While fine lines and wrinkles are a primary concern in the aging process, they are not the only symptom that causes distress. Skin laxity also creeps in sooner than we would like, leading to the formation of jowls and a double chin. In the past, the only way to address sagging skin was through surgical lift procedures that removed the extra skin and tissue. Today, we can treat moderate skin laxity with a nonsurgical solution known as Ultherapy. Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses the proven safety of ultrasound to achieve positive results. The ultrasound energy increases collagen production, which produces natural results in a single treatment without downtime.
Why does Skin Become Loose?
Skin laxity occurs as a natural part of the aging process, and the main culprit is a depletion of the protein, collagen. This protein supports our dermal structure when we are young, giving our skin a smooth, supple appearance. Unfortunately, our body is programmed to decrease collagen production as early as our 20s, which leads to skin laxity and wrinkles over time.
The good news is we have learned methods to restore collagen levels, even in our later years. By increasing collagen, we can also reverse signs of aging caused by depletion of this essential protein, restoring the appearance of our skin. There are a variety of collagen restoration methods used today, but few are as effective as ultrasound technology. In fact, Ultherapy is the only device approved by the FDA to perform a nonsurgical lift on the skin of the face, neck and chest.
How does Ultrasound Treat Skin Laxity?
Ultrasound technology has been used in the medical filed for decades, so it has a proven track record of safety. The first function of ultrasound was to provide noninvasive imaging of internal organs and tissue, allowing doctors to make precise diagnoses without the need for surgery. More recently, specialists have found that ultrasound energy can be delivered directly to dermal layers and tissues, stimulating a healing response that creates a natural, long-lasting rejuvenating result. It also stimulates the growth of fresh, new collagen and strengthens weak collagen.
Ultrasound energy offers benefits over other skin rejuvenation technology in its ability to pinpoint the dermal layers most in need of correction. This allows for the greatest improvement in the external appearance of your skin with minimal damage to surrounding skin and tissue. The precision of the ultrasound energy allows for accurate heating to just the right temperature to reverse signs of aging and stimulate collagen production.
Unlike laser radiofrequency and other technologies, Ultherapy bypasses the surface of skin, targeting deep structural tissue. In addition to its thermal benefits, ultrasound is an imaging device that allows us to see the internal dermal layers and tissues without invasive procedures. We can target the precise areas in need of ultrasound energy to produce the best possible results in a single treatment session.
The FDA first cleared Ultherapy in 2009 for lifting and firming the brow area. In 2012, that approval was expanded to the neck and submental fat underneath the jawline that produces the appearance of a double chin. Two years later, the device was also approved to smooth the skin and fine lines that often form on the upper chest or décolleté. The procedure is primarily a skin tightening procedure, but patients usually have seen other enhancements, such as a visible reduction of fine lines in the treatment area. Ultherapy can help you achieve a more youthful look from your brow to your chest.
Preparing for Your Treatment
A handheld applicator is used to deliver the ultrasound energy into the underlying dermal structure without penetrating the outer dermis. You may feel some tingling as the ultrasound energy goes into the dermal layers. Procedures can last anywhere from 30 minutes for smaller areas to 90 minutes for more extensive treatments.
Recovery and Results
There is no downtime after an Ultherapy session, although your skin may be slightly red and tender for a few hours after your procedure. None of the side effects should be severe enough to keep you from returning to your daily schedule right away.
You may see some initial effect after your Ultherapy procedure, which is likely caused by the constriction of tissue during treatment. However, ultimate results may take up to three months to develop, as collagen levels increase and your body naturally reverses the aging process. Most of our patients achieve their full results in a single treatment session, although some opt for a second treatment to provide additional benefits. As skin continues to age, future touch-up treatments can help keep pace with the natural aging process.
To learn more about this treatment, contact our office today at 631-979-0909.