Expert Doctor

Exilis Skin Tightening

Mary Lupo, MD

New Orleans, LA

Exilis Skin Tightening

Exilis skin tightening is a non-invasive treatment used to stimulate new collagen production and improve the subdermal tissue which supports the surface layer of the skin. The treatment provides a tightening of the visible skin. Exilis is a radiofrequency or RF device with two separate heads to treat the face or body. This type of procedure works well to treat skin laxity caused by volume loss or damaged skin from prolonged sun exposure. Unlike other skin rejuvenation treatments, Exilis skin tightening can be used on all skin types and is FDA-cleared to treat wrinkles around the eyes.

Am I a Good Candidate for Exilis Skin Tightening?

A GOOD CANDIDATE for Exilis skin tightening includes:

  • Patients with mild to moderate signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles and skin laxity
  • Men or women with laxity at the jawline
  • Patients who want tighter skin on the arms or thighs
  • Anyone looking to improve the appearance of cellulite
  • A patient with significant skin laxity who wants to improve the look of the skin but is not a candidate for surgery due to a medical condition
  • A patient under the age of 60 with a small degree of skin laxity that does not need surgery to correct the issue

The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for Exilis treatments:

  • Patients with severe skin laxity or excess hanging skin
  • Patients who expect surgical results
  • Patients with excessive fat along the jawline
  • A patient with a pacemaker since the procedure can affect the radiofrequency and interfere with the pacemaker

How is Exilis Skin Tightening Performed?

Exilis skin tightening is performed in a doctor’s office and only takes 20 to 30 minutes to treat a single area. Treatments are well tolerated so no anesthetic or numbing cream is needed. The doctor will place a grounding pad, usually on the patient’s back, to ensure safe delivery of the radiofrequency. The Exilis hand piece is applied to the skin and glides throughout the treatment area. As the radiofrequency energy flows from the tip of the device, patients will experience a warming sensation. The heat emitted from the device reaches a temperature of about 42 to 44 degrees Celsius to allow structural changes and the production of collagen. As the device delivers heat, a cooling device on the hand piece counteracts the heat to keep the skin temperature comfortable. Patients are advised to have a series of 4 to 6 sessions, two to four weeks apart, to achieve the maximum results.

Combined with Other Treatments

  • Exilis is often combined with Protégé Elite which is another radiofrequency device used to target superficial skin imperfections.
  • Exilis skin tightening can also be paired with Thermage which is an ultrasound device used for deeper tissue tightening.
  • Patients who have had liposuction may benefit from a series of Exilis skin tightening treatments, after surgery, to encourage further skin tightening for a better overall outcome.

What is the Cost of Exilis Skin Tightening?

Exilis skin tightening can range from $250 to $500 per session and 4-6 sessions are recommended. The cost can vary according to whether the treatment is for the face or body and how large of an area is being treated. The price can also fluctuate according to the geographic location of the practice.

Recovery and Downtime

Unlike other skin tightening treatments, Exilis does not have any RECOVERY or DOWNTIME after the treatment. There should be no bruising, swelling, bleeding or discomfort with Exilis skin tightening. The skin can be pink or slightly red and warm to the touch for up to 30 minutes after a treatment. Nevertheless, patients can resume all activities and work directly after the procedure.


Since Exilis works by stimulating new collagen growth, the results can take some time to become noticeable. Exilis skin tightening can reduce the aging aspects of the patient’s skin but the results are not as dramatic as a facelift. Over the course of the treatment, patients can begin to see an improvement in skin tightening which will result in less fine lines and wrinkles. Patients can expect to see some results within a period of several weeks to months. However, the complete results may not be apparent for 3-6 months. The effects of Exilis are not permanent and touch-up treatments will be needed to maintain the results. Most patients have touch-up treatments every six months to a year. However, the frequency of maintenance treatments depends on the individual patient.

Limitations of Exilis Skin Tightening

The limitations of Exilis skin tightening include:

  • The amount of skin tightening that can occur
  • The results on a patient with moderate to severe skin laxity
  • The predictability of the results
  • The degree of significant and noticeable improvement with 15-20% of patients

Risks of Exilis Skin Tightening

The risks associated with Exilis skin tightening treatments are:

  • Mild redness
  • Discomfort
  • Burns when performed over a bony surface
  • Nerve sensitivity

It should be noted that Exilis skin tightening is a very safe treatment. The risk of injury, burn or pain is extremely unlikely due to the automatic shut-off safety feature on this device. This is what differentiates Exilis from other radiofrequency treatments.

Considering Exilis Skin Tightening

Exilis skin tightening reduces fine lines and wrinkles and provides tighter skin by stimulating collagen production. The treatment is non-invasive and there is no downtime. Since Exilis skin tightening results happen gradually over the course of the treatment, many doctors take “before and after” photos so the patient can notice the degree of improvement. Patients should consult with a board-certified doctor who performs Exilis regularly to find out if they are a good candidate for the treatment.

Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA

Based on an exclusive interview with Mary Lupo, MD in New Orleans, Louisiana