What did you do in your last lunch break? Look around the shops? Sit at your desk, twiddling your thumbs? Get a facelift?
I hear you gasping from all the way over here, “A facelift in your lunch break? Surely not!” Well, apparently, it is a thing - you could have tauter, smoother, more lifted skin in just 30-60 minutes. But this is not a facelift as you know it. The thread lift is a non-surgical treatment that has immediate results and a much shorter recovery period. Intrigued? Let’s go on a threadventure…
What is a thread lift?
The thread lift, often termed the ‘lunchtime facelift’, is a minimally invasive treatment that gives a tighter, rejuvenated look to the face or neck. So, how does the thread lift work? Well, temporary sutures, which are made from either polylactic acid (PLA) or polydioxanone (PDO), is inserted into the subcutaneous tissues, approximately 5mm below the skin, using a needle or cannula. The thread will be either barbed (not as scary as it sounds, I promise!) or smooth, and is then hooked into place before being trimmed and pulled, tightening the skin in the treated area to give a subtle, taut look.
Local anaesthetic is given to reduce discomfort, so while it might sound a bit - well - terrifying, it isn’t actually so bad. Especially when you compare it to a standard facelift. Also, it’s worth noting that the threads aren’t noticeable - they sit comfortably below the skin, meaning you won’t feel them and they won’t be seen by anyone. PLA and PDO are resorbable and dissolve over time.
What are the main benefits of a thread lift?
Thread lifts have several great benefits: they lift the skin instantly, meaning you’ll notice results straight away (ahh we love treatments where you can see immediate effects), so you’ll see elevated jowls and less sagging in the cheeks and neck area. But they will also continue to do their thing over the next few weeks, following your treatment - ooooh keep the benefits coming! They cause fat tissue in the target area to contract, they stimulate cell renewal and they boost collagen, meaning skin is smoother and less wrinkled. Fabulous!
Even better - the results generally last between 6 and 18 months, though some people have seen them last up to 3 years. And because PLA and PDO dissolve naturally within the body, there is no need for the sutures to be removed. Pretty impressive!
Who are the ideal candidates for a thread lift?
Thread lifts work well on people aged 30-50, who have started to notice sagging in the skin on their face or neck. As we get older, collagen production reduces, and gravity takes hold, meaning what was once north is very soon south - and areas such as the cheeks, eyebrows, jowls and neck are more often than not the main culprits for giving away our age. You can keep telling people you’re 30 all you like, but the skin don’t lie.
As skin becomes thinner the older we get, if you are older than 55 but still fancy a lunchtime facelift, get in touch with your practitioner and they will be able to determine whether it is suitable for you.
What are the side effects after a thread lift?
After a thread lift treatment, it’s common to experience bruising, soreness, swelling and muscle weakness. So, even though it’s called a lunchtime facelift, it’s sometimes better to wait until the next day before returning to work, but you can pretty much get on with the rest of your day as normal. Using over-the-counter medication should help ease any discomfort - no need for anything else.
Rare side effects include infection, skin dimpling, scarring or nerve injury and, very rarely, threads can come out of place. Due to the complexity of thread lifts, the treatment should only ever be performed by a medically qualified practitioner, and if you do have any prolonged or unusual side effects, contact your practitioner, who will advise you on what to do.
Thread lifts are not a substitution for the facelift, but they are a pretty impressive non-surgical option for anyone concerned by skin sagging, but who's simply not ready - or willing - to go under the knife. If you think a lunchtime facelift is for you, find out everything you need to know about the treatment in our thread lift treatment guide.