Thermage Comfort Pulse Technology® (FLX) delivers radiofrequency energy underneath the skin. The pulses of energy stimulate the dermis to produce collagen, which acts to plump and smooth the skin, resulting in a smoother, fuller, younger look in the treated area. Thermage FLX® has been used for years to treat wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven/dimpled skin. It can also be used to treat thinning lips.
What Causes Thinning Lips?
Young lips appear full because they contain large amounts of collagen and hyaluronic acid. During the aging process, the skin gradually stops producing collagen and hyaluronic acid, and consequently the lips gradually lose their youthful plumpness. This can happen alarmingly early during the aging process — some people notice lip thinning in their 20s and 30s. In addition to genetics, lifestyle factors like frequently drinking through a straw, smoking, sunlight exposure, not drinking enough water, and not consuming adequate vitamin C can accelerate lip aging.
What is Radiofrequency Energy?
Radiofrequency energy is a form of electromagnetic energy, like light and x-rays. The “radiofrequency” term refers to the wavelengths used in this form of energy-essentially, they are radio waves. During Thermage FLX®, very strong radio waves are used to heat the dermis, a deep layer of the skin that produces new skin cells and collagen. The strong heating effect induces the dermis to produce more collagen.
A typical lip treatment takes less than 30 minutes, and patients can immediately return to their normal activities with no down-time required. Results are not apparent immediately after the treatment; it takes several weeks for enough collagen to be synthesized for visible results to become apparent. Improvements will continue for several months and then stabilize.
Is More Than One Treatment Necessary?
One of the advantages of Thermage FLX® is that only one treatment is necessary to achieve long-lasting results. The appearance of the lips will continue to improve for several months after the treatment as the body continues to produce more collagen, and in many cases, the improved appearance is retained for a long time. A touch-up treatment is recommended every year after the first treatment to maintain the plump, youthful look.