Experiencing skin laxity as part of the natural aging process can be frustrating, particularly when your favorite skincare products don’t seem to be getting the job done anymore. After a certain point, over-the-counter products may not be able to help the skin remain firm and supple, and skin laxity can become more severe. Luckily, the experts at Finesse Cosmetic Surgery in Waltham, MA know that Ultherapy is an ideal skin tightening treatment for most people.
So, what is Ultherapy? This is a unique energy-based treatment that utilizes the power of ultrasound technology and gentle thermal energy to simultaneously see and treat areas of the skin experiencing skin laxity. The thermal energy used in this system penetrates the dermal layers and the SMAS membrane to precisely stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers from deep within the skin.
How Soon Do You See Results From Skin Tightening?
For most patients, the most significant results from this skin tightening treatment will be seen about two to three months after the first appointment. While some may see initial skin-plumping effects for a few days after the treatment, these initial results will fade as the skin adjusts to the treatment and starts to produce new collagen. When the collagen in the sub-dermal layers of the skin matures, the final results of the treatment will become visible.
For many, optimal results will appear after six months, although collagen production and maturation may still be active. How much collagen your skin produces in response to this treatment may be affected by factors such as your age, activity level, and general health, which can have a great impact on the function of your skin and healing response.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
The vast majority of patients who use Ultherapy will only need one treatment to achieve their desired aesthetic results. However, the number of treatments you will need depends on the condition of your skin. Those who have mature skin with significant skin laxity may need at least one other treatment several weeks after their first appointment to produce optimal results.
What Is Treatment Like?
Your Ultherapy treatments usually take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete based on how many areas are being treated; if you are only treating the face or part of the face, then your appointment will take around 30 minutes, while treating both the face and the neck will usually take about 60 minutes. Overall, the treatment is well-tolerated by most. There are some things we can do during your treatment to ensure your comfort, such as using a topical numbing cream.
During your treatment, one of our aesthetic experts will use the Ultherapy device on your skin. This device is unique because it allows the technician to view the individual layers of skin and adjust the energy used for your treatment based on how many dermal layers need to be penetrated. The ability to “see and treat” will ensure that your treatment is precise and your outcome is optimal.
To be a candidate for this procedure, you will need to attend a consultation appointment. Your consultation will assess the health of your skin, the severity of your skin laxity, and also review relevant medical information, such as medications and supplements you are taking. Any previous skin tightening treatments should also be discussed during your consultation.
Preparing for your treatment will involve a few simple temporary changes, such as discontinuing blood-thinning medications, some herbal supplements, and certain anti-inflammatory medications. These medications and supplements should be temporarily discontinued for about a week before your treatment unless otherwise instructed by your medical physician.
It’s also important to prepare your skin by avoiding the use of irritating skin products, including exfoliants like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinoids. You should avoid waxing or tweezing the desired treatment area, avoid unprotected sun exposure, and protect your skin from damage by using SPF 40 or higher. All of these steps will ensure your skin is in good condition for your treatment.
After your treatment is complete, you will need to follow post-treatment instructions to take care of your skin during the first two to five days after your appointment. For example, you should avoid hot water, steam, excessive sweating, and direct sunlight. You may not be able to wear make-up or use certain skincare products for at least 24 hours. You should also avoid scrubbing the skin and using other aesthetic treatments for at least a week.
You will be able to return to work on the same day or the day after your treatment, depending on your preferences. You will be able to drive yourself back home and attend to most of your normal schedule, except for any activities that would violate your aftercare instructions. You may be given additional aftercare instructions after your appointment based on your skin type or lifestyle factors.
How Long Do Results Last?
The results of your Ultherapy treatment will usually last for about two years, making this one of the longest-lasting skin tightening treatments available to patients. The results of this treatment will last so long because of the quality of collagen that is produced by the treatment. When deeper collagen is produced in the deepest layers of the skin, it is more likely to last longer and have a greater effect on the overall structure of your skin.
How Can You Maintain Results?
The number one way to maintain your desired results is to schedule an annual appointment once every 18 to 24 months, based on how long your results last. By attending regular treatments, you can maintain a high production of collagen and help your results last longer. Of course, there may be other things you can do to maintain your desired results, such as:
Protecting your skin from the sun is a vital part of maintaining your results. One of the biggest enemies of collagen is damage from UV rays, which breaks healthy collagen down prematurely and contributes to faster skin aging. You should always wear SPF 40 or higher when you plan to be outside, particularly during the hot months of the year. Even if you sit near a window, wearing SPF is important since windows do not protect you from the UV rays associated with skin aging.
Diet and Lifestyle
Your diet and lifestyle can also have a tremendous effect on the longevity of your results. Your skin is healthiest when it has the vitamins and minerals necessary to support better skin aging, so a diet rich in omega fats and low in salt and sugar is generally best for slowing aging. Your skin also requires a lot of hydration, so drinking at least two liters of water a day can help your skin remain supple and soft.
Leading a high-stress lifestyle can also have a detrimental effect on your skin. Collagen is particularly sensitive to the stress hormone cortisol, so implementing mindfulness exercises, yoga, and tai chi may be able to help you manage stress and slow down premature skin aging.
While skincare products alone aren’t strong enough to reverse the visible signs of aging, using the right skincare products can support your desired results. Your skincare products will generally affect the first few layers of your skin, so using high-quality anti-aging products can help the superficial layers of your skin remain plush and firm, which will enhance the results of your treatment.
You can use medical-grade skincare products for anti-aging, such as higher strength retinoids, or you can carefully shop for over-the-counter products that will meet the needs of your skin. Products containing retinol, collagen, and hyaluronic acid will help the skin remain firm and plush; certain acids like glycolic acid, azelaic acid, and niacinamide can support a more even tone and pigment for a more youthful glow. We can help you identify products that will work best with your skin type and goals.
Try Ultherapy Skin Tightening
Skin tightening treatments such as Ultherapy can produce results in as little as two to three months, with optimal results visible after about six months. This particular treatment can be used to tighten skin on the face and neck and can be used by those who have moderate to severe skin aging concerns. Most people will benefit from only one treatment. Contact Finesse Cosmetic Surgery in Waltham, MA to schedule your consultation with us today.