How ultrasound technology can lift, tighten and firm skin

Skin laxity is one of the most common complaints we hear from MedCosmetic patients. Gravity, heredity, hormones and environmental factors all play in a role in how skin ages. Skin laxity commonly first occurs on the forehead, which leads to brow descent, excess skin (hooding) on the eye lids, and a less open-eyed appearance. Laxity in the cheek and neck tissue leads to flattening of the mid-cheek, a downturned mouth, loss of jaw line angularity, and sagging under the chin and jowl area.

The demands for non-surgical skin tightening have caused a number of devices and treatments to enter the market. While some patients have seen positive results, others have found the claims to be more hype than reality. I must admit, I was among the skeptics, until I learned about the use of ultrasound technology for skin tightening.

Ultherapy®, an ultrasound technology that tightens, lifts and firms skin

Ultherapy® is a new type of non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin on the brow, neck, and under the chin. The only FDA-approved procedure to lift skin on these areas, Ultherapy uses the safe, time-tested energy of ultrasound to stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin, without disturbing the surface of the skin.

How it works

Like an ultrasound imaging procedure that expectant mothers may receive, a smooth hand piece is placed on skin and an image of the tissue beneath is projected on a screen. This allows the practitioner to “see” where they will treat your skin. But here’s the difference: with Ultherapy, that same handpiece is also used to deliver tiny deposits of focused ultrasound energy at just the right depth below the skin, to the same foundational layer typically addressed in a surgical facelift. Your body’s response to this energy is to recondition tired skin by stimulating the growth of fresh, new collagen. The result is a tightening and gradual lifting—or shifting—of the skin back into a more youthful position and form-fitting shape.

What to expect

There is no down-time with Ultherapy. After receiving an Ultherapy treatment, patients may notice a short-term “boost” but the natural process of creating new, more elastic collagen builds over time—much like the effect that exercise has on building muscle (but without the multiple workouts!). Results will unfold over the course of 2-3 months and some patients have reported continued improvement for up to 6 months, including lifting and tightening of the skin on the neck, under the chin, along the jawline, and on the brow. While ultrasound does not duplicate the results of surgery, Ultherapy has proven to be an inviting alternative for those who are not yet ready for surgery. In the FDA clinical trial, nine out of ten patients had a noticeable, significant lift of the brow line. and reported firmer, tighter skin in other areas of their face and neck

James Mirabile, MD