
Tucson Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Thermage® results are definitely technique-dependent.

Like other newer technologies, it can be challenging to find a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who’s spent enough time to “get to know” the procedure and the results that are possible with it. Patients end up visiting practitioners who aren’t as skilled or experienced, and their results are uneven as a result—and so are the charges for the service. I use Thermage® at my practice and have nothing but great things to say about it. I think you’ll feel very positive about your results if you visit someone who’s familiar with Thermage® and can deliver the best outcome for you.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Thermage Treatments

Thermage benefits are gradual and subtle, this can be hard to see sometimes, that’s why before and after pictures are very important. When getting a Thermage treatment it is important to keep in mind that you will not get the same benefits as a facelift so making sure you have the right expectations will improve your satisfaction.

Pricing does vary from office to office some of the factors include how many pulses you are receiving, what areas are being treated and who is performing the procedure.

It is best to consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate for Thermage.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Low thermage rating

Thermage, even in its most advanced iteration, has very modest and subtle effects. There are many superior radiofrequency alternatives on the market such as Exilis Elite and TruSculpt. Prices vary depending on the center.

Richard A. Norden, MD
Ridgewood Ophthalmologist

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.