Non-invasive skin tightening procedures heat the dermis layer of the skin to rehabilitate existing collagen and increase production of new collagen, according to Natalie Kita for About.com. This healing process results in a tighter appearance of the skin. Some procedures use radiofrequency energy for the procedure, while others use infrared.
The most results are shown in the neck and jaw line, but Kita states that non-invasive skin tightening procedures also show promising results on cellulite and sagging skin on the upper arms, abdomen and thighs. These procedures do not peel the top layer of skin, which makes it preferable for those with darker skin tones, and these skin-tightening methods cost less than a surgical face lift and do not require time taken off from work to recover.
Non-invasive procedures typically use a local anesthetic along with over-the-counter pain killers, explains Kita. Mild side effects of the treatments are redness, swelling and temporary paleness. Adverse side effects are permanent changes in the pigment, blistering, skin depressions and bumps. Infection and scarring are extremely rare. Some procedures are done in one treatment, while others require up to three treatments. Faces with a large amount of facial fat or very loose skin may not respond well to a non-invasive skin tightening procedure.