Threads: What are they? 3 Pros and Cons

Nov 02, 2022
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There are plenty of options for restoring structure to lax skin. What is a thread and what are the pros and cons of treatment?

What are threads? 

Threads are absorbable suture used for either lifting or improving the quality of the skin (lines, crepey skin). They are generally classified as either smooth or barbed (ie lifting). The material varies.

Are threads FDA approved?

PDO and PLLA threads are FDA approved. PDO (polydioxanone) and PLLA (polylactic acid) both will absorb in approximately 3-9 months (depending on thickness of thread). Collagen will be left in the threads place and the overall quality of the skin will be better than before you had the procedure.

Not all types of threads are FDA approved so be careful about who and what they are inserting into your face and body! 

3 Pros:

1. Threads are a great "combo" procedure.

Using threads in combination with other biostimulants such as Sculptra as well as adding Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers will maximize your benefit and duration of your result.

2. Threads provide instant gratification with ongoing improvements.  

You will notice the improvements of your thread lift right away with results getting better and better up to 3 months.

3. Threads have little to no downtime especially compared to a traditional facelift.

Smooth threads generally cause little to no downtime while lifting threads may cause swelling and bruising up to 2 weeks. According to surgeons, face lift recovery takes 4 to 6 weeks but it probably will take 6 months or more to see the final result from the surgery. With threads, you will also see an improvement in the quality of your skin which is NOT seen with a traditional facelift unless the facelift is accompanied by other procedures (lasers, Sculptra, etc).

3 Cons

1. You may not be a candidate.

If you have a history of any of the following, you will not qualify for threads:

  • Keloid formation
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Blood clotting or bleeding disorders
  • Active skin infection or inflammation
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding

2. Threads can cause tingling.

A known side effect of both smooth and lifting threads is a tingling or "zing" sensation. This can occur when brushing against the skin or with facial movement and can last up to several weeks after the procedure.

3. You may be wanting facelift results.

While the results from a thread lift can be very satisfying for many patients, if you have very saggy skin or desire a more dramatic result then you may not be happy with the results obtainable from a thread lift. One test to do is to lay back on a pillow and look up at yourself in a mirror or your phone. Do you like what you see? If so, you will likely be happy from thread lift results. If you want more dramatic results than this, seek consult from a Plastic Surgeon.