Skin tightening refers to non-invasive procedures that are performed to smoothen and tighten the skin, mainly on the face and around the abdomen. While it can be performed anywhere on the body, the location and condition of the area to be treated determine the type of skin tightening method that is used. These procedures are usually non-surgical and different devices are used to reduce saggy or loose skin. The appearance of cellulite in an area can also be treated. Skin tightening procedures work toward stimulating collagen production in the skin.

There are a number of devices related to skin tightening treatments available today with more companies showing an interest in this field. Most of the devices utilize laser, ultrasound, or radiofrequency energy to achieve the desired effect. It must be kept in mind that as these treatment methods are non-invasive, the end results are temporary and can last anywhere from six months to a year.

Conditions for treatment
Before any procedure or treatment, it is advisable to book an appointment with a relevant doctor. This is so that your medical history can be reviewed and it can be confirmed that there are no pre-existing conditions that could complicate the treatment process.

It will also give you a basic idea of what can be expected and how best to prepare for the procedure. A few basic requirements to undergo skin tightening treatments are:

  • The patient should be reasonably healthy with no major medical conditions.
  • Before the treatment, it is imperative to understand what the treatment is capable of and make an informed decision of what you want without any unrealistic expectations. It is important to remember that this is still a medical treatment.
  • Report to the doctor about any medications, supplements, or prescriptions that you are currently using.
  • Doctors usually recommend avoiding blood-thinning drugs, for a period of at least two weeks before the treatment starts.

These type of treatment procedures are not recommended for people with blood-clotting problems or those having an existing infection in the treatment area. Pregnant women are also discouraged from undergoing such procedures to avoid any future complications.

Potential side-effects
There are a number of common side-effects of the procedure. Some of them are listed below:

  • Swelling of the target area generally occurs after the operation and is the most common side-effect.
  • Bruising and redness around the area can persist for a few days.
  • Itching and irritation in the area after treatment can occur; however, there are creams prescribed that can help.
  • Muscle weakness and numbness of the area can sometimes be felt and patients are often advised to use a heating pad on the affected part for relief.
  • Changes of the basic shape or contour of the surrounding skin.
  • Skin burns and infections can occur due to improper post-treatment care.

In a few extreme cases, there have been incidents of allergic or inflammatory reactions due to the treatment procedure. Hence, it is always advisable to clarify things with the doctor about past and present conditions and any medications. This is also important so as to develop a roadmap for the preparation and the proper execution of the operation.