What Is A Thread Lift?
A thread lift is a non-invasive aesthetic treatment that can achieve a more youthful facial appearance, without requiring a complex procedure. In this article, we will share with you everything you need to know about thread lifting treatment, from what the procedure is, to its recovery time and how long it lasts.
What is a thread lift?A thread lift – also known as a barbed suture lift – tightens and lifts the skin, combatting signs of ageing in your face and neck. It is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that is suitable for people in middle age who have loose skin around the neck, jawline, jowls, cheeks, or eyebrows. The painless procedure involves the threading of dissolvable sutures underneath the skin, allowing the skin to be pulled up tight around the neck, forehead or torso. Invisible barbs will grab onto the skin, gripping the thread to the tissues and muscles underneath. After the barbed thread has been inserted, a healing response is triggered naturally. Collagen production is stimulated when the body detects the suture material beneath the skin. The collagen – which is a protein that helps keep the skin supple and strong – fills in the gaps at the treated areas, which contributes to a more youthful facial appearance. Local anaesthetic is administered during the procedure.
Thread lift resultsThread lifts are effective in increasing the tightness and structure of the skin. The procedure is favoured for its quick recovery time compared to surgical procedures, with minimal discomfort being experienced during and after the treatment. Thread lifts also offer immediate results compared to invasive procedures such as facelifts. By increasing the suppleness and strength of the skin, thread lifts can offer a more youthful appearance thanks to the stimulation of collagen production. Wrinkles and lines can also be combated, as the threads pull the skin on the face and neck tightly, restoring tone and firmness, contributing to a smoother facial look.
How long does a thread lift last?Results of thread lifts can last up to 18 months, however, research has demonstrated that a rejuvenating effect may be seen for three years after the procedure, or more. How long results are visible can be influenced by factors such as the patient’s skin type, age and lifestyle. Even after sutures dissolve, the skin can continue receiving the benefits of a thread lift as collagen production is stimulated and the healing process continues.
Thread lift vs faceliftA facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical face slimming treatment that pulls back and lifts up the skin, giving the face a smoother and tighter look. A facelift can offer more significant and longer-lasting results than a thread lift. However, it is an invasive procedure that takes two to three hours, requires an overnight stay in the hospital, and is performed under general anaesthetic. It involves incisions being made above the hairline, from the temples down to the front of the ear, allowing the removal of surplus skin and then pulling back, and up, of the remaining skin. Facelift recovery time can be two to four weeks, compared to little or no recovery time after a thread lift. Due to the non-invasive nature of a thread lift, in some cases, people may choose to have additional treatments such as dermal fillers to augment the results. In terms of risk, there is more chance of complications when having a facelift than there is when undergoing a non-invasive procedure such as a thread lift. Facelifts are also typically more expensive than thread lifts.
Bo.tox vs thread liftBo.tox, or anti-wrinkle injections, is a procedure that involves injections of Botulinum toxin, resulting in relaxation of the facial muscles and smoothing out of wrinkles and lines. It does this by blocking chemical signals from the nerves. Unlike a thread lift, Bo.tox doesn’t increase the elasticity of the skin. It works by preventing the facial muscles from moving, reducing the likelihood of getting wrinkles. For this reason, while it is a suitable treatment for dynamic wrinkles (those caused by facial movements), unlike a thread lift, Bo.tox is not effective in treating sagging skin. While the results of a thread lift can typically be seen for a year or more, Bo.tox results usually last for between three to four months. Like a thread lift, Bo.tox requires less recovery time than more invasive procedures. However, you might feel a ‘heavy’ or ‘tight’ feeling in the face for a week or two after the procedure.
Thread lift side effectsA thread lift is a low-risk procedure, but there is potential for side effects and complications. Common side effects include:
- Pain at the treatment area
- Bleeding behind the skin
- An allergic reaction to threading material
- Lumps or bulges as a result of migration of the threads
- Dimpling where threads are inserted
- Pulling of threads
- Discomfort as a result of a thread’s awkward position or a thread being too tight
Dos and don’ts after thread liftAfter a thread lift: Do:
- Apply antibiotic cream to the treatment site
- Attend your follow-up appointment a few weeks after the procedure
- Get a facial massage
- Sleep on your side or stomach
- Engage in intense physical activity
- Wear make-up
- Drink or smoke