The gentle alternative!Ultherapy – the non-invasive ultrasound lift
Are you looking for an aesthetic treatment with visible, long-lasting results, but without going as far as a classic surgical lift? Ultherapy is a minimally invasive ultrasound wave lifting designed to restore the skin’s natural firmness and freshness in just one session.
At ADLER MED Thermae, this treatment is performed by Dr. Michele Bianchini, an aesthetic surgeon who has specialised in Ultherapy. Here you can read our expert’s answers to the most frequently asked questions about skin ageing and how to counter it.
Why does our skin age?
There are two different types of skin ageing. Chrono-ageing (intrinsic ageing) results from genetic factors, metabolic processes and hormonal changes. Photo-ageing (extrinsic ageing), on the other hand, is caused by exposure to sunlight, smoking and other environmental factors such as chemicals and pollution. Together, these cause a decrease in the naturally occurring elastin and collagen in our skin, leading to dryness, thinning of the skin, loss of elasticity, wrinkling and ultimately sagging in the face, neck and décolleté tissues.
Why is collagen important for the skin? How can we stimulate the production of new collagen?
Collagen is a natural protein that gives the skin its firmness and elasticity. This is why it is essential for an attractive, youthful appearance. Sadly, merely applying collagen onto the skin has only a temporary and rather bland effect. For a visible, long-lasting effect it is necessary to boost collagen production within the skin tissue. This is where Ultherapy steps in: this innovative treatment stimulates the skin to produce new endogenous collagen. FDA-approved application areas are the eyebrows, the middle and lower thirds of the face, the neck and the décolleté.
How does Ultherapy work, exactly?
Ultherapy exploits the ability of ultrasound waves to raise the temperature in body tissues. A special handpiece emits ultrasounds of varying intensity that reach different depths, where they form micropoints of coagulation stimulating neocollagenesis – this means that old and weakened collagen fibres are replaced with new ones. In this way, skin tissues are lifted and the result appears perfectly natural.
What is so special about Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is currently the only treatment that can penetrate the deepest layers of the skin without using a scalpel or needles. It can reach a maximum depth of 4.5 millimetres, the same depth as a surgical lift. No other non-invasive medical aesthetic treatment is so selective and deep-reaching. This is why Ultherapy has been approved by the FDA as a “non-surgical lift”. Additionally, it’s the only method where the treatment can be administered while monitoring the treated area, allowing for pinpoint precision thanks to an ultrasound probe built into the handpiece.
Nowadays, the focus is shifting more and more onto prevention. Is Ultherapy suitable for young patients, too?
Up until a decade ago, rejuvenating treatments were only considered when the signs of ageing had become evident. Now, however, prevention has proven to be a successful approach in aesthetic medicine, too. As for Ultherapy, it is becoming increasingly popular as a preventive treatment to be carried out at a relatively young age (35-40 years). One “refresher” session a year can often be enough to maintain a youthful appearance without the need for more invasive, painful and expensive treatments later down the line. However, significant results can also be obtained by more senior patients (up to 70-75 years). Nevertheless, the patient’s expectations need to be realistic – this is why each treatment session is preceded by a thorough consultation and assessment of the individual situation.
When are results visible, and for how long?
It only takes one session to trigger neocollagenesis. Although some improvement is already visible at the end of the session, the full result can be seen in 3 to 6 months, when collagen regeneration has kicked in and progressively lifted the skin tissues.
Can Ultherapy be combined with other aesthetic medical treatments?
The signs of ageing can of course be treated by combining synergic methods, including medical peels (to improve skin texture), fillers (to smooth out wrinkles and restore the natural proportions of the face) and revitalising infiltrations (to restore dermis structure), as well as cosmetics appropriate for the patient’s specific skin type.
Can Ultherapy be carried out in the summer?
Since Ultherapy uses micro-focused ultrasound waves, it can be carried out at any time of year – including summer and on tanned skin – with no down time.
Does it have any side effects and contraindications?
A session typically lasts 30 to 90 minutes, during which the patient may experience some slight discomfort. Patients can return to their daily activities immediately after the session, with no post-treatment side effects except minor erythema, which is usually transitory. Possible contraindications are associated with open wounds, skin lesions, active herpes infection and acne in the areas concerned, as well as pregnancy and autoimmune diseases of connective tissue.