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High Intensity Focused Ultrasound versus Ultherapy for Skin Tightening

09th February 2022

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) and Ultherapy are two treatments used to achieve tighter skin and improve wrinkles. We discuss which treatment is better for you.

If you’re seeking a skin tightening treatment, then there are few options to choose from, including High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) and Ultherapy. Both treatments provide an excellent non-surgical solution to achieve a tightening effect for the skin. But which should you choose?

What is the Difference Between HIFU and Ultherapy?

As both collagen and elastin decline with age, this can lead to skin sagging and looseness of the skin, which causes the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen and elastin are both essential to maintain the volume and firmness of our skin, and both treatments work in a similar way to encourage the production of new collagen and elastin.

Many people think that High Intensity Focused Ultrasound and Ultherapy are the same thing. They work in a similar way as both use ultrasound to activate natural skin rejuvenation. However, there is a big difference when it comes to the comfort and recovery of the procedures.

Post-treatment recovery

HIFU treatments use the most up to date technology and require no downtime after the treatment. On the other hand, Ultherapy can be fairly uncomfortable, with some patients finding it difficult to deal with the pain of the treatment, and there may be some redness afterwards and longer downtime.

Differences in Ultrasound

The optimal temperature for stimulating collagen production ranges between 60°C and 80°C. When skin tissues are heated to those temperatures, the body goes into a healing response mode, kickstarting a repair process that produces new collagen and elastin.

A non-surgical facelift can penetrate as deep as the SMAS layer below the surface of the skin, which is the area surgeons tighten for face and neck lifts. The HIFU treatment harnesses ultrasound technology to radiate energy into the SMAS layer to tighten, lift and plump the skin.

Ultherapy uses micro-focused ultrasound (MFU) beams to do this, whereas HIFU uses High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound. The main difference between the two different techniques is how the beams are delivered to the deeper layers of the skin.

The MFU method is sharply focused, whereas HIFU applies a focused beam, the depth of which is determined by the different cartridges used depending on the skin concern.

These provide excellent treatment for lines and wrinkles; the focused energy is applied to a depth of between 1.5 and 4.5mm beneath the skin to stimulate the new collagen and elastin.

Targeted Treatment Deeper in the Skin

Both HIFU and Ultherapy treatments target the skin at deeper levels. Both can be easily adjusted to meet the unique needs of each patient. If a patient has severe skin laxity, they may need to be treated at a deeper level, in which case the patient will be fully aware, and this is discussed during the consultation.

HIFU cartridges to the depth of 1.5mm, 3.0mm, and 4.5mm are used during a typical facial tightening and contouring process.

How Often Can You Have HIFU Treatments?

HIFU treatments can be carried out every 4-6 weeks; however, results can take up to 12 weeks to be visible, so it’s not a quick fix treatment. It is important to allow enough time for the results of the previous treatment to be seen, and then the decision can be made whether more treatments are carried out to optimise the results further.

Top-up sessions are performed when needed, but once the desired result has been achieved, they can last between 1-2 years depending on age and lifestyle.

We would have no hesitation in recommending the HIFU treatment as a method of pain-free skin tightening. If you’re seeking a non-surgical facelift in Bristol using our latest technology, delivered by a highly trained Bristol Skin Clinic Practitioner, get in touch with our expert team today to discover more about this treatment and to book your first appointment!

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