From Jennifer Aniston to Gwyneth Paltrow, Thermage has steadily become an important treatment for people who want to take care of their skin. It is a treatment that gives tightened skin which is desired by people with wrinkles, fine lines and those with cellulite in areas like thighs and abdomen. However the price for this treatment is far more than for other treatment's. So, the key question is, why is Thermage so expensive?
What is Thermage?
Thermage uses technology that has been used in the medical field for decades. At the most basic level, it uses heat to trigger a process in our skin to repair itself so that the surface of the skin is tightened. This is done by radio-waves that enter the skin when the tip of the Thermage equipment is put on the skin surface. The radio-waves travel deeper in to our skin layers until it reaches a layer that contains something called collagen.
This collagen is acts like walls and pillars to give the skin structure. When the skin is young it has a lot of collagen which is generated again and again. This keeps the skin tight and plump. When the skin ages, it is less firm because the amount of collagen is also reduced. So, now the skin is not being held tightly which means it will sag and wrinkle. Thermage targets this using the heat from the radio-waves which enter the skin and kickstart the skin repair such as generating more collagen and blood circulation being improved.
At first the skin is cooled, then the equipment is used to deliver the radio-waves using the Thermage tip and finally, after the treatment, the skin is cooled. The surface of the skin is not damaged at all which is why there is no downtime for the treatment. The effects can then be seen in the months after the treatment because the skin begins to heal.
So, Thermage is a treatment that works on healing the skin from the inside to improve the surface of the skin. By the sound of it, it is a treatment that everyone would want to have but they are stopped by the price.
Why is Thermage so expensive?
As seen in the table above, the price for Thermage is different depending on the area and the country it is carried out in. The price difference in countries is mainly because of the general economy of the country (such as USA has higher prices for all products in general so the treatment will cost more). However it can be seen that that the treatment begins from around $1000 USD for an area on the face in any country.
This shows that Thermage as a treatment is expensive on its own when it is compared with other treatments. This is because of many reasons:
1) Single use material
First of all, the treatment uses single use tips which means that once your treatment is finished, the tip used will be thrown away. This is to make sure the procedure is hygienic and sterilised.
2) Treatment patent
The second reason is that the treatment procedure is patented to only one company. This means the technology and equipment to do the treatment is owned by one company so there is no competition to lower the price. Also, the extra equipment needed to do the treatment such as cooling spray add to the overall cost of the treatment.
3) Qualified staff
The third reason is the training required to do the treatment. Clinics with highly trained staff for the procedure will charge more for the treatment because more training means better results. Unlike other treatments, this treatment requires good understanding of how the technology works so that it can be safely used on the skin.
Why does Thermage cost less in Korea?
The biggest reason for this is that there are a large number of people getting the treatment here. Korean citizens and tourists travelling for the beauty treatments all add up to mean this treatment is performed many times by clinics. For this reason many clinics invest in buying Thermage equipment and so there are more clinics who offer this treatment. This means there is more competition between the clinics and the prices are lowered because of that. The clinics don't have to charge high rates to make profit because they have many clients wanting the treatment. This also means the staff quickly become better trained at providing the treatment.
Is the Thermage cost worth it?
This will depend on the individual. If a person is looking for cheaper treatments and is on a budget then Thermage may not be a good option. Other treatments such as injections, thread-lifting and HIFU might be better options. These treatments are effective as well but in most cases they require multiple sessions to see desired results. With Thermage, only one sessions is usually required because of how powerful the technology behind it is. So in the long term, the cost of Thermage and the other treatments may balance out.
This treatment may not be suitable for those who have extreme sagging skin and really deep wrinkles. In those cases surgery or other alternatives like fillers may give better results. This treatment is targeted to those with mild sagging skin, cellulite and light wrinkles. It will be cost effective for them because face lifts and surgery will cost more than Thermage and give similar results as Thermage.