High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU)
High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU) is a technology that works below the surface of the skin to lift and tighten it. Where the beam is focussed, it damages the skin tissues to create a tightening, lifting and wound healing response. That means you get a small, initial tightening effect, then a greater lifting effect over the next six months as the collagen within the skin is remodelled and tightened.
There are different types of focused ultrasound treatment, some of which are branded. The best-known brand is Ultherapy, which has FDA clearance for its stated claim of lifting the skin.
Pain level: High
Cost from: £1500
Recovery time: 1-3 Days
I can hear you thinking: ‘Ultrasound? Which is nice and gentle and used for looking at babies in the womb? How can that…?’ — to which the answer is, it’s a different sort of ultrasound. Focused, high-intensity ultrasound, which narrows its sound-energy waves in to a single point. These don’t hit the surface of the skin, as a laser would, but a predetermined spot up to 4.5mm beneath the skin’s surface.
What each jolt of ultrasound is aiming to do is strike deep into the skin in order to make the collagen contract, and to stimulate the formation of new collagen and elastin over the next few months, which further tightens up the skin. It can do this at different depths (1.5mm, 3mm and 4.5mm) below the surface, for greater tightening.
At 4.5mm below the skin’s surface, the ultrasound can reach the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS). The SMAS is the layer of muscular tissue in the face that surgeons manipulate when they are performing a face lift.
High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU) can help you with these concerns: