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Radio frequency treatment
Also called Thermage, ThermaCool, or ThermaLift, this FDA-approved procedure delivers radio frequency energy to the dermis.

How it works: While a cooling spray protects the epidermis from burning, the energy heats the collagen fibers, causing them to tighten and lift the skin. Discomfort varies depending on the person and can be lessened by topical anesthetic cream. Mild and temporary swelling may occur, but major side effects are rare, says Roy Geronemus, MD. It can take about four to six months to see results from one nearly hour-long treatment, but some people experience immediate improvement.

On the horizon: The Polaris WR system delivers both laser and radio frequency energy (using electro-optical synergy, or ELOS) to the dermis in order to build collagen and tighten skin during one series of about five treatments. The system was approved by the FDA last December; more doctors will soon begin offering it.