HIFU or high-intensity focused ultrasound is a new and popular cosmetic treatment that tightens the skin. For many, HIFU is also a painless and noninvasive alternative for face lifts. Through ultrasound energy, HIFU makes the skin firmer by promoting collagen production.
Originally, HIFU was used to treat tumors. However, in 2008, it was first used for aesthetic purposes. In 2009, it was approved for brow lifts. In 2014, the device was given FDA clearance to be used to treat wrinkles and lines in the neckline or decolletage and the upper chest.
HIFU also has other known uses including lifting, body contouring, tightening, and overall facial rejuvenation. HIFU is also deemed a powerful and promising treatment that would replace face lifts. It is also expected to become even more popular with younger people who don’t want to deal with long recovery time and surgery risks.
What to Expect During the Procedure
HIFU facial makes use of ultrasound energy when targeting the skin layers located below the surface. The ultrasound energy can heat up the tissue rapidly. As soon as the cells in the areas targeted reach a certain temperature, cellular damage occurs. While seemingly counterintuitive, the damage is actually beneficial.
The damage will stimulate the cells so it produces more collagen. Collagen is a protein that will give the skin some structure. Collagen increase can also result in firmer and tighter skin. With the high frequency beams focused on certain tissue sites located below the skin’s surface, damage to the adjacent skin and tissues are avoided.
HIFU is considered ideal for people over 30 and those with skin laxity that’s mild to moderate. Those with a high degree of loose or photodamaged skin might need to have several treatments before results become apparent. Those with severe skin laxity or photo-aging may benefit more from the surgery rather than HIFU.
HIFU is also not the recommended option for those with open skin lesions or infections. It is also not ideal for those with metallic implants in the area to be targeted or those with cystic or severe acne.
Benefits of HIFU
HIFU, alongside other facelift alternatives have experienced a massive increase in popularity through the years. What’s even more impressive? The total number of procedures done between 2012 and 2017 increased by 64.8 percent. HIFU has many amazing benefits, some of the most notable include:
- It helps with wrinkle reduction
- It helps smoothen the skin
- It helps enhance the jawline definition
- It helps tighten sagging skin (also sometimes known as turkey neck)
- It helps with décolletage tightening
- It helps lift the eyelids, eyebrows, and the cheeks
Some studies also showed that HIFU has helped dramatically improve the elasticity of the skin in the lower abdomen, thighs, and the cheeks after twelve weeks. Another study showed a significant improvement in the neck and face after ninety days.
What HIFU Feels Like
Many of those who have gone through the procedure report a slight discomfort during the procedure. Some describe the procedure as similar to experiencing some light prickly sensation or tiny electric pulses.
Those who are worried about experiencing any pain or discomfort should speak to their dermatologist about it. After the procedure, several patients report experiencing some mild swelling or redness. Fortunately, any redness or swelling will eventually recede the next few hours.
HIFU Side Effects
HIFU is deemed very safe as long as it is done by a qualified and trained professional. One great thing about this treatment is you will be able to go about your routine as soon as you leave the doctor’s office.