Cosmetic aging is a common concern among adults aged 35 and older. Don’t get us wrong, we perform plenty of treatments on younger adults. In the 20 to 30ish age group, though, the primary goal is usually the postponement of lines and wrinkles. Without treatment, lines and wrinkles are likely to coincide with tissue laxity. As collagen fibers degrade and the body produces less of this vital protein to replace what is aging, the skin loses firmness. The brows, eyelids, cheeks, chin, and jawline change in unappealing ways. At this point, one may consider a facelift. From clinical practice, we realize that most people would like to avoid surgery if possible. This is where Ultherapy comes in.
In recent years, several cosmetic medical interventions have been developed to significantly decrease the noticeable signs of aging. Ultherapy is a modality in a class of its own. This device is the only skin-tightening therapy based on ultrasound energy. It also happens to be the device used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and Christie Brinkley. The way that Ultherapy works is by stimulating collagen remodeling. If you’ve done any amount of research on nonsurgical skin tightening, you know that most devices deliver results through collagen stimulation. Ultherapy is different. The intense power of high-frequency sound waves reaches into the SMAS, the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System that lies between the skin and the facial muscles. The SMAS is the layer of thick tissue that is repositioned during a facelift, which is why it is the perfect depth to target for noticeable results.
Addressing the Rumors
There is a common misperception about Ultherapy being terribly painful. To be honest, the machines that were first manufactured emitted quite a bit more intense ultrasound than those that are commonly used today. Therefore, many of the early reviews of treatment discussed pain as the primary issue. Ultherapy works by delivering ultrasound into a deep layer of tissue. Because energy passes through the epidermis to target the SMAS, there is no benefit in applying a topical numbing cream before the procedure. To promote comfort, what many patients do today is take an over-the-counter pain reducer before their appointment.
So, is Ultherapy painful? It can be. To reach the SMAS takes strong energy. However, there are two things to keep in mind. One is that the device has adjustable settings. Some patients receive milder energy while others take the max. During treatment, we seek consistent feedback from each patient to ensure they are tolerating their treatment well. If needed, we can take short breaks to manage comfort. Most patients do not ask for this, an indication of the degree of discomfort to expect. Another important detail about the discomfort that may occur during Ultherapy treatment is that about 60% of the procedure is only mildly uncomfortable. The most intense sensations last only a few seconds and typically revolve around certain areas of the face, such as the jawline.
Manage facial aging without surgery. To discover what Ultherapy can do for you, schedule a consultation in our Henderson, NV office.