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Wattle. Turkey neck. Double chin. Whatever it’s called, no one likes to see it in the mirror. A facelift can banish the sag, but not everyone can afford the cost or the recovery time. Two latest lunchtime fixes offer options for people wanting to look younger without surgery or downtime.
First is a non-invasive cutting-edge treatment called Ultherapy. It uses ultrasound to tighten, remodel and subsequently lift sagging skin in the face, jaw and neck. This stalls aging by putting collagen production into overdrive. Since it uses ultrasound, there is no downtime and no scars. Ultherapy has been performed in Europe and Asia for years and has been FDA-approved in the States since 2009.
Ultrasound heat currents are sent deep into layers that produce collagen and elastin. The reaction to the low levels of ultrasound heat energy causes the skin to contract and stimulates collagen growth. Treatment takes about 30-80 minutes, depending on the areas being treated and topical anesthesia is usually used to offset the slight discomfort. For the first time in skin rejuvenation, dermatologists are able to see an image of the tissue beneath the skin in order to deliver energy at that depth and see exactly where it’s being delivered.
The effect is refreshed, rather than overdone. There is an immediate smoothing effect for better tone and texture. Because new collagen is being produced, the results actually improve over time, maximizing at about 3 months time. When the new collagen grows it will gradually tighten the skin, resulting in a natural skin tissue lift.
For some people, the skin may look puffy or flushed afterward, but this should last for only a few hours. Most patients can resume normal activities immediately and can return to work the day after the procedure.
In addition to Ultherapy, a second treatment for consideration is Thermage, a method designed to tighten skin by delivering radiofrequency energy to heat deeper layers of the skin and fatty tissue. This stimulates new collagen growth without affecting the visible epidermis. It’s used to tighten, firm, and contour neck and chin jowls, eyelids, jawline, the eye area, and nasolabial folds.
Women between the ages of 35-60 are usually the best candidates with moderate sagging show the most expected results. If the skin is too loose, the results will more subtle. It can also be used to maintain results on patients who have had a facelift.
A session lasts anywhere between 20 minutes and two hours, depending on the treatment area. A quick heat sensation is felt as the laser hits the rubber band-like collagen, and they regenerate, so skin is “bouncier.” Some studies have indicated that multiple passes of the device over the skin, at lower energy levels, can produce better clinical outcomes. Contouring continues for the next four to six months, results may last one to two years.
“I feel that the Ulthera is more effective and the results are more measurable. There is a higher patient satisfaction with this technique. Thermage, however, is still helpful around the eyes and in patients who have responded well to the procedure in the past,” concludes Dr. Fox.
If you are interested in Ultherapy or Thermage, contact us today to schedule a consultation. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are expertly trained in the Ulthera, Thermage and many other lasers. Our ten conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens, Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County), New York City, Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.