As we age, skin loses collagen and elastin, skin becomes less firm and excess skin appears around the jowl, smiles lines and underneath the chin. In recent years, non-invasive cosmetic procedures have become increasingly popular.
Ultherapy (or Ulthera), is among the most common and most non-invasive modern skinrejuvenation and skin tightening treatment.
Table of Contents
What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure that utilises micro-focused ultrasound (MFU) energy to stimulate collagen production and elastin in the deeper layers of the skin, with the purpose of lifting and tightening the skin of the face, neck and chest.
It is a non-surgical alternative to a surgical facelift which can be done as a “lunch-time” procedure with little to no downtime.
Why Choose Ultherapy?
1. Non-invasive, No surgery
Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy to generate a thermal effect deep within the skin to naturally produce collagen and elastin. This can help lift and tighten the skin without the pain and side effects associated with surgery. Saggy skin will be treated without damaging the skin and more importantly, with minimal to no downtime.
2. Safe, FDA-approved
FDA-approved since 2009, Ultherapy is the only FDA-cleared non-invasive procedure that safely delivers time-tested focused ultrasound energy.
3. Hyper-Personalized Treatment Plan
Tailor-made treatment according to the individualised needs of the patient using SEE, PLAN, TREAT.
- SEE – Real-time visualisation technology to look at the quality of underlying tissues and determine the right depth.
- PLAN – Imaging data used to locate collagen-rich areas and to map out treatment techniques.
- TREAT – Treatment with precise micro-focused delivery of energy to areas which require collagen
4. Precise Targeted Areas
5. Once a year treatment
Natural lifting and tightening effect that can last for a year or longer.
6. Aesthetic Benefits
- Restore youthful appearance
- Reduce saggy face and skin
- Enhance facial features
- Reduce appearance of fine lines
- Tighten loose neck skin
- Reduce double chin
- Lift and tighten area around the eyes to maintain a younger look
How Does Ultherapy Work?
Ultherapy utilises micro-focused ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen stimulation deep within the skin to target the Sub-Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) where the collagen and elastin are situated. As we age, the SMAS membrane loses elasticity leading to saggy cheeks, saggy jowls, droopy brows, deepened nasolabial folds, prominent marionette lines.
Ultherapy delivers localised heating at precise depths of 1.5mm, 3.0mm and 4.5mm, doing no damage to the surface of the skin. This heat energy triggers a natural response in the body, which then jumpstarts the production of new collagen at the dermis where laxity begins. Results can usually be seen within 2 weeks, with its full effect seen within 3-6 months.
See and Treat
Ultrasound visualisation of dermal and subdermal tissues helps us doctors evaluate skin anatomy and select proper transducers, while also avoiding important structures such as bone and vessels.
Localised heating at precise depths of 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5mm ensures there are no effect on intervening tissues or the skin’s surface.
60-70°C is the optimal temperature range for collagen stimulation. Micro-focused ultrasound energy is applied to target tissue layers without any damage to the skin.
The Process of Ultherapy
Step 1: Cleansing and Application of Numbing Cream
Your skin will be cleansed before numbing cream is applied. This is to minimise discomfort during the procedure. Numbing cream is applied all over the face for approximately 30 minutes before it is wiped off.
Step 2: Targeted Markings
Your doctor will draw some markings over your face to indicate the targeted areas for treatment.
Step 3: Ultherapy Procedure
Some ultrasound gel will be applied over the area to ensure good contact with the skin for precise delivery of ultrasound energy. Your doctor will hold the smooth Ultherapy handpiece device against your skin to deliver the ultrasound.
You may feel tiny amounts of energy being deposited, with sensations of varying discomfort lasting only briefly while the ultrasound energy is being delivered. This ultrasound energy generates a thermal energy that is penetrated deep within the skin to stimulate collagen.
Step 4: Completion
After the procedure is done, the ultrasound gel is wiped off and a hydrating mask is applied.
What Happens After my Ultherapy Procedure?
Immediately post treatment, it is normal to expect a bit of redness however it reduces within a mere few hours. Thankfully, some do not even have redness. Slight swelling, tingling or tenderness are some of the other side effects but these are usually mild and temporary. Other less common side effects include bruising or numbness over certain areas of the skin.
Fortunately, there are no post-treatment restrictions or requirements and you can return to your normal activities after treatment.
How does Ultherapy Compare with Other Treatments?
Ultherapy vs. Surgical Facelift
A surgical facelift (rhytidectomy) is a type of cosmetic surgery which aims to reposition facial soft tissues, by lifting and tightening the underlying muscles of the face to contour the face and rejuvenate the facial structure. Due to the fact that a facelift involves surgery, there are anaesthetic and surgical risks associated with this procedure. There are also costs associated with anaesthesia, operating theatre time, nursing hours, post-op care and plastic surgeon’s fee.
Ultherapy, in comparison, is a short out-patient procedure which is non-invasive (doing zero damage to the skin) but yet is able to lift and tighten skin. Although Ultherapy is said to be an alternative to a surgical facelift, it cannot reproduce the effects of a surgical facelift. That being said, Ultherapy is a good choice if you are not ready for a surgical option!
Ultherapy vs Laser Skin Tightening
Laser Skin Tightening addresses the surface layers of the skin to rejuvenate the skin while Ultherapy targets the deeper layers of the skin, tightening the skin from the bottom up. Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy to cause collagen stimulation while laser therapy uses infrared light to target the superficial surface of the skin.
Due to the fact that the target area of Ultherapy is deeper compared to laser, there is little to no downtime with Ultherapy whereas laser skin tightening therapy may have a longer downtime.
Ultherapy vs Dermal Fillers
Injectable dermal fillers are used to replace volume loss from the aging process. When used to treat hollow areas such as the temporal area, under the eyes or cheeks, the results can appear to create fuller, firmer skin.
Ultherapy on the other hand increases skin elasticity, creating a lifting, tightening effect. In terms of treatment differences, Ultherapy takes between 60-90 minutes, depending on target areas. Results are apparent after 1 month and gradually over the course of 3-6 months.
Comparatively, Ultherapy’s effects are more lasting than those of fillers, requiring only an annual procedure. Conversely, filler outcomes are immediate, and their duration varies from 6 months to 1 year depending on the type of filler used.
When Ultherapy and fillers are used together, they can be very effective. The best way to learn if you are a good candidate for either of these procedures (or both), schedule a consult with us!
How Much Ultherapy Cost?
The average price range is between RM6000-RM10000, depending on the target areas (e.g. lower face, full face, full face and neck).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ultherapy is best for patients who would like to correct mild laxity and mild sagging skin or areas of fine lines and wrinkles. This treatment is also an ideal way to prevent the aging process.
In general, Ultherapy does not cause pain. Due to the fact that ultrasound energy is used, there will be a heating sensation when the energy is delivered. While some areas (e.g. jaw area) may have more discomfort than others, it is generally well-tolerated by many. A numbing cream will also be applied to ease any discomfort felt. For those with a lower pain threshold, oral analgesia is offered.
Between 60-90 minutes, depending on which areas are targeted. For example, full face and neck might take 90 minutes excluding cleansing and numbing cream application.
Can you be too old for Ultherapy? The resounding answer is no. As long as you are in good health and your skin condition is good, there is really no age limit for Ultherapy.
Results can usually be seen within 2 weeks, with its full effect seen within 3-6 months.
Collagen in our body naturally decreases with time, so Ultherapy cannot be considered a permanent procedure. The effects of Ultherapy lasts 12 months, at which point a second treatment will be necessary to maintain the results.
Yes! Ultherapy can be combined with fillers, threads and lasers for optimal results. Consult with us to learn more about which procedures can be done concurrently in the same setting.
Generally, patients are satisfied with results after their first Ultherapy session. However, it must also be noted that results of Ultherapy is not instantaneous due to the fact that collagen stimulation takes at least 3 months to set in. After the full results start to show, a second treatment may be done.
Summary: Embracing the Youthful Transformation
In conclusion, Ultherapy is a safe and effective skin tightening, age-defying procedure without the need for surgery. Since it is non-invasive with little to no downtime, it is a highly attractive option to fit into your busy schedule!
In the right hands, Ultherapy stands as a very effective procedure to prevent the signs of aging – which is why it is very important to select a licensed medical provider which is qualified and accredited.