Thread lifts are rapidly becoming one of the most searched aesthetic treatments. As we age, we experience a gradual decline in our collagen and elastin production – two proteins that help our skin stay firm, plump, and radiant – leading to a loss of volume and laxity over time. Thread lifts promise to reverse these issues, hoicking up lax skin tissues and giving firmer, tighter skin. But are they worth it? Are they safe? And are they the best non-surgical skin tightening solution available? Read on for my thoughts.

What is a thread lift?

A thread lift is about as involved a procedure as we will do in an aesthetic clinic without a patient having an anaesthetic. It works by inserting sutures under the skin, which tighten and stimulate collagen production, resulting in an immediate lift of the skin and a long-term improvement in firmness and texture.

The most well-known brand in the thread-lifting market is Silhouette Soft, which uses poly-L-lactic acid sutures. They are threaded through the face underneath the top layer of the skin, from a starting point in the hairline, down through the cheek. The threads have tiny cones running along them, so as they are pulled tight, they lift the skin tissues and anchor them into a new position.

Are they worth it?

Thread lifts certainly do have a place in aesthetic practice, but for me, getting the candidate right is really key. They’re a good tool if a patient has already had a skin tightening procedure like the Profound RF and their skin is already in relatively good condition. They’re also good for patients who have had volume replacement, because we all lose volume as we age, and since that volume gives our face its framework and structure, the results of a thread lift will be underwhelming. If your treatment plan addresses all the other components of facial ageing, but you still have slight laxity that you’d like to improve, then yes, thread lifts could be considered. Thread lifts are just one tool and should form a more extensive package of treatments.

Are they safe?

Thread lift procedures are considered safe when performed by an experienced doctor using dissolvable threads. But if you are thinking about having a thread lift, do your research and make sure you’re in the hands of a real expert because threads are very involved and have potential risks and complications. I know of many plastic surgeons who have found threads where they really don’t belong during a facelift, and the face is home to many veins and arteries that we really don’t want to be putting threads into.

So, make sure you’re in the hands of a medical expert, make sure you’re in the hands of someone who is experienced in working with threads, and make sure you’re in the hands of someone who also has other treatment options available. This way, you can be confident that they’re not just recommending threads because it’s the only thing they offer but that they genuinely believe it’s the best option for you.