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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dermatology & Skin Care > Skin Tightening

Skin Tightening Cost

How Much Does Skin Tightening Cost?

average costInfrared Light and/or Radiofrequency: $1,000-$4,000 high costLaser: $750-$7,500
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Non-surgical skin tightening methods, which are less invasive but offer less dramatic results than surgery, use heat to stimulate development of new collagen in the skin. Total costs depend on the type of treatment, the condition of the patient, the part of the body being treated and the number of treatments.

Typical costs:

  • Skin tightening treatments using radiofrequency (RF), infrared light (IR) or a combination-- for example, Thermage, ReFirme and Titan -- typically cost $1,000 to $4,000 for one to five treatments. For Thermage, which requires only one treatment, Lakeview Dermatology[1] in Chicago, charges about $1,300 for the eyes, $2,000 for the face and $3,000 to $4,000 for the tummy or buttocks. For ReFirme, which is used more commonly on the face, Lakeview Dermatology[2] charges $1,800 to $3,000 for three to five treatments. Turkle & Associates[3] in Indianapolis, Indiana, charges $1,800 to $3,450 for three Titan treatments for the face, and $2,550 to $3,450 on the abdomen.
  • Skin tightening treatments that use laser technology --Fraxel's re:fine, re:pair or re:store treatments, as well as Starlux or Active FX -- typically cost $750 to $7,500 for one to five treatments. For Active FX, which requires only one treatment, Westside Aesthetics[4] , in California, charges $750 for the lips, $1,500 for the eyes. $2,750 for the face or $3,750 for the face, neck and chest. The Dermatology and Laser Center, also in California, charges $1,200-$2,400 for three to six Fraxel re:store treatments on body parts that take a short time to treat (eyes, mouth, V of the chest, hands and elbows); and $3,000 to $5,000 for body parts requiring more time (face, arms, chest, shins or shoulders). For Fraxel re:pair, which uses a different laser technology and only requires one treatment, the center charges $4,900 for the face or $6,500 for the face and neck.
  • Skin tightening is considered a cosmetic procedure, so it typically is not covered by health insurance.
Related articles: VelaShape Skin Rejuvenation, Skin Peel, Microdermabrasion, Botox Treatments, Injectables, Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

What should be included:
  • Non-surgical skin tightening treatments usually involve a hand piece attached to a machine, operated by a plastic surgeon or trained technician, that emits either radiofrequency (RF) or infrared light (IR) or uses a laser to heat the dermis, or deeper layers of the skin, to stimulate collagen production. A cooling mechanism prevents the outer layers of skin from burning. Dr. Brooke Seckel[5] , a plastic surgeon, offers an overview of non-surgical skin tightening.
  • Non-surgical skin tightening treatments using radiofrequency or infrared light tend to be mildly uncomfortable to slightly painful, and required downtime is a few days at the most. Examples include: Thermage, which uses radiofrequency (RF) and requires one treatment; Titan, which uses infrared light and requires one or more treatments -- three is typical; and ReFirme[6] , which uses bipolar radiofrequency (RF) and light energy and requires several treatments.
  • For non-surgical skin tightening using lasers, the older CO2 lasers produce more dramatic results but also can be more painful and have a downtime of two to three weeks. A new twist on the CO2 laser, Fraxel re:pair offers more dramatic results with one treatment and just one week of downtime; oral, topical, and sometimes local anesthetic is used. Treatments using non-CO2 lasers include: Fraxel re:fine, which is meant for patients in their 20s or 30s with fine lines, and re:store, which is meant for patients in their 30s to 50s with fine to moderate wrinkles.
  • For some treatments, such as Fraxel re:pair, results can be almost immediate, but for others it can take several months to see the final result.
Additional costs:
  • Results tend to last less than two years, so treatment will have to be repeated.
  • It is common for doctors to offer coupons or special offers on their websites. Most doctors also offer discounts for treatments on multiple body parts.
Shopping for skin tightening:
  • Tip: Consult with a doctor who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who can assess your situation and supervise the procedure, even if it is done by a trained technician. Both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons[7] and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery[8] offer referral services. Also,,[9] , (Titan) and offer clinic locators.
  • Tip: Ask to see before-and-after photographs of previous patients, and talk with the doctor to set realistic goals.
  • Risks can include bruising, minor skin wounds, scarring, discoloration of skin and dissatisfaction with results.
  • At, plastic surgeons weigh in on the differences between various types of non-surgical skin tightening systems, for example, Fraxel vs. Active FX[10] and Thermage vs. ReFirme[11] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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