“The problem with that is that by making that cut you decrease the tensile strength of the actual thread in order to produce a barb,” he says. “When you mold a barb onto the thread you get the barb, so you get the lifting, but you don’t weaken the tensile strength and the lifting force of the thread. The other advance is that with a lot of the initial threads they would cut them at 90 degrees and 180 degrees on either side. Now with these molded threads it’s almost like a double helix and the barbs are circled around the central body of the threads so they lift in multiple vectors, not just a north-south vector.”
Threads for Body Lifting
Threads can help lift crepey skin almost anywhere on the body, according to Dr. Pierone.
For example, Dr. Pierone might treat crepey skin on the upper arms with energy-based technologies, such as radiofrequency devices, or use smooth (not barbed) threads to restore subcutaneous collagen, improve skin thickness and soften wrinkles.
Dr. Pierone says he might treat a patient with about 25 small threads on each upper arm, in a series of three or four treatments about two months apart. The threads help to build up subcutaneous collagen enough so that a woman of normal weight with some skin laxity and wrinkles would no longer be embarrassed to wear a short-sleeved shirt, he says.
“These are the smooth threads that literally look like a little thread you would use to sew a button on. They are much less expensive than barbed threads,” Dr. Pierone says. “There really is nothing, in my opinion, that matches smooth thread ability to restore subcutaneous collagen and improve the appearance of crepiness on the thighs, arms, abdomen and buttock area.
Dr. Pierone uses threads to smooth areas of contour irregularity from liposuction or cellulite. He recently began using threads for breast lifting and says he has seen significant breast elevation result without a surgical breast lift.
And he thinks thread technology will continue to improve.
“Like anything in this field, there’s a learning curve. In the first dozen or two dozen threads, clinicians are going to have a higher rate of complications, but it’s not a steep learning curve, especially for clinicians who have done a lot of fillers and have good hands and a good sense about what they’re doing,” Dr. Pierone says.