What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy treatment performed by a device called “ulthera”, used to tighten sagging and loose skin of your body. It’s a non-surgical procedure based on ultrasound waves penetrating your skin and repairing its laxity. It is often used in gynecology to tighten loose belly skin after having a baby.
How does it work?
Ultrasound waves of a particular frequency, 4-10 MHz, are focused on the different points of skin. These focus points are chosen by your doctor depending upon the laxity of skin. After clearing the skin, these are exposed to ultrasound waves. They penetrate and go deep to structural layers of your skin and renovate them. Pregnancy stretches your skin beyond repair and it never gets its tightness back. A lack of collagen also contributes to laxity of skin.
However, Ultherapy comes to rescue you! Collagen is a protein present in the skin which keeps it elastic. With age, its synthesis reduces and skin loses its elasticity. Ultherapy works by renovating collagen. It generates a self-healing process by your body.
Ultrasound waves go deeper into the skin, in dermal and subdermal areas, and generate a vibrating effect. This intense vibration at cellular levels generates heat. The temperature reaches up to 60 degrees. The heat breaks the bonds that hold the collagen chain together.
It also coagulates protein at different points in collagen chain and shortens it. This destruction triggers an inflammatory reaction in your body. The inflammatory reaction starts regeneration process and tissue healing by your body. The collagen synthesis also gets a quick boost and laxity of skin reduces.
The tissue regeneration process also constitutes production of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that help in healing damaged tissue and also make collage protein. This collagen protein tightens your skin naturally!
How is it performed?
The Ultherapy procedure is almost similar to an ultrasound done in gynecology department to check the fetus. The areas of your skin that need Ultherapy are identified. The gel is applied to them and a handpiece is used to focus ultrasound waves in your body. The only difference between this and ultrasound is that these waves go into deeper layers of skin.
Your gynecologist tries to keep experience pleasant for you. In some cases, local anesthesia is given but it is rare. If there is any unpleasant sensation, it is recommended to inform your doctor. It takes up to an hour to get it done and you can notice immediate tightness. The patients who have extensively damaged skin may need more than one session.
What is the healing time?
The healing process is quick because Ultherapy does not involve scalpels or incisions. A mild inflammatory reaction is expected which causes redness and edema. It is your body’s response to the treatment and helps in improving results by boosting regeneration of skin. However, it heals speedily and results are excellent at the end. Following factors hamper the healing process:
- Advanced age
- Extensively photo-damaged skin
- BMI more than 30kg/m2
The initial results can be seen immediately after the procedure. However, it takes 2-3 months before you see significant tightness because collagen synthesis takes time.
What are the side effects of Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is a largely safe procedure, approved by FDA, and does not cause major side effects. There may appear minor issues for some time.
- Redness and swelling of that area may occur immediately after the treatment but they resolve after a few hours.
- Mild bruising due to soft tissue injury may occur but it fades within 2 hours
- Although you experience mild discomfort or pain, it resolves in 24 hours
- The procedure should not be done if there is an open wound in the targeted area
- It is contraindicated in pregnant and lactating mothers
Official research on ultherapy treatment:
Noninvasive skin tightening: focus on new ultrasound techniques
Evaluation of a microfocused ultrasound system for improving skin laxity and tightening in the lower face.
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