What is the Difference Between a PDO Thread Lift and Smooth Threads?

Difference Between a PDO Thread Lift and Smooth Threads

Differences between a PDO thread lift and smooth threads can help you decide which treatment might be proper for you. Both methods use PDO threads, a type of dissolvable suture, but they serve different purposes and offer distinct benefits. A PDO thread lift primarily focuses on providing an immediate lifting effect, making it a popular choice for those looking to tighten sagging skin. 

On the other hand, smooth threads are designed to stimulate collagen production, gradually improving skin texture and firmness over time. Choosing the right option depends on your specific skin concerns and aesthetic goals.

What are PDO Threads?

PDO threads, or polydioxanone threads, are a type of biodegradable sutures used in cosmetic procedures to tighten and lift the skin. Polydioxanone is a synthetic polymer known for its strength and biocompatibility. It is commonly used in various medical applications, including surgery. When inserted into the skin, PDO threads act as a scaffold that provides support and stimulates the body’s natural healing processes.

As the threads are absorbed over time, they trigger a mild inflammatory response that promotes collagen production, a protein necessary for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. This collagen production helps to rejuvenate the skin, improve texture, and provide a lifting effect. PDO threads typically dissolve within six months, but the results can last much longer due to the sustained collagen growth.

The versatility of PDO threads allows them to be used in different areas of the face and body. They can be inserted in various patterns, depending on the desired effect, whether it’s for lifting sagging skin or enhancing skin texture. This minimally invasive procedure offers a subtle yet noticeable improvement, making it popular for those seeking non-surgical facial rejuvenation options.​ 

PDO Barbed Threads

Barbed threads, or cog threads, are a specialized type of PDO thread designed for lifting and supporting sagging skin. These threads have tiny barbs or hooks along their length, which anchor into the tissue once inserted. Here are the key features and benefits of barbed threads:

  • Lifting Effect: The barbs on the threads latch onto the skin tissue, creating tension that lifts and repositions sagging areas. This mechanical lifting helps to contour and tighten the skin, providing an immediate improvement in the treated area​.
  • Versatility: Barbed threads can be used in various areas of the face and neck, including the jawline, cheeks, and neck. They are particularly effective for treating moderate to severe sagging skin and can provide results comparable to a facelift without surgery​.
  • Durability: The lifting effect of barbed threads can last several months to two years, depending on the type of thread used and the individual’s skin condition. The threads’ gradual absorption ensures sustained improvement as collagen forms around the treated area​.

Smooth Threads

Smooth threads are PDO (polydioxanone) threads used primarily for skin rejuvenation rather than lifting. Unlike barbed threads, smooth threads do not have hooks or barbs and are typically inserted into the skin in a mesh-like pattern to stimulate collagen production. Here are the key features and benefits of smooth threads:

  • Skin Tightening: While smooth threads do not provide an immediate lifting effect like barbed threads, they help to tighten the skin by encouraging collagen growth. This makes them ideal for treating fine lines, wrinkles, and areas with mild to moderate skin laxity. Common treatment areas include the forehead, under-eye region, neck, and around the mouth.
  • Gradual Results: Unlike barbed threads, which offer immediate lifting effects, the results from smooth threads develop gradually over several months. The newly formed collagen improves the skin’s appearance as the threads dissolve. Patients usually start noticing improvements within a few weeks, with optimal results visible after three to six months​.

Choosing the Right Option

Barbed threads, known for their lifting capabilities, are ideal for those who seek immediate results. These threads are equipped with tiny barbs that hook into the skin, providing an instant lift to sagging areas like the cheeks, jawline, and neck. This makes them suitable for individuals with moderate to severe skin laxity who desire a more pronounced and immediate improvement in facial contours.

On the other hand, smooth threads are designed primarily for collagen stimulation rather than lifting. These threads are inserted into the skin in a mesh-like pattern and work gradually to enhance skin texture and firmness by promoting collagen production. This makes smooth threads an excellent option for treating fine lines, wrinkles, and mild skin laxity. They particularly benefit individuals seeking a subtler, more natural enhancement over time. 

When deciding which type of thread is best for you, consider your skin’s condition and desired outcomes. Barbed threads are typically recommended for those with significant sagging who want a noticeable lift without undergoing surgery. Smooth threads, however, are better suited for those who want to improve skin texture and elasticity progressively.

PDO Thread Treatment Experience: PDO Thread Lift vs Smooth Threads 

The experience begins with a consultation to determine the best type of thread (barbed or smooth) for your needs. On the day of the procedure, a local anesthetic is applied to the treatment area to ensure comfort. Barbed threads are inserted using a fine needle or cannula, hooking into the skin to provide an immediate lifting effect. This method is particularly effective for areas with significant sagging, such as the cheeks, jawline, and neck​.

Smooth threads, on the other hand, are placed in a mesh-like pattern to stimulate collagen production over time, which helps improve skin texture and firmness. The insertion process for smooth threads is similar but focuses more on creating a framework under the skin to enhance its natural regenerative processes​​.

The entire procedure typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the number of threads and the treatment area. After the treatment, patients might experience some swelling, bruising, or mild discomfort, but these side effects generally subside within a few days. 


Ready to enhance your natural beauty and achieve youthful, rejuvenated skin? Experience the transformative effects of PDO thread treatments at Astria Aesthetics. Whether you seek the immediate lift from barbed threads or the gradual improvement from smooth threads, our expert team is here to tailor the perfect treatment for your needs. Be sure to achieve the radiant, firm skin you’ve always desired.

Book your consultation with Astria Aesthetics today and discover how PDO threads can help you look and feel your best. Contact us now to schedule your assessment and take the first step toward a more confident you!

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