Among anti-aging therapies, Ultherapy has become favored by many patients, as it’s safe, versatile, and doesn’t require any surgery or injections. If you have sagging skin, wrinkles, or another cosmetic issue associated with aging, you might be the perfect candidate for this treatment, which we offer here at Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD, in Redlands, CA. So if you’re looking for a non-invasive way to revitalize your appearance, here’s how this therapy works and who usually benefits the most from it.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Ultherapy?
Because this therapy is incredibly versatile in treating skin laxity in different areas, it can be an appropriate solution for many different types of issues. If you’re suffering from a double chin, a lowered eyebrow line, or sagging skin anywhere else on the face, neck, jawline, or chest, you’re likely a good candidate for this treatment. You may also benefit if you have lines, wrinkles, or other skin issues caused by aging.
Most of our patients are in their 30s or older because this is when many of these types of issues first start appearing when the skin begins to sag and both lines and wrinkles develop where this is occurring. While facelifts and other types of surgical procedures can often address these types of issues as well, Ultherapy can be a better approach for those who want a safer and non-invasive alternative.
What Is Ultherapy?
This treatment can revitalize sagging, wrinkled skin by targeting its upper layers with low-level ultrasound energy. If you’ve ever had an ultrasound performed to diagnose a health issue or to check on a baby’s health during pregnancy, it’s a similar concept, though this particular type of ultrasound is used to treat issues rather than diagnose them. Because it’s safe, quick, and highly effective, it’s become a popular form of therapy for the treatment of a wide variety of issues.
How Does Ultherapy Work?
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin, two key proteins that help to keep our skin firm and youthful looking. This often leads to sagging skin, lines, wrinkles, and texture changes in how the skin looks and feels. This therapy works by stimulating collagen and elastin in areas where these issues may be visible, such as the face and neck. Using a handheld device, we can deliver ultrasound energy into the skin to heat the tissues, which can strengthen existing collagen while encouraging the body to produce more of both elastin and collagen.
The ultrasound waves that are delivered into the skin can reach up to 5 mm beneath the surface, which is the same range traditional facelifts often focus on. For this reason, this therapy can produce the same or better results than facelifts, and in a non-invasive way.
How Soon Does It Start Working?
Although you may see dramatic improvements quickly, even within the first few days after treatment, it usually takes about two to three months to see the full results of this therapy. This is because it can stimulate blood flow as soon as it’s applied, which can quickly deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your skin, but collagen production takes much longer, as your body’s immune system gradually responds to the treatment over time.
After your first treatment, you may start to notice your skin becoming firmer, brighter, and more supple looking, and after some time, sagging skin often begins to tighten and both lines and wrinkles then start to fade. However, for optimal results, many patients need more than one treatment, and this is especially true if you’d like to maintain results, as the aging process never stops.
What To Expect During Treatment
During your initial consultation, we’ll need to assess your skin and any cosmetic issues that you’re having to ensure that this is the right treatment for you. We’ll also want to know about your medical history, as well as any surgeries you’ve had and any medications you’re currently taking. If we determine that this treatment isn’t right for you, we can explore our other cosmetic options based on your aesthetic goals and skin type.
Before starting your therapy session, any areas that we’ll be treating will need to be cleaned ahead of time, and you’ll need to remove any jewelry from these areas as well. We’ll then prepare these target areas by marking them, so we can map out which ultrasound frequency levels should be used in which areas.
Next, we’ll apply some gel to the skin before going over these areas with the ultrasound applicator. You shouldn’t feel any pain, though you may feel a slight warm sensation as we slowly glide the applicator across your skin. The entire therapy session shouldn’t take longer than 20 to 45 minutes, though this will depend on how many areas we’ll be treating and what type of conditions we’re targeting.
While there is no downtime with this treatment, we’ll ask that you take some minor precautions for the first five days after your therapy session. You should avoid any excessive exposure to heat or the sun, as the treated areas may be slightly sensitive. You should also avoid icing these areas, and although you should refrain from any strenuous exercise, light exercise and going about your usual activities are perfectly fine.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
How often you’ll need to return for more treatment sessions depends on different factors, such as your age, aesthetic goals, and lifestyle. In some cases, the results can last forever, while in others, touch-up treatments may be needed every so often. Although this therapy works well at tightening skin and reducing both lines and wrinkles, it can’t stop the aging process, so these types of issues can sometimes return.
Although results are normally seen within two to three months, in some cases it can take as long as six months for optimal results to be seen. Some of our patients choose to wait to see how they respond before scheduling more treatments, while others regularly schedule them three or four times throughout the year to continually stimulate collagen production.
What Are the Benefits of Ultherapy?
This treatment can be beneficial for all of the following reasons:
Rather than using scalpels, lasers, or other surgical tools that penetrate the skin, this therapy uses ultrasound energy, which is non-invasive. This means that there won’t be any damage done to your skin and no scarring after your treatment session.
Unlike facelifts, there’s no downtime and no recovery period with this therapy, so you’ll be able to resume your everyday activities as soon as you’ve finished your treatment session. It’s not uncommon for patients to return to work immediately afterward.
Most patients report this therapy as being a relatively painless one, as the only thing that you may feel is a small amount of heat. If you prefer, we can always apply a topical anesthetic to numb the targeted areas before treating them as well.
The results are often long-lasting because your skin can produce collagen for a long time once it’s encouraged to do so, and many patients go several years before they need another treatment session. This can depend on many different factors, but it’s usually much longer-lasting than Botox or other treatments that target fine lines and wrinkles.
With ultrasound technology, we’re able to apply this therapy only to the areas that require treatment while leaving blood vessels, muscles, and other types of tissue alone. It’s therefore a highly precise treatment and we can see and control exactly where the ultrasound energy is applied to.
No Side Effects
Other than some slight redness, which usually disappears within a day or two, this therapy produces no side effects because of its non-invasive nature. It’s a gentle, FDA-approved treatment, and this is one of the reasons why many patients prefer it over other options.
This therapy can also be a much more affordable option than other types of treatments for many reasons. Not only is it non-invasive and quick, but it often only requires a few treatment sessions, which can be more affordable than surgery or treatments that require you to regularly return every few months.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Ultherapy is one of the safest and most effective therapies available today for treating skin laxity and other tell-tale signs of aging. To schedule your initial consultation, contact us today at Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD, in Redlands, CA, so we can see if this treatment is right for you.