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Yes, there are other, if not better, reasons to consider an Ultherapy under-chin lift than taking a better selfie or looking hot when FaceTiming, but these perks should not be discounted.
Ultherapy is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared for treating the brow, chin, and neck. It is the only non-invasive energy-based treatment to have such a distinction, largely because it really works and the clinical studies confirm that. Really. 250,000 Ultherapies have been performed to date around the world, so they are doing something right.
Tina Alster, MD
At a recent media breakfast at The London NYC, uber dermatologist Tina Alster, MD, the founding director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and a clinical professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Leif Rogers, MD, FACS a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, discussed how and why Ultherapy makes a visible difference with no visible healing.
As we age, our skin’s foundation collapses (think Grecian ruins). Muscle and fat start heading South, creating jowls and turkey gobblers or waddles. This is not related to being overweight. Instead, it is a function of the decline in collagen and elastin that provide the skin with structural support. Ultherapy targets the skin’s lower layers to help stimulate new collagen using focused ultrasound or sound waves. The energy tightens and lifts (yes, lifts) sagging skin. The measurable results appear gradually, usually within three months, though, “some people walk out feeling that their skin is a little tighter,” says Rogers.
Ultherapy candidates are typically in their mid thirties or older with what skin care specialists call mild to moderate laxity (sagging). The procedure is color blind, which means it works well on skin of all colors. Results, however, may not be as pronounced among individuals with thick skin. “Men have more pilosebaceous glands, thicker skin, so they may need more treatments,” says Alster. She often has patients come back annually for maintenance to forestall a face or neck lift and keep skin firm and youthful. Ultherapy can also be combined, as needed, with BOTOX Cosmetic and resurfacing lasers that target sun spots, lines and wrinkles like Fraxel.
Many people need just one session to achieve their desired results, but others may choose to have multiple treatments to maximize the potential effects. “If we hit it again and again with the same energy, it will shrink further,” Alster says. She recommends waiting 3 to 6 months for a second session to let everything tighten up. Ultherapy costs $1,500 to $4,000 depending on the area of the face treated and often the location of the practice. The technology doesn’t necessarily replace the need for a full face lift (but it may for some younger folks with minimal sagging), but it is an ideal option to help buy time and put off the need for major cosmetic surgery. That said, the results are not as predictable as with surgery.
No Pain No Gain
The old adage is true. The one downside is that Ultherapy hurts a little. Pain medication and some Valium usually do the trick, but everyone is different and some people find it very tolerable with some Tylenol. There is no visible healing—which means no downtime (although you probably don’t want to be operating any heavy machinery, driving or making important decisions with pain killers and Valium still in your system.) So you can have your chin lift in secret.
Find a trained Ultherapist, dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon near you at ultherapy.com