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New Solution to Lift Sagging Skin: Ultrasound

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Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Wed Jan 1, 2014.

(Family Features) The beauty about getting older is you finally start to loosen up. You tend to worry a little less, laugh a little more and melt into who you've become and the life you've created.

But, unfortunately, your skin also seems to take on a lax attitude.

You - and your skin - are not alone. In fact, 3 of 5 people are bothered by sagging skin, and, according to a consumer survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, nearly 75 percent have considered a cosmetic procedure to tighten up or smooth things out. What's more, statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery show that facelifts seem to be making a comeback. And while surgery tends to be a last resort, many mistakenly believe it's the only solution available for lifting, especially for stubborn areas such as the gobbler under the chin or the loose rings on the neck.

Thankfully, science has decided to challenge that belief and serve up the skin its overdue non-surgical lift by way of sound. Yes, S-O-U-N-D.

Sound Skin

To be clear, this is sound that can't be heard by the human ear. This is ultrasound; sound that occurs at frequencies only dolphins and bats can detect.

In fact, this is the same ultrasound used to produce baby sonograms.

In sonogram imaging, the sound wave energy is low with shortened pulses. To show a sharp picture, these pulsed waves create a tight web of visual details as they bounce off the body's internal structures. To actually treat and stimulate a natural lift in the skin, however, the sound wave juice gets bumped up and the pulses are prolonged and converged for deeper, more precise penetration. This allows the energy to narrow in on the skin's core fabric, including the same collagen-rich fibrous layer typically treated during a facelift.

The ultrasound lift

The process in which ultrasound makes the lifting magic happen is nice to know, but what really matters is the validated science behind it. For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared a face-and-neck ultrasound procedure that is clinically proven to non-invasively lift skin on the neck, under the chin and above the brow. The procedure, Ultherapy, not only measurably lifts skin, it does so without any chemical or foreign substances. Instead, it relies on the body's own healing process to gradually lift the skin over the course of three to six months. 

What's unique about Ultherapy ultrasound is it relies on both the shorter and longer ultrasound pulses to first image and then treat the skin. Imaging, of course, allows practitioners to broadly see the different layers of the skin to be treated. For the treatment itself, the concentrated sound wave energy encourages select cells in the skin's foundation to initiate the production of new collagen and elastin. In turn, the skin lifts and tightens over time. And, because the ultrasound energy funnels-in to focus on deeper face and neck tissue - it's diluted at more superficial layers - the skin's surface isn't affected and, after 60 minutes, most patients are able to walk away ready to go about their day*.

It's not surgery, it's sound.

The scalpel is still the weapon of choice for dramatic facelifts. But, for a more natural and gradual lift, plastic surgeons and other cosmetic physicians now have a new tool in their treatment arsenals: Ultherapy ultrasound.

Want to find out if you're an Ultherapy candidate? Visit www.lift.Ultherapy.com to learn more and connect with a doctor nearby.

*As with any medical procedure, there are possible risks and variation in outcomes associated with the Ultherapy treatment. It is important to discuss the Ultherapy treatment with a healthcare professional to fully understand the treatment and risks.1002964A

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

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