In this article, digital aesthetics practitioner Dr. Sheryl Smithies explains everything you need to know about having a facial thread lift.

Facial thread lifts are growing in popularity

In our virtually inclined reality, more of us are spending our days running the world through an endless stream of Zoom calls. As we squint against shabby cameras, shoddy lighting, and shiny screens, we are left feeling vulnerable. We are constantly examining every imperfection in our faces. It’s therefore not surprising that the facial aesthetics industry has seen significant growth in non-invasive treatments over the last 18 months.

Non-invasive facial enhancements, in general, create structure, soften aging, and remedy sagging. However, certain treatments are tailored to specific problems.  The facial thread procedure, in particular, is exploding in popularity for its ability to lift your face, making you look reinvigorated.

What is aging anyway? 

When you age, your facial tissues, like the muscle in the deep plane, diminish. This leads to increased laxity of the skin. The bone and fat pads underneath the skin also change shape, migrate, and often get smaller over time, making the skin slightly saggy and wrinkly as the support underneath it decreases.

What are thread lifts? 

Threads are sutures that are placed under the skin in the deep plane to encourage our bodies to create the collagen needed to replace the facial structure that is naturally lost due to aging.

There are several different types of threads nowadays. This includes barbed and smooth threads made from polydioxanone (PDO), polylactic acid (PLA), or polycaprolactone (PCA).

How do they work?

Whether you have smooth or barbed threads done, they work by causing a slight irritation under the skin that stimulates collagen growth. Over time, the thread is replaced by a band of collagen. This means that once the thread has dissolved, your collagen will remain.  This creates a stronger support structure for your skin.

Even though the threads themselves last 12-18 months, the effects last longer due to the collagen build-up. Whilst by no means permanent, the collagen that is stimulated will last in your skin for 18 – 24 months.

What can you expect? 

First, you need to have a consultation with your doctor and settle on the ideal treatment. Every face has unique asymmetries that make it beautiful. Every procedure begins by mapping out your face and giving you a numbing injection which will also decrease post-treatment bruising. Once you are numb, a small puncture site is created through which the thread will be inserted.

Depending on the type of thread treatment done, you can expect to feel varying levels of discomfort. If you have anchor threads done to lift skin, you may feel significant tightness during the procedure.  Threads are so popular particularly because they are not unusually painful. However, they are still a medical procedure that involves inserting a foreign body under the skin and tugging on it so you can expect a little discomfort.

How should I prepare for a facial thread lift?

Mentally prepared for any procedure, even non-invasive ones, have been proven to have a positive effect on your healing process.

  • Know the facts
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Be content with your motive for having the procedure
  • Having a doctor you trust is important to your treatment outcome.

You will also need to stop any blood thinners or supplements that may cause bleeding.  This includes: Turmeric and Omega 3’s. In terms of home care, a good quality skincare regime will maintain your skin in its best form for this procedure.

What are the risks? 

Thread Lift

Because of its minimally invasive nature, not much goes wrong with the thread procedure. However, there will always be a chance of having unwanted effects after the treatment. These include bruising and uneven skin are all potential side effects of a thread treatment. Luckily, however, these are all short lived.

Whilst the risk is very minimal, any treatment that involves needles can have unwanted outcomes such as hematoma formation, nerve damage, uneven results, and allergic reactions.  The chances are minimal. However, this is why it is very important to tell your practitioner all of your medical histories before proceeding with the treatment.

If there is a medical reason such as allergies or auto-immune diseases, you should not proceed with the thread treatment.

Why is the latest technology important?

Technology is continuously improving. It allows us to digitally map and tailor holistic facial improvement programs to give patients results better than they dreamed of.

I personally love working with the Aptos brand as they are at the forefront of material technology. Their use of embedding hyaluronic acid – which is naturally found in skin cells – into the threads creates an extra boost of moisture and tissue conditioning for better results.

A thread lift is a minimal procedure

Some doctors state that this procedure is not for everyone. The ideal candidates are patients looking for very minimal change to help lift the skin, but ‘minimal’ is the keyword.

The results are, without a doubt, very temporary and can cause side effects such as thread extrusion, or cosmetic show of the thread, through the skin if injected inappropriately.

Carefully choosing a doctor who knows which patients are eligible for the procedure is key to avoiding unwanted outcomes. However, the results do last if the correct patient selection process is followed – with the treatment getting better results over 6 months.

Important to knowenhance their natural beauty

Thread lifts can, technically, be performed anywhere in the face or neck, but the under-eye, nose and temporal regions should be avoided. These areas have thinner skin, and threads, when done inappropriately, can show significantly through the skin and have adverse cosmetic effects.

In closing

For anyone battling against the emotional drain, feeling like they look less than their true selves, threads can offer not only a more youthful appearance but hope.

This procedure is ideal for anyone looking for minor reshaping that will, threads, and can leave you feeling empowered, confident, and revitalized if your motivations for the procedure are sound. The gift of looking and feeling like yourself again through facial enhancement improves how you perceive and are perceived by the greater world.  The procedure will leave you feeling comfortable in your skin – no matter your age.

About the author

Thread lifts by Dr Sheryl Smithies

Dr Sheryl Smithies has always had a calling to be in the healing arts. Dr Smithies started her own practice in 2011 and from there she undertook to refine her skills in Aesthetic Dentistry, Dental Rehabilitations and Aesthetic Medicine. In addition, she has attended many world-class national and international seminars in these fields and has expanded her range of treatments to include Implant placement, Laser Teeth Whitening and Clear-Path invisible aligners.  Read more about Dr Smithies in the author bio below.

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Dr. Sheryl Smithies

Dr Sheryl Smithies has always had a calling to be in the healing arts.  She chose to study dentistry at the University of Pretoria where she qualified in 2004.  After a year spent doing her Community Service in Mkuze, she felt the yearning to move onto more challenging types of treatments in the Private Sector. Over the years Dr Smithies has enjoyed learning more in her field and added an Aesthetic Medicine course in 2008.  The ability to use Botox® and Fillers really adds a finishing touch to any Smile Design.  Dr Smithies prides herself in giving natural-looking aesthetic treatments that give a younger, fresher look to any face. Dr Smithies started her own practice in 2011 and from there she undertook to refine her skills in Aesthetic Dentistry, Dental Rehabilitations and Aesthetic Medicine.  In addition, she has attended many world-class national and international seminars in these fields and has expanded her range of treatments to include Implant placement, Laser Teeth Whitening and Clear-Path invisible aligners.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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