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Thermage FLX and Radiofrequency Microneedling. Which is Right for You?

By Josh Sim, Aesthetic and Non-Surgical Facelift Specialist


Thermage FLX in London

Non-surgical skin tightening treatments have become increasingly popular as more people seek effective ways to rejuvenate their skin without the need for invasive procedures. Among the top treatments are Thermage FLX and Radiofrequency Microneedling. Both use radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen production, but they do so in different ways. This blog post explores the key differences between Thermage FLX and Radiofrequency Microneedling to help you decide which treatment is right for you. skin needs.

Thermage FLX

How It Works

Thermage FLX uses monopolar radiofrequency energy to heat the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating collagen production and tightening existing collagen fibres. The device is equipped with a cooling mechanism that protects the outer layer of the skin while the deeper layers are heated.

Treatment Areas

Thermage FLX is versatile and can be used on various parts of the body, including:

  • Face: Tightens skin, reduces fine lines, and lifts sagging areas.

  • Eyes: Smooths and tightens the skin around the eyes.

  • Body: Firms and contours the skin on the abdomen, arms, thighs, and buttocks.

Key Advantages
  • Non-invasive: No needles or incisions.

  • Minimal downtime: Patients can resume their daily activities immediately.

  • Long-lasting results: Improvements can last up to two years with proper skincare.

Radiofrequency Microneedling

How It Works

Radiofrequency Microneedling combines microneedling with radiofrequency energy to enhance collagen production and skin tightening. The device uses tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, through which radiofrequency energy is delivered to the deeper layers of the skin.

Treatment Areas

Radiofrequency Microneedling is effective for various skin concerns and can be used on:

  • Face: Treats acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.

  • Neck: Tightens and smooths the skin.

  • Body: Improves the appearance of stretch marks and scars.

Key Advantages
  • Dual action: Combines the benefits of microneedling and radiofrequency energy.

  • Targeted treatment: Effective for specific skin concerns like scars and fine lines.

  • Minimal downtime: Short recovery period, with most patients resuming normal activities within a few days.

Comparing Mechanisms of Action

Energy Delivery
  • Thermage FLX: Uses monopolar radiofrequency energy to uniformly heat the dermal layers, stimulating collagen production.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Delivers radiofrequency energy through microneedles directly into the dermis, creating controlled micro-injuries and enhancing collagen production.

Depth of Penetration
  • Thermage FLX: Penetrates deeply into the skin to stimulate collagen throughout the treatment area.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Targets specific depths within the skin for localized treatment, making it effective for addressing specific concerns like scars and wrinkles.

Treatment Experience

Comfort Levels
  • Thermage FLX: Generally well-tolerated, with a warming sensation followed by cooling to minimise discomfort.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Mild discomfort due to the needles, but topical numbing cream is typically applied to minimise pain.

Procedure Duration

  • Thermage FLX: Sessions typically last between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the treatment area.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Sessions usually take about 30 to 60 minutes, plus additional time for numbing.

Downtime and Recovery
  • Thermage FLX: Minimal to no downtime. Patients may experience slight redness or swelling immediately after treatment.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Mild swelling and redness are common for a few days post-treatment. Full recovery usually occurs within a week.

Effectiveness and Results

Collagen Stimulation
  • Thermage FLX: Effective in stimulating collagen production uniformly across the treatment area, leading to gradual skin tightening and lifting.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Stimulates collagen and elastin production at targeted depths, making it particularly effective for treating specific skin issues like scars and wrinkles.

Longevity of Results
  • Thermage FLX: Single treatment, results can last up to 1-2 years, with gradual improvements seen over several months.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Results are typically visible after a few weeks, with continued improvement over several months. Multiple sessions may be needed for optimal results.

Versatility in Treating Skin Concerns
  • Thermage FLX: Ideal for overall skin tightening and lifting, suitable for face, neck, and body treatments.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Effective for treating localized skin concerns such as acne scars, fine lines, and enlarged pores.

Safety and Side Effects

Common Side Effects
  • Thermage FLX: Temporary redness, swelling, and a slight sensation of heat in the treated area.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Redness, swelling, pinpoint bleeding, and potential for minor bruising.

Risk of Complications
  • Thermage FLX: Low risk of complications when performed by a trained professional.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Slightly higher risk due to the invasive nature of microneedling, but still generally safe when performed by an experienced practitioner.

Choosing the Right Treatment

Skin Type and Concerns
  • Thermage FLX: Best suited for individuals looking for overall skin tightening and lifting.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Ideal for those targeting specific skin concerns like acne scars, fine lines, and texture issues.

Desired Results
  • Thermage FLX: Offers a gradual improvement in skin tightness and firmness with long-lasting results.

  • Radiofrequency Microneedling: Provides more immediate improvements in skin texture and tone, with cumulative benefits over multiple sessions.

Professional Consultation

Consult with a qualified dermatologist or aesthetic professional to determine which treatment is best suited for your skin type and concerns. They can provide personalised recommendations based on your goals and medical history.


Thermage FLX and Radiofrequency Microneedling are both effective non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments, each with its own unique advantages. Understanding the differences between these treatments can help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Whether you seek overall skin tightening or targeted treatment for specific concerns, both options offer promising results with minimal downtime.


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