Ultherapy… An Uplift, Not a Facelift!

When patients initially come to see me, a common request I hear is, “I want to look younger, but not plastic”.  My immediate response it “Ultherapy!”

Usually with an enticing look on their face, they say “what is that?”…

Well, to give you a brief summary, here’s what I usually say: “Ultherapy or Ulthera will tone loose or wrinkled skin by using the body’s own healing response. Ulthera will tighten the neck and jowls or lift a sagging brow, for example, which in turn reduces the excess eyelid skin, giving the eyes a more refreshed appearance.  It requires no special preparation and results typically appear after one treatment. The ultimate lifting will take two to three months, as rejuvenated, stronger collagen replaces the existing tired collagen in your skin.”

To get a little bit more detailed, I’ve included a few frequently asked questions about Ultherapy:

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a non-surgical face treatment that uses ultrasound to actually lift and tone loose or sagging skin without any downtime by using the body’s own healing response.

What is so different about this procedure?

Ultherapy is the only non-invasive treatment that can specifically target the deep foundation below the skin that is addressed in cosmetic surgery without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin. It is also the only procedure to use ultrasound imaging, which allows us to actually see the layers of tissue we target during treatment and ensure the energy is deposited precisely to where it will be most effective.

How does Ulthera work?

Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen. As a result, skin will actually begin to lift and tone over time.

What does collagen do?

Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned and elastic. As we age, collagen loses its elasticity and its ability to stand up to the effects of gravity that pull the skin downward. Ultherapy jump starts a repair process that produces fresh, new collagen.

Is Ultherapy surgery?

No. Unlike a face lift, Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure that addresses the skin and support layers below it, but doesn’t entail cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin.

Can Ultherapy replace a face lift?

Ultherapy is an “uplift” not a “face lift.” While it is not a replacement for surgery, it is a viable option for those not ready for a face lift or those looking to prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery.

How is Ultherapy different from lasers?

Lasers typically address issues in the superficial layers of the skin (e.g. fine lines, wrinkles, pigment changes). Ultherapy addresses the deep skin layer and the foundational layer addressed in cosmetic surgery that lift and lend support to the skin. Therefore, the two technologies are quite complementary!

Is Ultherapy safe?

The procedure has been cleared by the FDA after demonstrating safety in clinical studies, and tens of thousands of treatments have been performed safely worldwide. In addition, ultrasound energy has a proven track record, with use in the field of medicine for more than 50 years.

Who is a good candidate for Ultherapy?

A good candidate for Ultherapy is someone with skin that has “relaxed” to the point of looking, and often feeling, less firm. A lowered eyebrow line or sagging skin on the eyelids, for instance, is often the first sign of “maturing” skin. Typically, those in their thirties and older who have mild to moderate skin laxity are candidates.

While Ultherapy is not a replacement for a surgical face lift, there are many people who want some lifting but are not ready for surgery, either mentally, financially or logistically. There are also younger people who want to “stay ahead of the game” as well as those looking to prolong the effects of cosmetic surgery.

How long does the ultrasound treatment take?

A full face treatment takes 45-60 minutes, and a partial face or brow lift treatment can take around 30 minutes–neither with any downtime. This is why it’s been nick-named “The lunch-time face-lift”.

What problem areas does Ultherapy target? What kind of results do you get?

Ultherapy addresses mild to moderate loose or sagging skin. Specifically, by reconditioning and renewing the skin from within, Ultherapy will lift the brow, which in turn reduces excess skin on the lids, opens up the eyes, and gives a more refreshed look overall.

How long until I see results?

Patients may enjoy some initial effect but the ultimate lifting and toning will take place over 2-3 months, as tired collagen is replaced with new, more elastic collagen. As this collagen-building process continues, further improvements can appear up to 6 months following a procedure.

How long do results last?

Patients treated with Ultherapy still have fresh young collagen after a year’s time following the procedure, but skin continues to age. Future touch-up treatments can help keep pace with the aging process, which varies by individual.

Will I need more than one treatment?

The majority of patients only need one treatment; however, some may benefit from more than one treatment (depending on how much laxity they have and their body’s own biological response to the ultrasound and collagen-building process).

Is there any downtime?

Ultherapy is an entirely non-invasive procedure and as such, there is no downtime. You are able to return to your normal activities right away, and there are no special measures you need to take.

Will I feel the ultrasound during the treatment?

Yes. What you are feeling during the treatment is actually tiny amounts of focused ultrasound energy being deposited below the surface of the skin.

What does it feel like?

Comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient, but there can be some discomfort while the ultrasound energy is being delivered. This is temporary and a positive signal that the collagen-building process has been initiated.

Your practitioner will consult with you prior to your skin treatment to make your experience as pleasant as possible. Patients typically leave comfortable and excited about the benefits to come!

Are there any side effects?

There may be slight redness for up to an hour or so following the treatment, and a small percentage of patients may have slight swelling, tingling or tenderness to touch, but these are mild and temporary in nature. There is always the possibility for other less common post-procedural effects, which your practitioner will review with you.

How much does it cost?

Prices can range anywhere between $275 – $2500 per treatment.

So… does it really work?  Yes! I’ve seen the magnificent results and will be going in for my own treatment soon!.. Very excited!

To find out more about Ulthera, you can read about it in these featured magazines or click on the link below to see exclusive videos:

Ulthera in the Media!

Ulthera treatments are performed by Fiona at the following location:

Office of Dr. Joseph Russo, Board Certified, Harvard trained Plastic Surgeon

575 Boylston Street

Newton Centre, MA

Contact Fiona at 855-RN-BOTOX to schedule your appointment for this amazing treatment

Hugs,

Fiona

Laser Hair Removal… All Questions Answered

There’s something about 7 women in a closet sized room, lasering each other’s hair off (Brazilian being one) that brings a sense of closeness.

After a fun-filled week with these amazing women, I feel compelled to write all I have learned about laser hair removal.

First and foremost, What does “LASER” mean?

Did you know the word “LASER” is an acronym which means…
Light
Amplification by
Stimulated
Emission of
Radiation

The term “radiation” is often misinterpreted because the term is also used to describe radioactive materials or ionizing radiation. The use of the word in this context, however, refers to an energy transfer. Energy moves from one location to another by conduction, convection, and radiation and cannot alter DNA structure.

How does it work?

Basically, lasers cause localized damage to the hair by selectively heating dark target matter, melanin, in the area that causes hair growth, the follicle, while not heating the rest of the skin.

 

Is every laser created equal?

No.  Different companies have different names for their lasers, but the two main lasers out there today are: Alexandrite (755) or the “Alex” & YAG (1064).  This one in particular is what I was trained on and is the latest.    It actually has both Alex and Yag in one machine!  Don’t quote me on this, but I don’t think there’s another two-in-one out there right now.  Very convenient since both are significantly different from each other.  Why?…

 Alex vs YAG… What’s the difference?

Alex (755)-

  • Attracted to melanin (treats hair and pigmented lesions)
  • Great on fair skin (skin types I – III).
  • Not recommended for skin types IV – VI.
  • No sun exposure for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment.
  • Better on thin hair.
  • Most report less discomfort than “YAG”.
  • More effective laser (usually less treatments are needed).

Here’s a perfect example of a skin type II ideal for the “Alex” laser…

YAG (1064) – 

  • Attracted to melanin and hemoglobin (treats hair, pigmented lesions, loose skin, veins, wrinkles, enlarged pores, tattoos, pseudofolliculitis barbae commonly called “ingrown hairs” or “shaving bumps”, and toe nail fungus… Yes. Fungus!)
  • Safe for every skin type (I – VI).
  • Can be used on sun exposed skin (3-4 days post).
  • Effective on thick, coarse hair.
  • Not ideal for thin textured hair.
  • Many report more discomfort during treatment than “Alex”

Definitely a “YAG” candidate in the pic below…

How many treatments are needed? 

Hair grows in several phases (anagen, telogen, catagen) and a laser can only affect the currently active growing hair follicles (anagen). This is why several sessions are needed to kill hair in all phases of growth.

The actual number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the area of the body being treated, skin color, coarseness of hair, reason for hirsutism, and gender.

Average number of treatments:
Face: 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks.
Body: 4-6 treatments every 8-12 weeks.

Can all hair colors be treated?

No.  Laser does not work well on light-colored hair, red hair (sorry Carrot Top), grey hair, white hair, as well as fine hair of any color, such as vellus.
Coarse dark hair on light skin is easiest to treat (ideal candidate: Snow White… or the guy below will do).

What are the most common side-effects and risks?

During treatment: discomfort.

Post treatment (most common): itching, redness, and swelling (perifollicular edema) around the treatment area. These side effects rarely last more than three days.

Unwanted side effects and risks:  hypo- or hyper-pigmentation, blistering, scarring, skin texture changes, flare of acne, swelling around the hair follicle, scab formation, purpura, infection and burning of the skin.

What areas can be treated?
If it grows hair.. Then, yes it can be treated (as long as there isn’t any underlying contraindications).

What are the contraindications?

In other words, if you have any of these conditions or are taking any of the meds listed, you CANNOT be treated?

  • Pregnant
  • Gold Therapy (If you don’t know what this is, then you have never had it)
  • Light induced seizures
  • Anyone taking photo-sensitive meds (if you are, then you need to wait 3 weeks)
  • Accutane (need to be off for 6 months)
  • Anticoagulants
  • History of skin cancer
  • Suspicious pigmented lesions
  • Lupus
  • Herpes (pre-treat with an antiviral drug such as Valtrex… But, if active, cannot be treated until dormant again)

How do I prepare for laser hair removal?

  • No waxing, tweezing, or electrolysis for 4 weeks prior.
  • If you have fair skin (skin types I -III), no sun exposure for at least 4 weeks.
  • If you have darker skin (types IV – VI), no sun for 3-5 days.
  • No threading for 10 days
  • No self-tanner for 14 days
  • Shave the area being treated the same day or the night before
  • No make-up, lotion or deodorant should be worn on the day of your treatment
  • No topical Retin-A for 3-5 days
  • No oral Retin-A for 3 weeks
  • No Accutane for 6 months

How much does it cost?

Clearly, prices are going to vary from country to state to city to town…
Prices can range anywhere from $100 per area per treatment to $900 per area per treatment (all depends on the size of the area and amount of hair).  Yes, it can be costly, but let’s take into consideration the amount of money we all spend on razors, waxing, threading, plucking.

Are there any post-treatment instructions?

Yes!.. And please follow strictly.

  • No sun exposure for 1 week (if blistered or burned, then stay out of the sun until healed… unless you want to scar)
  • Apply cool compresses to red or swollen area.
  • No Retin A for 24 hours
  • No direct heat for 24 hours (ie: hot showers.. This is a tough one for me, since I truly love mine… but I do follow this religiously as I have learned the hard way.. hehehe)
  • It will look and feel like a sunburn… treat it like one!
  • Lastly, enjoy being HAIR-FREE!

Hugs, 

Fiona