Sometimes, people choose thread lifts for a better skin condition. Thread lifts are performed primarily to tighten skin, with their secondary effect to shape and contour the face. In recent years, the use of threads has progressively moved beyond the face, on to other body areas such as arms, thighs, abdomen and even buttocks.
The basic of thread is that they can, and are, usually made of one of the 3 different types of materials: Polydioxanone (PDO), Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) and Polycaprolactone (PCL). So here we will talk about their difference.
PDO is commonly used for stitching sutures in surgeries, the effects of PDO can last between 6 to 12 months. With the threads completely dissolved and absorbed by the skin after 6 months, it helps to stimulate the production and synthesis of collagen in the skin for up to 12 months.
The functions of PDO have been known to cause changes in the dermis and many studies have shown that it is effective in improving pores and fine wrinkles. Furthermore, it is able to foster collagen formation in the dermal matrix to increase the thickness of the papillary dermis.
PDO threads can also induce tissue changes by placing them into the subcutaneous layer, as PMN cells, including eosinophile, are gathered making granulation tissues around the thread after insertion. It has been observed in some studies that there is an abundance of newly made collagenous connective tissue in the formed granulation tissues.
PLLA is another material often chosen for surgical sutures is the Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA). The PLLA has been observed to be even more effective at stimulating collagen production than PDO. This material has a lifetime of two years or more, and once dissolved, the PLLA breaks down into harmless ordinary substances like lactate, glucose, carbon dioxide and water.
Sometimes it is used as an alternative to fillers and botulinum toxin, PLLA can function as a volumizer and is able to stimulate the production of Type 1 and Type 3 collagen. One benefit of using PLLA over PDO threads is that it causes almost no or very small amount of inflammatory reaction to the surrounding tissues, yet delivers similar, if not better results.
Although PCL is not as commonly used or as popular as the PDO and PLLA, PCL threads is one that can last up to more than 2 years. This is because, the chemical bonds and structure in PCL are stronger and more complex, hence it takes a much longer time to be dissolved completely. The slower rate of degradation of the PCL threads also makes it ideal to be inserted to the surrounding tissues over an extended time; achieving a longer-lasting result. PCL is also known to be very potent at stimulating collagen production as compared to PDO or PLLA. Once dissolved, the material breaks down into nontoxic ordinary substances and even after the thread has dissolved, collagen production can last for up to one year.