Is a Thread Lift Right for You? Expert Advice on the Pros and Cons

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Is a Thread Lift Right for You? Expert Advice on the Pros and Cons featured image
This article first appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

While there are plenty of options for restoring structure to lax skin, six doctors present the pros and cons of the trending thread lift.


They’re a Good “Combo” Procedure

“One of the biggest pros of the thread lift, otherwise known as sugar strings, is that it can be repeated when the effect wears off without interfering with other aesthetic procedures,” says Spokane, WA dermatologist Wm. Philip Werschler, MD, who adds that it can also be combined with other procedures at the same time or separately.

They Provide Instant Results

According to Pasadena, CA plastic surgeon Lily Lee, MD, thread lifts provide instant results right out of the office. “Unlike Botox Cosmetic or fillers, where you have to wait for the product to kick in or the swelling to go down, the results of a thread lift are instantaneous.”

There Is No Downtime

Because thread lifts do not involve any cutting or sewing, Santa Monica, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD says there is little post-procedure downtime. “A noninvasive alternative to a facelift, thread lifts can contour the face with almost no downtime. They secure the facial tissue in a more optimal position, all without needing to take time off for recovery.”


The Efficacy Can Vary

Palo Alto, CA plastic surgeon David Boudreault, MD says thread lifts are low on his list of favorites and not a replacement for a facelift. “The results are subtle at best. They make for great videos on social media, but they’re not good for patients who have thin skin or any real sagging.”

They Can Make Skin Tingle

While Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD praises thread lifts for their collagen-boosting results, she warns that the treated area can remain tender to the touch for weeks. “The threads have little barbs that can occasionally give the sensation of a splinter.”

They Don’t Work on Patients With Severe Laxity

If skin is severely lax or thin, Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey B. Wise, MD says thread lifts may not be the best option. “The unfortunate thing about them is that they only work for cases of mild laxity. Patients with more severe laxity rarely see great results,” he adds, noting that surgical procedures are more suitable for that group of patients.

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