Time and gravity take their toll on facial structure. Together, they turn a firm, smooth and supple face into one starting to show lines, folds and sag.
Intrinsic ageing occurs deep down, with structural rearrangements reshaping the features. Here’s how it unravels. Facial fat gets redistributed, muscles weaken and collagen loses elasticity. As collagen fibres slacken, they lose their capacity to support skin. Yielding to gravity, skin gradually sags downwards, altering the contours of the face, chin and neck.
Skin lifting becomes a key goal for age control treatment and non-surgical techniques, are the preferred choice. High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is an emerging FDA approved technology which holds great promise in various fields of medicine. As far as dermatology goes, it has proved to deliver remarkable results in skin-lifting applications – chin lifts, brow lifts and jawline redefinition. Unlike conventionally used laser-based techniques, it is effective on darker skin as well.
How it works
The core principle is to turn back the collagen clock so that skin can regain the internal support it needs to stay fit, firm and youthful.
HIFU restores and rejuvenates the collagen-producing capacity of the skin, repairs the existing collagen and revs up blood circulation, making the skin smooth, supple and radiant.
What makes it an invaluable non-surgical facelift technique is the power it gives the dermatologist to target the deep foundational layer of skin (SMAS or superficial musculo-aponeurotic system) where the repair must be carried out. The process works through 3 key phenomena.
Ultrasound delivers deep-focused energy
High intensity ultrasound energy is focused on the treatment area through a hand-held device which emits high energy to the focal area and low energy in the surrounding regions. Ultrasound generates heat only in the spots where the energy is sharply focussed, getting straight to the deep layers of the skin causing no harm along the way – that is, without affecting the epidermis and dermis.
Micro-injury provokes collagen generation
The ultrasound energy causes vibrations amongst the tissue particles in the target area, generating thermal energy that causes micro injury to the tissues. Thousands of such tiny micro-injury points are created at multiple depths stimulating a triple-layer benefit – the SMAS, sub-dermal and deep-dermal levels.
Reorganised collagen tightens and lifts skin
Then, the body’s natural healing processes step in to heal the micro-injuries and consequently create a selective thermal coagulative zone. This stimulates collagen production, and as these new collagen fibres organise and shorten they tighten the skin, reverse sagging and creating a long-term lifting effect.
HIFU treatment has no downtime, but may cause redness, mild discomfort, pain or sensation of heat for a few seconds. These effects are brief and usually get resolved spontaneously. Pain relieving medication or topical pain-relieving creams may be used. Generally, the redness subsides within an hour after the treatment, although in some cases the facial soreness could last a few days.
This treatment will tighten the skin, lift the features and improve blood circulation. Some improvement will be visible immediately and even more youthfulness will unfold over the next few months.
As weeks progress, facial contour shows visible improvement in the target areas while skin acquires a smooth, radiant glow. Optimum results are seen when this treatment is combined with other age control solutions such as Radio Frequency, Threads, Botox and Fillers that all aim to tighten and lift the skin.
- From a couple of weeks prior to the treatment, avoid sun exposure so as to eliminate any chances of a sunburn that can make the skin tender
- From a week prior to the treatment, ensure that the skin is properly moisturised
- From 3 days prior to the treatment, avoid using retinoids, salicylic acid or glycolic acid on the treatment area
- On the day of the treatment, avoid any makeup or lotions on the treatment area
- An hour prior to treatment a pain killer may be administered and a topical numbing cream will be applied
- If desired, additional pain control will also be administered
- Soothing creams or moisturisers may be applied immediately after the treatment
- A sunblock SPF 30+should be applied if there is going to be any sun exposure immediately after the treatment
- Any mineral based makeup can be applied immediately after the treatment
- Avoid hot baths till the redness subsides. Wash the area with cool water and a gentle cleanser.
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