Many people have heard about botulinum toxin, fillers, chemical peels, and lasers for facial rejuvenation. These treatments can be helpful for fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, broken capillaries, and restoring lost facial volume. However, to lift and tighten the skin, more invasive treatments such as plastic surgery are often required. But now there is an alternative to surgery that can offer improvements without cutting the skin so there is minimal to no risk of infection and scarring. The latest advance for facial rejuvenation is focused ultrasound (Ultherapy).
Ultrasound facial tightening uses the same technology that allows physicians to examine women and their baby during pregnancy. During the 30 to 60 minute treatment, the Ultherapy device enables physicians to direct sound waves through the skin (and visualize all the skin layers) to focus on the deep tissue structures under the skin. Before this technology was available, the only way to reach these levels was with invasive surgery. Once the deep tissues structures are visualized, the treatment targets and gently heats the deepest layers of the skin. The heat stimulates the skin’s natural ability to create new collagen that, with time, helps to lift and tighten the skin to maintain a youthful look. Skin lifting is seen gradually over 2-3 months after treatment as the skin continues to make new collagen. Since heat is produced during the treatment, some patients may choose to take oral medications to make the procedure more comfortable.
The Ultherapy treatment is not a replacement for the dramatic results that can be achieved with facial plastic surgery. However, it offers a no-downtime approach to help lift and tighten skin around the jawline, eyes and the so-called “wattle” under the chin without needles, cutting, scarring or an obvious “pulled” look. As with any medical procedure, it is important to seek out an experienced physician to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment, and if so, discuss the next steps to help achieve the best results possible.