Ultrasound skin tightening is an innovative, medical procedure that can firm and lift your skin. It is a noninvasive treatment that is becoming a popular option for many people wishing to forego surgery. If you are considering undergoing an ultrasound skin tightening procedure or simply wish to learn more, you’re in luck. Below you will find everything you need to know about this procedure; what it entails, what it is best used for, the possible side effects, the recovery time, and cost.
What Is Ultrasound Skin Tightening?
Ultrasound skin tightening is a medical procedure that helps rejuvenate the face and body, without surgery or scars. It uses the same ultrasound-technology that is used in numerous other medical procedures to tighten skin on the face, neck, or upper chest. The procedure “utilizes ultrasound energy to heat the skin to stimulate your own production of collagen.”
The ultrasound energy increases blood flow to skin cells; rejuvenating and increasing collagen to trigger a natural healing response. Both the heat and vibrations from the ultrasound skin tightening procedure help the skin to tighten, firm, and lift after multiple sessions. Sometimes, ultrasound skin tightening is used in-conjunction with other cosmetic procedures.
This type of treatment can be used to smooth away lines and wrinkles in those with mild to moderate skin laxity. While most patients of this procedure are between the ages of 35 and 60, many people under the age of 30 also opt for the treatment as a preventative measure. It is best-suited for patients who wish to have the effects of a face-lift, but without the invasive surgery associated with it. The treatment can vary by patient in regards to time and discomfort.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The amount of treatment sessions you may need will be determined by a variety of factors. Certain ultrasound skin tightening treatments, such as Ultherapy, can produce results in as little as one session. The type of ultrasound skin tightening you are receiving, the severity of the area, and your pain threshold may determine the amount of sessions required.
The ultrasound skin tightening treatment can be painful, but that is usually determined by your threshold for pain. Most often, you will receive pain medications for keep you relaxed and comfortable. Topical anesthetics are usually not given, because the ultrasound energy travels far below the surface of the skin. The procedure uses heat to penetrate the skin all the way down to the muscle, so it can certainly cause discomfort.
Ultrasound skin tightening is usually performed by a dermatologist or physician. They use a handheld applicator to pass over the areas that are receiving treatment. The time required for each session may vary by actual treatment and patient. On average, a treatment for a single area takes between 15-30 minutes, while the neck and lower face takes between 30-45 and the entire face takes around 1 hour. Most patients see a different in 2-3 months.
What Happens After the Procedure?
After your ultrasound skin tightening procedure, you can typically resume all of your normal activities. Typical experiences of patients following the treatment include slight swelling and mild tenderness at the treatment-site that only lasts for a few days. Redness, slight-numbness, and twinges of pain may be experienced for a few hours after your treatment. Unlike surgical cosmetic procedures, ultrasound skin tightening allows you to go right back to your normal life without any special post-procedure instructions (other than to watch for side effects).
It is important to remember that ultrasound skin tightening treatment results are most-often subtle; not dramatic or immediate. Since the ultrasound energy improves the nature of your skin, it could take a few months to notice the changes in your treated areas. The results are known to last at least 1-2 years, but typically last much longer.
Side Effects of Ultrasound Skin Tightening
This procedure is a great option for many people, but there are certain types of patients that should take caution. Ultrasound skin tightening should not be done if you have open wounds, active infections, or acne at the treatment sites. You should not receive the treatment if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, or another medical device. Before considering using an ultrasound skin tightening treatment, always consult your physician first.
As with every medical procedure, there are side effects to ultrasound skin tightening treatments. The possible complications and risks include:
- Redness that may last a few hours or days.
- Tenderness at the treatment-site that could last up to a month.
- Swelling at the treatment-site that can vary in severity.
- Skin bleeding (purpura) can occur under the skin, but usually resolves itself within a few weeks.
- Marks (grooves or scratches) can appear on skin but are usually not permanent. These are typically caused by ill-delivered treatments by the physician.
- Palpable nodules under the skin and slight/partial paralysis are rare, but possible side effects as well.
It is essential to receive your ultrasound skin tightening procedure from a qualified and licensed doctor or technician to avoid any of the rare, but severe side effects. If you experience any of the rare side effects, or side effects last longer than usual, you should consult your physician right away.
How Much Does Ultrasound Skin Tightening Cost?
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, ultrasound skin tightening costs between $1,500-$3,500 on average. Most insurance companies will not cover the procedure, because it is considered a cosmetic procedure and not medically-necessary. The cost of the treatment will be determined by how many sessions you require and which type of ultrasound skin tightening treatment you are receiving. Follow-up procedures, if necessary, may not cost as much.
The Bottom Line
Ultrasound skin tightening may not be for everyone, but it is a viable, non-invasive option for many. If you are considering this type of procedure, you should consult your doctor right away to see if ultrasound skin tightening is the right option for you. Ultrasound skin tightening can help get rid of those unwanted fine-lines and wrinkles, in no-time at all.