HIFU or high intensity focused ultrasound, is a type of non-invasive and painless procedure that will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The treatment will last for one to two years and does not have adverse effects on the skin. HIFU can also be used for lifting the brows and face, treat cellulite, and tighten connective tissues. HIFU uses highly concentrated ultrasound waves to penetrate several layers under the skin. This action stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. Around 20% improvement can often be observed immediately after treatment. In three to six months, the final result will become visible.
When applied to the skin, high focused ultrasound accelerates and activates the body’s natural healing abilities, particularly in the neck, face, and décolletage. As a result, the skin tightens and becomes more firm, significantly reducing sagging skin. The method is pure, requiring no cream, artificial fillers, or toxins. What it does is trigger the body to regenerate tissues naturally. The treatment is capable of targeting deeper skin layers, hence the epidermis or skin surface, remains unaffected. There are no special precautions to follow immediately after treatment and it is possible to return to your work or usual activities right away.
The science behind HIFU is simple. With Ultrasound Therapy, collagen production is stimulated using focused ultrasound energy input that penetrates the deeper layers of skin tissues. When ultrasound energy is applied to skin tissues, it triggers a regenerative process in which deeper skin layers produce neo-collagen.
Using HIFU on Face
HIFU for face focuses ultrasound energy to target skin layers that are just below the epidermis. Ultrasound energy quickly heats up the tissues until they reach a certain temperature at which cellular damage occurs. Although this may seem counterproductive, the damage actually causes the cells to produce collagen, a type of protein which is the building block of the skin. When there is sufficient amounts of collagen, skin becomes tighter and firmer.
HIFU and Facelift Head To Head
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
- Non-Invasive and Zero Incisions
- Less than $2000
- No downtime
- Mild Side Effects
- Lasts for less than 2 years
- Invasive process with incisions and sutures
- Above $7000
- 2-4 weeks to recover
- Side Effects from Bleeding to Infection
- Long term effect up to 12 years
Why HIFU is Safe
Unlike other types of skin treatments, HIFU’s high frequency ultrasound beams treat only the target site under the surface of the skin. Hence, it does not cause damage to the epidermis or upper layers of the skin and surrounding tissue.
Is HIFU Contraindicated to Anyone?
Although safe, HIFU is not recommended for everyone. This treatment works best for individuals 30 years old and older with mild to moderate skin laxity. Individuals who have photo-damaged skin or those who have very loose skin may require multiple treatments before seeing positive results.
Older individuals who have severe skin sagging particularly on the neck area or have extensive photo-aging may not benefit from HIFU. Better results could be had with cosmetic surgery.
HIFU is also contraindicated for individuals who have skin infections or open wounds, cystic or severe acne, or metallic implants in the treatment area.
What are side effects of HIFU
HIFU is a safe treatment with no downtime. In fact, you can immediately resume normal day-to-day activities since there is no damage to the upper skin layers. Some individuals may experience slight redness and/or swelling but these will resolve quickly. A slight tingling sensation or sensitivity in the treated area may also be experienced but this will only last for a few weeks. There have been rare cases of temporary numbness and bruising but these will generally disappear within a short time. There are also cases where one develop facial erythema and edema.
HIFU Facial Pros and Cons
- Very Safe and Non-Invasive.
- Surgery is not required.
- Using stimulation of natural process in your skin, so the final look is as natural as it gets
- Short treatment period and recovery period meaning there is no downtime for you
- Most people will be able to try HIFU
- Couple of weeks to see results due to natural collagen making process of body
- Effects will only be felt after 2 months
- Repeated treatments required to maintain the look, usually every 2 years.
- Some people might experience redness or swelling post HIFU, but it should clear up fast.
Is HIFU Facial Painful?
During the treatment, the patient may feel warm in the area of treatment, along with tingling. To allow the HIFU machine piece to glide smoothly over the skin, ultrasound gel is applied, allowing the ultrasound pulses to travel unimpeded through the layers of the skin. The target area may be treated using multiple passes to maximize the effects on the fat cells. The treatment is similar to the feeling of a light prickly sensation or having tiny electrical pulses applied to the skin. For individuals who want to avoid discomfort, pain medication may be taken.
Since comfort thresholds among patients vary, some individuals may feel some discomfort during the procedure. Any pain or sensation is temporary and is actually a sign that the procedure is working in the collagen-building process.
Prior to your treatment, your clinical practitioner will discuss with you your health history and skin condition to ensure that your HIFU treatment is effective, enjoyable and safe.
Are You Suitable for HIFU
The best candidate for HIFU treatment is someone whose skin is less firm to the look and touch. Sagging skin at the eyelids or a lowered eyebrow line are often the first signs of aging or maturing skin. Moderate skin laxity is often experienced by people in their 30s or those who are older. When signs of maturing skin happens, it is often the best time to undergo high intensity focused ultrasound for beauty.
HIFU will not replace the effects of a surgical face lift but it is considered a solution for people who want skin lifting but do not want to undergo surgery for whatever reason. Some younger patients may also opt to undergo HIFU to for fat removal. Other patients may be those who have undergone cosmetic surgery and want to extend its effects.
Our Final Thoughts on High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
HIFU is considered safe and effective. Many patients are attracted to it because it is a non-invasive procedure that helps tighten facial skin. Unlike surgical face lifts, HIFU does not require incisions or cause scarring, and does not require a prolonged rest and recovery time. It is also more affordable compared to a face lift.
Results with HIFU are often visible in three months after final treatment. It is a quick, non-invasive, and painless approach to skin care. It will not cure aging but it will improve the texture and appearance of the skin. The treatment will also be repeated after one to two years to ensure that skin looks and feels at its best.