How does ultrasound work for skin tightening?
From sagging eyelids to crepey decolletages, many of us notice changes in our skin with age. In the past, a surgical facelift would often be used to tackle drooping jowls or heavy brows. But today, energy treatments offer a non-surgical way to defy gravity. Unlike RF microneedling, which uses needles to penetrate the skin’s surface and deliver energy, ultrasound uses sound waves at high frequencies to pass harmlessly through the skin’s surface to heat the lower layers.
How does ultrasound skin tightening work?
Ultrasound devices use ultrasound waves to lift and tighten the skin of your face, neck and decolletage – with minimal downtime. It penetrates below the skin’s surface to target the deeper layers and boost your body’s production of collagen and elastin for natural-looking results. There are different types of focused ultrasound treatment on offer, and the technology often differs between devices.
Ultherapy is the most well-known ultrasound device. It is a trademarked name, and it’s the only micro-focussed ultrasound device which is FDA-cleared for lifting the skin on the neck, brow, and area under the chin.
Sofwave is another ultrasound powerhouse. It’s comparatively new to the market, and whilst it is an ultrasound machine, it isn’t a HIFU device. In fact, Sofwave is a new technology entirely. It uses ultrasound energy, but that’s where the similarities end. Rather than creating one focused thermal hotspot, it creates parallel cylinders of heat within the skin at a depth of 1.5mm, where the skin’s collagen and elastin-producing cells are found. This means that it can effectively tighten and firm the skin without the risk of fat loss.
What can you expect from treatment?
Ultrasound is best suited to anyone with mild to moderate skin laxity, such as sagging under the chin and jawline, hooded eyelids, or wrinkles forming on the chest. For people in their 30s, ultrasound can help prevent ageing and treat early signs of skin laxity. For women in their 40s and 50s, it can really tighten sagging skin and open the eyes, refreshing the face as a whole.
You can expect to see and feel an immediate change in the treated areas. The skin is tighter and looks fresher. Over the following months, the skin will improve, becoming firmer and smoother. Whilst it’s not a substitute for a surgical facelift, ultrasound appeals to patients who want to achieve a lifting effect without surgery or any other skin surface damage. The great thing about Sofwave is that just one treatment is required, and the results are long-lasting.
Is Ultrasound skin tightening safe?
Ultrasound is generally a safe treatment, however, in some devices, it can trigger temporary nerve paralysis or numbness, lasting up to six weeks. The most significant risk areas are the nerves around the temple and jawline. HIFU devices can – although the risk is low – melt fat in the face, leaving the area looking laxer instead of firmer. Sofwave, however, doesn’t pose these risks as it works more superficially within the skin.
What is the best device?
Unlike every other Ultrasound-based skin tightening device in the UK that uses focused ultrasound, Sofwave uses Parallel Beam Technology which allows it to treat a wider area rather than simply creating hotspots. It is proven safe and highly effective, but because it delivers a lot of energy within the skin, the lift is incredible – 3-4mm on the eyebrow on average – but without the risk of greater, structural changes that can happen with other devices.
As a result, this device can be used from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the neck, including over areas with nerves and glands, without any risk of causing damage.
If you’d like to learn more about ultrasound skin tightening and what’s right for you, click here to book a consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.