It is inevitable with age that skin loses its firmness and begins to sag, what is referred to as skin laxity. Plastic surgery has long been a common route for those who wanted to lift or tighten, but over the past several years a number of non-invasive options for facial rejuvenation have become available. While nothing can duplicate the results of a facelift, these alternatives to surgery are appealing to many patients due to lower cost, limited downtime and avoidance of going under the knife or looking over-done.
There are treatment options involving lasers and radiofrequency, and more recently ultrasound technology. One popular choice is Ultherapy, a non-invasive treatment approved by the FDA to lift the eyebrow line, as well as skin on the neck and chin. Ultherapy uses ultrasound imaging to target treatment below the skin’s surface. The ultrasound triggers a natural process known as neocollagenesis to strengthen existing collagen and stimulate new collagen production.
The process of neocollagenesis can be stimulated by heat or energy. The primary difference with ultrasound technology compared to lasers or radiofrequency is the depth and the temperature reached. The science behind Ultherapy indicates that it is able to target tissue at a more optimal temperature to promote collagen development.
A typical Ultherapy treatment will last 60-90 minutes. One of the main advantages compared to more invasive surgical procedures is that you can return to normal activities immediately after receiving Ultherapy. Some short-term side effects may include flushing, swelling, tingling or tenderness. Less common side effects may include temporary bruising or numbness on small areas of skin.
While some improvement in skin laxity may be noticeable immediately, the results generally are seen over 2-3 months as the process of neocollagenesis takes effect. Results can last up to a year. Patients with mild to moderate skin laxity are generally good candidates for treatment. To determine if you may be a good candidate you should consult a doctor who is experienced with Ultherapy as well as other treatment options.