It is inevitable to evade adding another number to our age as we celebrate our birthday every year. Ageing is constant to everyone and one big give away that makes this obvious is reflected on our skin, specifically our facial skin.
The skin deteriorates over time. It loses its firmness and sometimes gets damaged, resulting in a vast number of skin flaws. These impurities might be no strangers to you: fine lines, drooping cheeks and jowls, wrinkles, and sagging neck skin.
A lot of the clients that come to me for consultation usually look for ways to achieve their once younger looking skin. There are several treatments available in Singapore, but the most popular aesthetic advancement that has gained a recent following is Ultherapy.
Be sure to read this post up until the very end to know more about Ultherapy and how it just might be the anti-ageing procedure you are looking for.
Introduction to Ultherapy
Ultherapy is a non-invasive aesthetic procedure that utilizes ultrasound technology to treat the skin with the use of an ultrasound imaging system called Ulthera. Being a non-invasive procedure, Ultherapy does not involve any incision to the skin making it safe and less prone to infections and other risks involved in surgical procedures. Ultherapy also prides itself for gaining the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approval. With this certification, patients are assured that this procedure has passed quality control checks on safety and efficiency.
How is Ultherapy Done?
As mentioned, Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology. The Ulthera device works by showing images of the layers of skin as it is pressed onto a targeted area. This procedure enables the doctor to accurately administer the right amount of ultrasound energy that the skin needs in order to repair. The device can identify the exact depth of the areas under the skin that needs treatment from a range of 1.5 mm to 4.5 mm.
During the administration of the procedure, the doctor uses the device to project the condition of the layers beneath the skin. Particularly, the doctor targets the layer called Subcutaneous Musculo-Aponeurotic System or SMAS. This layer of the skin is responsible for producing the two components needed to keep the skin firm: collagen and elastin. This is the same part of the skin that surgeons pull to tighten during a face or skin lifting operation.
The energy that is delivered to the SMAS triggers the skin to create collagen. As the skin produces new collagen, it starts to repair and gradually tighten the loose areas.
What Can I Expect During an Ultherapy Procedure?
Ultherapy is fairly a quick procedure that can be easily inserted into one’s schedule. A complete treatment of the entire face and upper neck can be done in an hour to an hour and a half. For smaller areas, a procedure can be done in half an hour.
To prepare a patient for the procedure, a numbing cream is applied to the targeted areas for treatment. Since Ultherapy uses an energy-charged device, a numbing cream is a must in order to manage any discomfort that a patient may feel during the treatment process.
The numbing cream is then cleaned once it has taken effect and no sensation is felt by the patient on the areas where the cream was applied to. Some doctors do some markings on their patient’s face to serve as guide for when they prod the Ulthera device onto the skin. A generous amount of gel is then spread on the skin as a guarantee that the device and the skin meet with accuracy.
Using ultrasound technology, the doctor then projects an image of the area being treated. This step is vital in order to confirm that the energy from the Ulthera device reaches the depth of the layers of the skin that needs treatment.
As the Ulthera device is pressed onto the skin during the procedure, patients can expect to feel a pricking or tingling sensation on the skin. Some patients have noted that the discomfort felt during the procedure is much more intense on parts of the face where thee layer of skin that covers the bone is thin.
Not all patients have the same treatment needs, thus I am able to control the settings of the device according to the appropriate concentration of energy required for a patient’s skin condition.
What Results Can I Expect After a Session of Ultherapy?
After a session of Ultherapy, patients can expect to see immediate results. The treated skin should feel a hint of firming. Likewise, it should appear lifted. As the skin continues to produce collagen even after the procedure, you will progressively see improvements on your skin. Fine lines and wrinkles will be smoothened out, depressed skin will look suppler, and loose skin will become tighter.
Remarkable results will be noticeable approximately three months after the Ultherapy procedure. The outcome of the treatment can last for a long time, but this would also be dependent on the lifestyle and body chemistry of the patient. If a patient’s body ages fast, then you can expect to see the results wear off quicker as well.
Unfortunately, Ultherapy results are not permanent. Hence, I recommend annual maintenance of the procedure in order to preserve younger looking skin.
How Long is the Downtime for This Treatment?
The only downtime for the Ultherapy treatment is the time that is needed for the procedure to be performed on the patient. After a complete session, patients can resume their daily activities. As a non-invasive procedure, Ultherapy is perfect for everyone who wants a fast procedure.
Are There Risks and Side Effects Involved in the Procedure?
Patients can rest assured that an authentic Ultherapy device will not bring any major risk or side effect during and after the procedure.
After a procedure, you may expect to see some slight discolouration on the treated part of the skin. In addition to redness of the skin, there may also be some swelling. These are normal responses of the skin, especially after it has come in contact with an energy-charged device. However, these are only temporary and will subside in a matter of a few hours.
The skin may also be sensitive to the touch. This is a natural occurrence as the layers underneath continue to repair following the Ultherapy procedure. The success of the procedure is achieved fully after three months.
Can Other Treatments for Skin Tightening Be Paired With Ultherapy?
The answer is YES. Although I can vouch that Ultherapy alone is sufficient for getting the best treatment any sagging skin needs, other skin tightening treatments can very well be paired with Ultherapy. A few samples of these treatments are dermal fillers and laser skin rejuvenation.
Dermal fillers are great when there is a need to add volume to depressed skin, while laser skin rejuvenation can treat dull looking skin. A downside to both procedures is the fact that they are not able to tuck in sagging skin and promote collagen production, which Ultherapy does.
It is best to discuss with your doctor if you are looking to do a combination of procedures to get the skin that you want.
How Much Do I Need to Prepare for a Session of Ultherapy?
Prices for Ultherapy treatments covering a small area of the face (e.g. brows, under eye area, and forehead) start at $650, while for larger areas (e.g. cheeks) start at $2,000. The price range for a full-face treatment is at $2,500 to $6,500. Some clinics include the upper neck in a full-face treatment, while others do not.
The cost for a complete Ultherapy treatment will depend highly on the areas being treated. The complexity of the procedure is also another factor that can affect the cost. An exact quotation may be obtained from your doctor upon consultation. Be sure to check the breakdown thoroughly and ask if all costs have been included in the quotation to avoid any unforeseen expenses once your session is over.
What Do I Look for in a Doctor Who Can Perform Ultherapy?
There are a lot of doctors in Singapore who are able to perform Ultherapy. Remember that knowledge is just one of the factors that you should seek in a doctor for your treatment. A reputable doctor must always have his patient’s well-being as a top priority. You will know that your doctor is concerned about your goals when he is able to listen to your needs and is likewise able to share his impartial insights or recommendations.
The doctor’s skill and experience in administering Ultherapy is also an important aspect to look for. To see whether a doctor has been able to perform successful Ultherapy procedures, do ask for a portfolio of past patients.
When it comes to pricing, you would want a doctor that is transparent when giving you a quotation of his/her service. Take a step back when you feel like a doctor is being pushy when it comes to promoting his or her services.
My final advice is for patients to do thorough research of what is available around. This may entail calling a few clinics and doing comparisons of their pricing and services. At the same time, you may look into patient reviews online or ask for opinions of family and friends who may have had Ultherapy experience in the past. This will help you gauge your options and eventually be able to choose the best Ultherapy provider that is suited for you.