Understanding Hifu vs Thermage For Skin Tightening

There are various options in the beauty market for skin tightening, which can make selecting the most appropriate treatment a complex decision. However, two well-established and frequently discussed treatments, Hifu (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) and Thermage, are popular choices.

This blog discusses the key differences between Hifu and Thermage so you can make an informed decision about which treatment is best for your needs.

Understanding: Hifu vs Thermage

Thermage is a skin-tightening technology that utilizes high-frequency radio waves (RF) to deliver heat energy around 40-50 degrees Celsius deep into three skin layers: the epidermis, hypo-dermis, and subcutaneous fat. The energy penetrates to about 4.3 millimeters deep, stimulating collagen and elastin production, enhancing skin elasticity and tightness, and reducing excess fat. This process can sculpt a smaller, more defined facial contour.

Hifu is another skin-tightening technology using high-intensity focused ultrasound to deliver heat to the SMAS layer (Superficial Musculo Aponeurotic System), the tissue connecting the skin and muscle layers. The heat causes skin and muscle contraction, prompting new collagen production and leading to a tighter, smoother facial appearance.

Although both Thermage and Hifu aim to tighten the skin, reduce wrinkles, and contour the face, they operate on different principles and deliver energy of varying depths.

Differences: Hifu vs Thermage

  • Treatment Areas
    • Thermage
      Thermage can tighten skin, reduce wrinkles and pores, and smooth the skin. It’s popular for fat reduction on the face and neck, areas that are prone to sagging skin and wrinkles. Thermage can also address stretch marks and fat reduction, offering tightening effects across the body, including the abdomen, upper arms, and thighs.
    • Hifu
      Hifu is known for diminishing wrinkles and lifting sagging skin, particularly on cheeks and jowls, to define the facial contours more clearly. It’s used on all parts of the body, including upper arms, thighs, or any skin area that appears loose and lacks firmness.
  • Energy Depth
    • Thermage
      Thermage’s applicator releases single-pole high-frequency radio waves (Monopolar RF) at approximately 40-50 degrees Celsius, reaching a skin depth of 4.3 millimeters, affecting three skin layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat. The energy helps reduce fat accumulation and causes collagen and elastin fibers to contract and realign, improving skin elasticity and firmness.
    • Hifu
      Hifu’s applicator emits focused energy points at 0.3-0.5 millimeters, targeting the skin at three different depths: the dermis (using a 1.5 – 2.0 millimeter depth applicator) to stimulate collagen and elastin, tightening pores and smoothing the skin; the subcutaneous fat layer (using a 3.0-millimeter depth applicator) for fat reduction and skin firming; and the SMAS layer (using a 4.5-millimeter depth applicator) for muscle tightening, resulting in a lifted facial appearance.
  • Results
    • Thermage
      After Thermage treatment, there’s an immediate skin tightening effect of about 20-30%, which becomes more pronounced within the first 2-3 months as collagen regeneration continues, peaking at six months and lasting about a year, depending on individual skin condition and care.
    • Hifu
      Hifu shows a 10-20% improvement in skin condition after treatment, with noticeable firming and smoothness and a reduction in wrinkles from the second month onwards. The results from Hifu can last about 5-6 months, depending on skin condition and personal care.
  • Which Treatment is Suitable for Certain Skin Issues?
    • Thermage
      Thermage is ideal for those with sagging skin, wrinkles, large pores, and excess fat, and is particularly recommended for individuals aged 30 and above.
    • Hifu
      Hifu suits people between 25 and 30 years old with mild to moderate sagging and wrinkles or those who desire a more defined facial contour.

Hifu vs Thermage Summary

Thermage Hifu
Treatment Areas Cheeks
Jowls
Around the eyes
Upper arms, thighs Abdomen
Hips
Cheeks
Jowls
Around the eyes
Upper arms, thighs Abdomen
Hips
Energy Depth Epidermis, dermis, fat layer SMAS muscular layer
Suitable Age Range Ideal for individuals 30 years and older Ideal for individuals 25 years and older
Post-Treatment Results Immediate improvement of 20-30% Immediate improvement of 10-20%
Duration of Results Lasts about 1 year**Results may vary based on individual skin condition Lasts about 5-6 months**Results may vary based on individual skin condition

 

Considering Thermage or Hifu for facial lifting and tightening? Privato Clinic, a leading aesthetic clinic in Bangkok, can help. Our expert dermatologists are ready to address your specific skin concerns and recommend the most suitable treatment to enhance your facial contours and achieve a youthful, radiant complexion.

Schedule a consultation at one of our three convenient locations in Bangkok, or contact us to learn more.

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