What can you do for skin that is starting to sag, without opting for invasive treatment or surgery? I talked to Dr Tracy Mountford about Ultherapy, and what this tweakment can offer, for Healthista.com.
What is Ultherapy?
'We use a machine called Ultherapy,' says Dr Tracy, ' which is the only FDA cleared device for lifting the face. We use this because it is a really precise piece of equipment that gives really good, reproducible results.'
How does ultrasound lift the skin?
'The ultrasound helps us to visualise very clearly the areas that we need to target within the skin,' says Dr Tracy. 'We can see these on the screen, so that we can deliver heat to the deeper layers of the skin tissues, to cause remodelling and tightening of the collagen.'
Does Ultherapy work more deeply than other methods of skin tightening?
'Yes,' says Dr Tracy, 'it's working deeper [than other technologies] so it hits the SMAS which is the muscle surgeons tighten when they do a surgical facelift. It also hits the deep dermis and the superficial dermis which allows us to target three different layers in the skin to get the best effect.'
How does Ultherapy improve the collagen within skin?
When it the focused ultrasound energy hits that layer, do you get an immediate tightening of the collagen?
'Yes,' says Dr Tracy. 'If you hit the skin at a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees C -- which sounds very hot but which is actually very safe -- lots of new collagen which is stimulated, and you also get remodelling of existing collagen which has been damaged over time. So here you have two key things happening together that generate optimum lift.'
Is Ultherapy painful?
All of the heat that is being generated makes it sound as if this might be a rather uncomfortable procedure!
'No, it's not comfortable,' says Dr Tracy. 'Things that work generally aren't comfortable, but nowadays the technology has evolved as all things do. It has improved and the way we keep people comfortable and relaxed has improved too, so in fact the treatment is very tolerable.'
Ultherapy costs from £1,500 at The Cosmetic Skin Clinic
To read how well ultherapy worked for one woman, hop over to Healthista.com