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Ultherapy®: What It Is and What It’s Not | Part 2 of 3Updated August 16, 2017
When plastic surgery patients come in to discuss Ultherapy in our Eugene, Oregon, practice, it’s not uncommon for there to be some confusion about what it is and what it’s not. Ultherapy is just one of the many treatments we offer. Other treatments such as KYBELLA® and intense pulsed light (IPL) also rejuvenate the face and skin but in very different ways. Let’s dive into the differences between Ultherapy and these other treatments.
Ultherapy is a nonsurgical, noninvasive treatment that uses ultrasound energy targeted deep below the skin to stimulate the production of new collagen and strengthen existing collagen. This gradually lifts and tightens skin, resulting in a younger, fresher appearance. Ultherapy can be administered to the neck, to the décolletage, under the chin, and above the eyebrows. Annual touch-ups may be necessary to maintain results. You can find answers to common Ultherapy questions here.
Injectables are popular facial treatments due to the fact that they treat a number of concerns and require little to no downtime. An example of an injectable is KYBELLA. It is similar to Ultherapy in that it is used under the chin, but unlike Ultherapy, which treats skin laxity, KYBELLA treats the excess fat that causes double chins. KYBELLA is made using deoxycholic acid, which your body naturally produces to help absorb fat cells. It is injected into the submental fat under the chin, effectively destroying existing fat cells.
Light therapies are most commonly used to even skin tone and texture, while Ultherapy tightens the skin. For example, IPL uses intense pulses of light that penetrate deep below the skin to cause collagen and blood vessels to constrict. This reduces redness and age lines.
As the name suggests, laser therapies use lasers to reduce wrinkles and correct skin issues like sun damage and discoloration. They do not tighten the skin like Ultherapy does. An example of a laser treatment is the Fraxel® laser. It targets areas deep beneath the skin to destroy sun-damaged cells, which the body replaces with new skin.
Radio Frequency Therapies
Radio frequency therapies are the most similar to Ultherapy. Instead of using ultrasound waves, they use radio waves to firm and tighten skin. The biggest difference is that radio frequency therapies can treat more parts of the body. For example, Thermage™ can be used to treat the face and the body. It heats up deep below the skin, which tightens existing collagen and stimulates the creation of new collagen.
While Ultherapy is in a class of its own, there are many complementary treatments on the market. Dr. Jewell works with each of his patients to create an individualized treatment plan based on their unique needs.