What is HIFU Skin Tightening?
Non-surgical Skin tightening procedures have been at the centre of aesthetic procedures for around four decades. Starting with resurfacing using lasers and deep chemical peels, significant improvements in technologies have provided us with innovative minimally invasive therapies over the intervening time. The first significant breakthroughs came through with radiofrequency RF skin tightening and fractionated or Fraxel laser treatments. HIFU treatment may be the new kid on the block, but it is taking centre stage at the moment, with the HIFU facial being widely used as a facelift substitute around the world.
First introduced in 2008, HIFU (High-intensity focused ultrasound) uses ultrasound to encourage collagen production, resulting in plumper, firmer skin. Although it can be used in many areas, the most common treatment is the face or HIFU facial. HIFU treatment is primarily used for line, wrinkles and sagging skin concerns on the face and neck. However, it can be used anywhere on the body for a non-surgical body lift.
How does HIFU Treatment Work?
HIFU treatment is targeted in-depth, and temperatures are required to induce new collagen. The treatment uses ultrasound energy to heat the layers of skin under the surface. Therefore, each treatment is focused on targeted specific depths. (For example, with a HIFU facial, the treatments are 3 mm and 4.5 mm deep.)
Hifu Facial uses ultrasound waves to heat deeper layers of your skin. The heat creates controlled injury, causing your skin to mount a healing and repair response—the induces production of new collagen to firm your skin and elastin for more spring.
HIFU Uses Natural Repair Mechanisms of Your Skin.
Increased collagen production is achieved without damage to the skin surface. The Ultrasound heats the tissue resulting in a healing cascade and stimulation of new collagen. HIFU treatment results develop progressively over 6 – 12 weeks.
HIFU treatments have been shown to
- Smooth wrinkles and fine lines on the face
- Tighten sagging skin on the neck (turkey neck)
- Define jawline by reducing jowls
- In fact, firm and tightening skin on most places of your face and body
- Improve skin texture and quality
How effective is a HIFU Facelift?
The results of a HIFU facial cannot be compared to the dramatic effects of a facelift, and with good aftercare, results last up to 12 months. But it does produce significant lifting and is favoured by younger women as a preventative measure.
The HIFU treatment was popularised by the Korean V lift – which used combinations of HIFU facial and PDO threads to create a lower and mid-facelift (lift sagging jowls). To recreate a classical v-shaped face. (which is considered a sign of youthfulness)
Who Is the Ideal Candidate for HIFU Skin Tightening?
HIFU skin tightening works best for people with mild to moderate skin sagging. So people with more advanced photodamage and skin sagging will require more treatments and may be better candidates for surgery or facial thread lift.
- The ideal candidate for HIFU skin tightening has mild to moderate skin laxity (generally in their 30’s).
- Women with more pronounced facial sagging may require 2,3, or more treatments to achieve a satisfactory result.
- With advanced sagging, surgical facelift of thread lifting may be a better option.
- HIFU skin tightening is not recommended for skin infection, pores, severe acne, or metal implants.
A 2018 review of 231 studies on ultrasound for skin tightening, body contouring and cellulite reduction showed it was effective and safe in addressing multiple aesthetic concerns.
Juhász, Margit MD; Korta, Dorota MD, PhD; Mesinkovska, Natasha Atanaskova MD, PhD* A Review of the Use of Ultrasound for Skin Tightening, Body Contouring, and Cellulite Reduction in Dermatology, Dermatologic Surgery: July 2018 – Volume 44 – Issue 7 – p 949-963 doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001551