Types Of Threads Used For Thread Lifts

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IIWAM Aesthetic Education (previously known as Aesthetic Academy Asia) provides evidence-based Aesthetic Medical courses with Dual International Certificates for Medical Doctors, Dentists, Nurses & Certified Aestheticians.

In a recent article, we spoke about thread lift as an option for a non-surgical brow lift.

(Read the blog here- Non-surgical brow lift treatment using barbed structure technology)

In today's article, we will help to educate you further on the different types of threads used for thread lifts.

About Threadlift

Collagen can be considered as a crucial element required for skin's elasticity and hydration. This protein is responsible for giving the face, especially around the cheeks, the eye area, the jowls, and the neck region, that youthful bounce.

As one age, the body starts producing less collagen. As a result, the overall skin becomes thinner, drier, and less elastic. The loss of collagen leads to wrinkle formation

Thread lifts or barbed suture technology involves the use of threads or sutures made from materials used in surgery to close wounds. When threads are placed under the skin they can tighten and lift loose or sagging areas in various parts of the face and body to help reduce the effects of gravity and aging, thereby rejuvenating the overall skin. The threads tend to have cogs that help to hook onto the skin and when it is inserted and pulled back, it gives a “face-lift” kind of effect.

Different types of threads

There are basically three different materials that are used in this barbed-suture technology – ranging from Polydioxanone (PDO), Polylactic Acid (PLA), and Polycaprolactone (PCA).

Polydioxanone (PDO) Threads

PDO threads have been around the longest and were traditionally used for surgical stitches. These threads are made up of polydioxanone (PDO) – a colorless, hypoallergenic, biocompatible synthetic polymer that is absolutely 100% absorbable. The polydioxanone threads are generally absorbed into the body over 6 – 8 months. The polydioxanone thread and all other thread types usually come in a variety of lengths, shapes, and thicknesses. Their cogs are also placed in different directions such a multidirectional, bidirectional, or spiral for various uses. There are also threads without cogs that help in just giving volumizing effects and reduces overall facial lines & folds. They stimulate fibroblasts for the overall increased production of collagen in the targeted area and have been proven to be extremely safe for usage. Areas treated with this method include the eyebrows, the cheeks, the jowls, and the neck. Small threads are inserted into the area of the face being treated. The barbs when inserted form a support structure that lifts the sagging tissue.

There are three main types of PDO threads used- mono, cog, and screw threads. Mono threads are smooth without barbs, mainly tighten the skin and provide a small amount of lift. They and are usually used in combination with other thread types or they are anchored to a point on the face or the scalp. Cog threads tend to have barbs that hook onto the skin to provide support and lift the sagging tissues of the skin. Screw threads usually have one or two intertwined barbed threads around the needle to provide good volume restoration for sunken areas of the skin. They help to restore volume and improves the overall skin texture and elasticity by stimulating the production of collagen around the threads and their barbs resulting in natural rejuvenation of the targeted area.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Threads

Polylactic Acid (PLA) threads are made up of a biocompatible polymer that is derived from lactic acid which has been used in many applications such as orthopedic pins and sutures.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) threads tend to increase the overall volume of saggy areas and thereby restores shape to the facial area in addition to providing a lift by using cones to hook to the tissue.

Like PDO threads, PLA threads are also resorbable, however, they tend to take a longer time to regenerate collagen when in comparison to PDO threads.

Polycaprolactone (PCA) Threads

PCA threads can be considered as the latest type of threads used in thread lift that are bio-absorbable, monofilament suspension threads of synthetic origin (caprolactone).

The process of thread breakdown produces molecules of small molecular weight which in turn triggers the production of collagen and Hyaluronic acid by the skin. This results in collagen production for a longer period of time than both PDO and PLA threads. As they trigger the fibrotic reaction, even after reabsorption they tend to leave behind a collagen structure that will provide support for the skin.

This tightens the skin and the lifting and stretching action will continue and prevents it from sagging. They give a long-lasting result with more moisturized, revitalized, and firm skin.

Threadlift procedure

To begin with, the trained and qualified aesthetic practitioner first marks the area to be treated. A local anesthetic is used to prevent pain or discomfort during the treatment. Threads are inserted into the layers of skin around the treatment area with the help of a sharp or blunt tip cannula or needles. Once the threads are inserted and anchored in the skin layers, the threads are lifted which results in a successful lift and a tightened rejuvenated skin. After the whole procedure is complete, the needles or cannula are gently removed and any excess threads are cut off.

The exact results depend on the type of thread use, the patient`s age, skin condition, and the expertise of the aesthetician. A well-trained aesthetician should be able to perform this non-surgical treatment without any severe discomfort or complications.

It is absolutely essential that the thread lift procedures should be performed by certified aesthetic practitioners only, who are skilled in this particular treatment procedure. This is crucial because the needles or threads if inserted in the wrong plane, tend to cause skin dimpling, contour irregularities, infections, and redness. Another risk is that improper technique can not only lead to swelling and lumpiness but also more serious side effects such as damage to the parotid duct, facial vessels & nerves.

 best cosmetology courses

About IIWAM training in thread lift

As always, the practitioner must undergo proper training in facial aesthetics to understand the procedure, the product, and the patient. Equally, he/she must know the benefits, risks, and counter-measures to correct complications. IIWAM also offers an Online Aesthetic Certification programme for Non-Surgical Body Sculpting, Advanced Dermal Filler Training (Restylane, Juvéderm, Teosyal, Bellotero), Advanced Botulinum Toxin Training (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), Skin Booster Training (Restylane Skin Booster, Profhilo, Rejuran), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Training, and Thread Lift Training (PDO, Aptos, Happy Lift).

At IIWAM, our trainers pay utmost attention to teaching the following subjects in non-surgical thread lift under the best cosmetology courses.

  • Anatomy behind a non-surgical thread lift

  • Methods & techniques for non-surgical thread lift

  • Different types of threads used in thread lift

  • How to insert threads for non-surgical thread lift

  • Risks of non-surgical thread lift and how to overcome it

About IIWAM Aesthetic Education

At IIWAM, we provide an International Aesthetic Certification program and Advanced Online Aesthetic Courses for Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Aestheticians, and Spa Owners in Aesthetic Medicine.

Our Institute is based in Malaysia and has international students from the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and other parts of Asia. With our “Be Certified, Be Recognized” insignia, we develop knowledgeable, skilled, and confident aesthetic practitioners of international repute. Our Aesthetic training focuses on teaching the principles of Aesthetic procedures before venturing into Aesthetic clinical skills. IIWAM training Programs are a combination of Onsite Training, LIVE Online Webinars, and Online Learning. IIWAM is the first Institute in the World to have its Programs assured by City & Guilds of London and certified by European International University. IIWAM is also a registered CPD Training provider with CPD Standards Office in the UK and by CPD Malaysian Medical Association.

Onboard is our Assoc. Prof Dr. Morthy, the lead trainer, medical director of the International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine (IIWAM), formerly known as Aesthetic Academy Asia (

In the Aesthetic part of our Institute, we provide Advanced Aesthetic Medical Procedures that are Safe, Effective, and Affordable, offering a wide range of specialized treatments for All Your Aesthetic Needs.

(Also read about: Thread Lifts for Non-Surgical Facelift)