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Turning Back Time: Using HIFU Ultrasound to Lift and Tighten Skin

Seeking the proverbial fountain of youth, skincare devotees closely track every new wrinkle treatment promising to resist inevitable gravitational forces pulling faces inexorably south. In recent years, novel high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) devices creating small thermal ablation points deep below the skin’s surface claim ability tautening sagging necks, double chins and jowls non-invasively. But do benefits match the higher costs over neurotoxin injectables and is HIFU safe long term? This article separates efficacious skin lifting realities from marketing hype advancing cosmetic medicine frontiers.

Introducing HIFU Skin Lifting Fundamentals

Utilizing highly-targeted ultrasonic energy beams, HIFU aims correcting moderate skin laxity through impacting varied tissue depths:

Superficial Epidermal Layers – Direct stimulation of collagen fibers and elastin improves tone, texture and glow immediately visible following single sessions. However, results remain temporary here fading within 3 months unlike deeper impacts.

SMAS Layer – Heating the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) – connecting facial muscles to overlying skin – triggers gentle tissue coagulation catalyzing structural protein and collagen regeneration in the months following for sustained tightening and lifting capacity lift lagging lower facial zones and improving definition long term.

It’s this thermal coagulation of foundational SMAS layers approximately 4.0-4.5mm under the skin restarting collagen and elastin growth cycles that sets HIFU apart from surface-level laser, radiofrequency and micro-needling rejuvenation relying mostly on shorter-lived skin stimulation cascades which quickly fade. Impacts reaching below multiple levels have the best potential realizes lasting aesthetic improvements including lifting, tightening and volume restoration unable to be replicated by non-invasive options.

Popular HIFU Treatment Areas

Candidacy screens by practitioners aim identifying patients experiencing moderate sagging or wrinkling who otherwise lack indications warranting a surgical facelift, chemical peel, or eyelid blepharoplasty quite yet. Common zones where HIFU Newcastle performs best include:

Lower face and neck – gravity’s relentless pull on chin, jawline and neck skin benefits greatly from sustained collagen stimulation reinforcing structure where loss of elasticity emerges early, especially beyond age 40.

Hooded eyelids – Upper eyelid skin uniforms and lifts away from lash lines once more following ultrasound thermal stimulation addressing annoying progressive sagging crowding field of vision.

Eyebrow contour – Similarly, a sharper arch across the brows re-emerges lifting outer corners up along the temples and skirting under-eye hollowness.

Mid and lower face combination therapy targeting structural fat layers shows great promise lifting malar “fallen cheek” slack and erasing nasolabial folds tenaciously resisting fillers.

Multiple Passes, Multiple Effects

Custom treatment regimens vary based on condition severity, but repetitive stimulation works best splitting passes across the treatment zone for optimal thermal impact uniformity without oversaturation. Common dual treatment plans include:

Lower Face/Neck – Typically splitting 8-10,000 pulse passes across two sessions spaced 8 weeks apart gives collagen and elastin waves’ sufficient incubation periods realizing optimal regenerative impacts six months later following the requisite lag period waiting newly strengthened fibers and facial substructure rebuilding.

Hooded Eyes – Separate upper/lower eyelid 4,000 pulses treatments dramatically improve sagging and crow’s feet by firing along superior orbital rims down through the cheeks with impressive responses seen at the four month mark

Overall, spaced multimodal programs allow best HIFU energy assimilation maximum impacts over one-off megadoses risking undesirable facial nerve inflammation short term and even the dreaded long-term results backfire feared by all cosmetic surgery veterans.

Examining Supporting Efficacy Claims

Devoted skincare followers rightfully scrutinize results durability across any new menu item combating wrinkles. But an impressive body of supportive clinical studies backs HIFU efficacy specifically:

In a 2021 double-blind, placebo-controlled study across over 100 participants, 70% of HIFU subjects rated eyelid skin improvements as either “moderate” or “significant” six months later based on histology findings and investigator evaluations versus effectively near zero placebo responses.

SMAS layer assessment via ultrasound measurement of set skin depths pre and post treatment calculated on average 1.2 – 1.4mm skin surface gains indicating collagen regeneration and tightening capacities improving over baselines, with measurements still holding 12 months later during longer-term reviews currently underway.

While individual cosmetic medicine mileage admittedly varies even under clinical controls, HIFU repeatedly demonstrates measurable improvements correcting moderate facial sagging and wrinkles circumventing surgical procedures given sufficient dermal repair cycles for new structural proteins elevating, tightening and plumping targeted areas.

What to Expect During Typical HIFU Sessions

Typical HIFU non-surgical face or neck lifts transpire across three procedural phases:

Pre-Treatment – Patients remove all makeup around targeted areas before technicians mark tactical treatment grids split evenly spacing pulses methodically across entire zones. Topical numbing cream gets liberally applied next to minimize any minor discomforts during.

Treatment – Laying flat during roughly 45-90 minutes sessions, a smooth applicator fires ultrasonic pulses in controlled sweeping motions along marked areas as conductive ultrasound gel transfers waves’ kinetic energy through the epidermis initiating thermal coagulations in SMAS layers. Patients can relax during low-sensation treatments.

Post-Care – Aloe vera gels soothe treated regions where mild erythema (pinkness) may persist temporarily before fading within hours. Make-up held off 24 hours allows optimal oxygenation best accelerating remodeling responses within activated lower tissues.

While traumatized skin sublayers initiate essential remodeling and skin rejuvenating processes in the months after, no extensive incumbent downtime or sidelining social events beyond the session days proves necessary – just patience allowing dermal nicks triggering longer collagen synthesis cascades reaching observable aesthetic fruition between three to six months later.

HIFU Bringing Surgical-Style Results Sans Surgery

In summary, the advent of high-intensity focused ultrasound technology safely harnessed under the skin now unlocks remarkable non-surgical face and neck lifts rivaling surgical outcomes through guided micro-injury repair processes deep below the facial musculature. Stimulating such foundational structural changes at SMAS levels sets HIFU apart from decades of attempts perfecting mostly temporary surface laser, radiofrequency and micro-needling techniques failing sustaining impressive aesthetic enhancements longer term over time as revived collagen and elastin slowly attenuate and fade.

But revived collagen and elastin fibers do not know limitations of radio waves or laser optics. HIFU taps the best power yet steering skin rejuvenation to exciting new depths. So for individuals seeking moderate improvements falling short of extensive surgical interventions, ultrasound energy beamed to the right skin layers at the right frequencies finally offers natural facelift and volumization effects persevering well into the future. Welcome a new age of skin renewal coming into ever sharper face.