Gone are the days where surgical facelifts were the only available option to lift saggy skin and contour the face. With newer and more advanced skin lifting treatments, you rarely find botched jobs such as frozen faces, over-filled lips and faces pulled so tight that they feel like a rock these days.
As recently as the early 2000, basic non-surgical skin lifting treatments were limited to the use of Botox and Dysport for treating hyperactive muscles on your face to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and dermal fillers for smoothing out static lines and adding volume and fullness to skin. Since then, medical aesthetics has grown by leaps and bounds to include laser, thread lifts, and ultrasound technology to lift saggy skin – naturally.
Ultherapy: The Only FDA-cleared, Non-Invasive Skin Lifting Treatment
Ultherapy is a non-invasive treatment for skin lifting and tighten loose and saggy skin in areas including eyebrows, jowls, chin, and neck. It is effective to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the décolletage. This skin lifting treatment uses ultrasound technology to heat the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) under the skin. Giving you a refresher on anatomy – SMAS is a collagen-rich membrane under the layer of subcutaneous fat. It is coined as the “face’s foundation” because it provides the structure to lift your skin, preventing your skin from sagging.
Ulthera acts by emitting ultrasound waves 4.5mm deep into the skin to heat the SMAS to stimulate collagen production. By doing so, we are encouraging skin lifting effects and tighten the face through all of its layers naturally. Full results can typically be seen after a one to two months after the treatment. Result are not immediate because the collagen production takes time to build up to improve the texture and the skin tone.
Although Ultherapy is effective in “turning back the clock” or age-proofing your face, the normal aging process will still carry on. However, once you have had Ultherapy, the natural aging process will never catch up to where it would have been if had never undergone Ultherapy. In other words, you will experience long-lasting, better results if you undergo Ultherapy every 1-2 years, or as soon as you notice signs of sagging and loose skin.
Ultherapy is a great way to give the skin a mild tightening and improve facial contours by stimulating collagen production in the SMAS. You can expect to see improvement in sagging skin, lifted jowls, reduction of wrinkles and fine lines. However, the skin lifting effects are not as dramatic as thread lifts or surgical face lift.
Results can generally last at least one year although some reports have indicated that some people experience the effects for as long as two years after treatment. People usually opt for Ultherapy as young as 35 years old and repeat this treatment every 2 years for general maintenance and anti-aging purpose.
Thread Lifts: Minimally invasive non-surgical alternative to face lift as a skin lifting treatment
Thread lifts are often branded as Silhouette Soft, Contour Threadlift, FeatherLift etc. by doctors. Threads used in this procedure are sutures that are made from the same material as the suture used in surgeries to stitch open wounds. With slight modification made to these threads to incorporate little cones or anchors, they can be used to tighten and lift areas of the face that are loose or sagging. When these threads are inserted, they lift and provide a supportive structure for the skin. At the same time, the process will stimulate collagen production in those areas. People may experience slight discomfort ranging from tightness and soreness around the entry points. Some may also experience difficulty in chewing. However, these side effects should resolve on its own within a week.
This quick and convenient thread lift procedure is surging popularity as it can be completed in less than 2 hours with natural, dramatic results. People are starting to opt for this treatment over full face lift done under general anaesthesia which comes with some risks. Furthermore, there is better control on how much lifting you want from the procedure compared to full face lift.
Thread lifts are sometimes considered a ‘lunchtime’ treatment because of the convenience and the time required for the whole procedure. You can be in and out of the doctor’s office in 90 minutes – looking natural but remarkably lifted.
Visible lifting can be seen immediately after the procedure and it will continue to improve over the next two months as your skin undergoes collagen remodelling. Results can last one-and-a-half years, and even up to five years. You can expect the lifting effects to be more prolonged each time you repeat the procedure.
This procedure will benefit people aged 30 to 60 years who have apparent sagging skin, but have sufficient collagen deposits to stimulate production. Younger people can also consider this treatment if they wish to improve their facial contours.
So Which Is Better: Ultherapy or Thread Lift?
Discussion with your physician is key for him/her to understand your needs and the results you expect. Your physician will do a thorough assessment of your skin condition, skin elasticity, skin type, bone structure, fat volume etc. before they recommend the more suitable skin lifting treatment for you. After that your physician should also find out more about your social activities to determine if you can accept the downtime of either treatment.
In some cases where people experience severe sagging, your physician may also recommend to undergo both treatments – Thread lift to reshape and contour the face and Ultherapy to work on the SMAS to promote skin lifting and skin tightening.
To find out more about the best skin lifting treatment for your skin:
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