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Today’s Skin-tightening Devices

By: Terri A. Wojak
Posted: May 30, 2014, from the June 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Today’s Skin-tightening Devices

Skin-tightening is one of the most sought-after treatments today. Many methods for skin-tightening have been developed throughout the years. Past treatments include ablative resurfacing with dermabrasion and fractioned carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers used to remove skin down to the reticular layer of the dermis to elicit a wound response. On the other end of the spectrum, products claiming to be “face lifts in a bottle,” or even facial massage techniques claiming to give the same results as surgery have been heavily marketed. As technology evolves, devices used for skin-tightening are constantly being developed, each trying to out-do the others. The following article will discuss why skin-tightening is desired, what devices are most popular and how to implement them.

The push for skin-tightening treatments

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s website,, a total of 2,105,926 people requested skin-rejuvenation procedures in 2012, and 283,741 of those were for noninvasive skin-tightening. As gravity accumulates and subcutaneous fat is lost, the skin begins to sag—especially in the jowls, as well as the neck and eye areas. This sagging can be exacerbated by external aging factors, including excess sun exposure and unhealthy lifestyles. In the past, surgery—including rhytidectomy and blepharoplasty—was the best known option when it came to tightening skin, but that is not the case anymore.

Various options for skin-tightening

Today, several modalities exist that can help clients fight loose, sagging skin without undergoing surgery.

Fractional devices. One of the most exciting breakthroughs in facial rejuvenation treatments during the past two decades is the advent of fractional devices. These devices range from the use of light energy to the use of needles for mechanical breakdown. The idea behind treating portions of the skin is to leave support skin for the growth of new, healthy tissue and allow for a quicker healing time, along with improved results.

Fractional lasers. The first fractional laser was introduced in 2004 and many others soon followed. Fractional lasers use energy to either heat nonablative or remove ablative portions of skin with a beam of light through a difractionated microlens. Traditional lasers used for resurfacing produced great results, but left clients with 6–8 weeks of downtime and a heightened chance of side effects. The ability to leave small portions of intact skin behind results in rapid re-epithelialization, fewer complications and more consistent results.


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More Treatments! Aesthetically Challenging Skin Concerns such as Acne, Rosacea and Aging Skin

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