By Candice Sabatini
I did it before and didn’t want to do it again, but now five years have passed, and in the world of high tech anti-aging that’s a long, long time. Newer and better is the name of the game, and the new Thermage is nothing like the painful procedure I had back then. The new name is Thermage CPT which stands for Comfort Patient Technology.
Thermage CPT is not a laser, it’s a heat based treatment that builds collagen within our skin. And as you know, we’re born with lots of it, and lose it as we age. The loss of collagen is responsible for skin that is less firm than youthful skin. Think of collagen as a triple strand of tightly coiled thread holding onto the skin. As we age, the coil loosens and our skin gets slack, soft and less firm. Thermage CPT not only tightens that coil up, put also builds new collagen around it. The heat from a Thermage session temporarily uncoils it, but then makes it spring back even tighter, thus tightening and firming up the skin around it.
Dr. Anne Chapas
My session with Dr. Anne Chapas, M.D. at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center started with the taking of photos so we can measure my results. We decided to focus the treatment on my neck and jaw line. I was given an injection of Toridal, which is strong Advil and I then lied down. Dr Chapas explained that the new Thermage CPT machines are much gentler than the old ones from years ago, and the one used on me today is the very latest, and only a few months old. What’s different is that it can both vibrate and pulse. They all pulsed, even the old ones, but this newest one, with the option of vibrating, helps dissipate the intensity of the heat. As she placed the flat tip against my skin, her assistant was holding a tube blowing cold air onto the area which helped cool the spot immediately. She started with low heat and slowly increased the intensity to as much as I was comfortable with. Certain parts of my neck near a vein felt it the most, and so on those spots she used the vibration option which helped a lot. As it was moved up to my jawline, it was very comfortable and the vibration feature was turned off. The funniest part was that on every pulse the machine made a familiar noise that reminded me of the sound of a casino slot machine. We all agreed on that one and laughed.
The entire treatment took about twenty minutes and wasn’t painful, just a couple of places where it got a little sensitive, but it stopped immediately when the pulse stopped – and trust me, I’m such a baby when it comes to that stuff! Ice packs were placed on my neck for a few minutes. Afterwards I looked at my neck which was all red. Fortunately, I was wearing a turtleneck, and by the time I got home about an hour later, the redness was totally gone. Thermage, unlike lasers is not a quick fix and it’s going to take three months before I see any results, because it’ll take that amount of time for the collagen to rebuild and grow. The good news is that the results last a year or longer. Dr Chapas told me that Thermage CPT is popular on other areas of the body such as abdomen, upper arms, thighs and knees, and patients are very happy with the results.
I’ll go back in three months to have my “after” photos, and will report back to you!
Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York
317 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016
Dr. Anne Chapas is a Board Certified dermatologist. She graduated from the U of Penn with a degree in biochemistry, and graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School. She is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine, a frequent lecturer and has been widely published on advances in cutaneous oncology, laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology.