With the passing of the years, and as a natural consequence of the ageing process, the skin loses its firmness and radiance. It is however not necessary to wait for the signs of ageing to leave their distinct mark before acting. We can prevent or correct their appearance with more conservative and easier treatments than surgery, such as Ultherapy, a new non-surgical facelift system which is being pioneered in Spain by IMO’s Aesthetics and Oculofacial Rejuvenation Department. Its excellent results have made it, in less than a year, a leading treatment in countries like the United States.
Ultrasound to achieve a dual effect
The heat generated by the ultrasound applied to the deep tissue of the skin (65°C) achieves a spectacular dual aesthetic effect. Firstly, it causes an instantaneous contraction of the skin, tightening it naturally, and, secondly, stimulates the production of collagen – a protein that is essential for tissue health and quality, reinforcing it and making it firm. As explained by Dra. Luz María Vásquez, an oculofacial aesthetics specialist at IMO: “the advantage of Ultherapy is that, unlike other treatments, it specifically targets the deep layers of the skin, rejuvenating it from within and leaving the surface intact”.
Benefits that can be seen on the face, neck and neckline
The benefits of this therapy are particularly noticeable in the area around the eyes – it raises the eyebrows and reduces bags under the eyelids – and the area under the chin – it eliminates double chins and conceals wrinkles on the neck and neckline. The result is a non-aggressive natural tightening effect for the patient, and it is particularly suitable for “people with mild to moderate flaccidity” according to Dr Vásquez.
It is, however, as the ophthalmologist adds, “not a substitute for surgical facelifts in severe cases, but rather an alternative for patients who wish to prevent facial ageing noninvasively, correct the first signs of ageing without causing sudden changes in appearance and prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery”.
One session, one year of results
Given that the treatment goal is to rejuvenate and restore the vitality of the skin and not cause a radical change, Ultherapy is a good alternative to other nonsurgical solutions, such as radiofrequency. “Ultrasound energy penetrates into the deepest layers without dissipating (up to 4.5 mm, the same depth achieved by surgery facelifts) and releases controlled heat resulting in increased skin tone”, explains Luz María Vásquez. To achieve this, only one session of between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the treatment area, is necessary and no sick leave or special care is required. “It is a very comfortable procedure for the patient and can be performed in the consulting room without anaesthesia because it is painless. That said, it can cause some mild discomfort when being applied, while the ultrasound is being emitted, but this is a positive sign that collagen regeneration has begun”.
As a result of the stimulation produced by this process, and beyond a first immediate tightening effect, the actual results appear after the second or third month when the maximum degree of toning is reached. Dr Vásquez explains that an important point to bear in mind is that “skin ageing can be slowed down but never stopped, so, after about a year, depending on the skin and general care of the patient, it is a good idea to have another Ultherapy session or retouching procedure”.