An Entirely New Category of Beauty Medicine
Ultrasound has been used medically for 50 years. It’s been used in physical therapy and in sonograms on pregnant women. Now the technology safe enough to see babies in the womb can be used to baby your skin! Ulthera, the creators of Ultherapy®, are working on many other applications besides the present use for skin tightening, so stay tuned.
How does Ultherapy® work?
Ultherapy® focuses sound waves to create heat energy at prescribed depths of the skin, even as deep as about 3-4mm. This strengthens your skin’s foundation by boosting the amount of collagen created. The sound waves from the smooth applicator radiate harmlessly through the surface skin, only affecting the collagen-producing layers. The collagen level of your skin is heated to about the temperature of a warm cup of tea, but that’s enough to immediately begin skin regeneration. The skin’s collagen building will occur slowly and naturally over 60-90 days. You’ll have to wait on your body’s natural regeneration response and each person’s body controls the speed and amount of response. The bright side is that there are no extremes in your skin’s change. It will naturally firm, tighten, and lift and no one need know how or why! Dr. Mudd likes to use her Ultherapy® device to treat both the deep and superficial collagen layers within a single treatment.
What is the procedure like?
The procedure is completely non-invasive. Although no local anesthetic is needed, we have various forms of sedation and cooling available, since individual perceptions of discomfort will vary. You may experience a feeling of heat on the skin as the smooth applicator is applied while you recline in one of our comfortable chairs. The procedure takes about 15-90 minutes, depending on how much of the face and neck is treated. There is no downtime. You may have a slight flushing or temporary redness for up to 2 hours after your treatment. Rarely people experience slight bruising or mild swelling. Your skin will begin rejuvenating immediately but your body’s natural rebuilding process takes 60-90 days to get the full result. This is when you will see the most results. Most people need only one treatment, although a second treatment can be done if greater results are desired.
What results can I expect?
Your Ultherapy treatment lifts, tightens, and firms your skin in the treated area. The average amount of lift is 1.9mm which is significant enough to lift brows, open eyes, and eliminate sag. Ultherapy was approved by the FDA in September 2009, so we now know that the originally treated patients are still showing improved appearances when compared to their pre-procedure photos. Periodic maintenance, as part of your skin support system including use of good skin care, nutrition, and exercise, is suggested to keep pace with your body’s natural body process. There is an upside to getting Ultherapy again. Your collagen responds even better the second time! 80% of people experience the clinically amount of lift mentioned above. Responses increase to 89% after a second treatment.
Isn’t this like Thermage?
No. Thermage uses radio frequency therapy. Radio waves lack depth precision and therefore the definitive results of Ultherapy. Ultherapy’s ultrasound-based technology provides predictable lifting and tightening because of the precise depth and even application of the ultrasound waves.
What areas does Ultherapy target?
- Drooping eyebrows.
- Mild hooding (excess skin) of the upper eyelid.
- Loose skin under the eyes.
- Flat cheeks.
- Nasolabial folds (“parenthesis”)
- Loose sagging skin of the lower face and upper neck.
- Sagging jowl line (jowling).
- Down-turned mouth.
We anticipate that we will be able to treat even more skin areas, such as lip lines, lower necks, abdomen, upper arms, and thighs as the protocols and treatment transducers are developed in the near future.
Can Ultherapy be used as a substitute for a facelift?
That depends on the age and relative condition of your skin. Dr. Mudd can determine this during your consultation. Since facelifts last about 7-10 years and most people’s bodies can only tolerate at most two of these in a lifetime, Ultherapy is a great alternative to a surgical facelift for some patients. If you’ve already had a facelift, Ultherapy can help freshen and extend your surgical results.