The Youth Solution
Posted On Dec 07, 2016
Science is making waves in the fight against aging. Soundwaves and lightwaves, that is.
By Patricia McCauley
The Treatment: Ultherapy An FDA-approved ultrasound technology that melts away the years. The Benefit: It’s a highly effective, nonsurgical brow and neck lift.
Sound off: It doesn’t matter how stylish your hair or fabulous your dress. Sagging skin is a sure skin of premature aging. Now, second generation skin tightening devices have begun to fight back in more effective—and patient friendly— ways than ever. Leading the way is Ultherapy, the first ultrasound technology to receive FDA approval as a nonsurgical brow and neck lift.
Ultherapy drives sound waves into the skin’s top layers, as well as to deep muscular layers underneath. (These deeper layers are known as the SMAS, or the superficial musculoaponeurotic system.) The sound waves cause skin cells to vibrate and generate heat. Existing collagen tightens— a phenomenon called collagen remodeling—and new collagen is produced. “Over three-to-six months, this results in a lifting and tightening of loose skin,” says Dr. Sabrina Guillen Fabi, head researcher at GBK Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego.
Ultherapy is the first nonsurgical device to combine ultrasound visualization with energy. “This treatment is the first of its kind, allowing a doctor to see the structures of the skin they are treating,” notes Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Babak Azizzadeh. Dr. Robert Anolik of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York prefers Ultherapy to skin tightening methods such as radiofrequency and infrared light. “I can see the effect of the energy on the bands of collagen as I treat them,” Dr. Anolik says. “This accuracy allows me to better define facial features like the jawline.”
Ultherapy can provide lasting results in one 60-minute session. Some patients see an initial effect, though optimal results appear in three to six months. Though most patients experience discomfort during treatment, it’s temporary and treatable with simple pain management such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and topical numbing cream. Depending on skin areas and depth of treatment, you may experience redness or swelling, which disappears within 24 hours. Most patients can apply makeup after treatment. “There’s no downtime, no scars, and no risk of looking overdone,” says Dr. Fabi.