HIFU stands for “High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound” and is a relatively new cosmetic technology, having only been introduced for use in recent years. HIFU as a form of facial treatment employs the use of concentrated ultrasound energy to the face and neck by a handheld device. It is a non-invasive treatment that helps stimulates the cells, resulting in tissue rejuvenation and collagen production. The overall effect of the treatment is to promote tightening and lifting of the skin in these areas.
HIFU treatment can help stimulate tissue rejuvenation and collagen production – resulting in the tightening and lifting of saggy skin – and can also be used to break down fat deposits. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, this can produce results akin to facial sculpting (but without the need for surgery).
Should You Consider HIFU Treatment?
There are a number of indications for applying HIFU treatment for the face, which include the following…
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sagging skin along the cheeks and eyelids
- Skin that is thin and with a texture like crepe paper
- Drooping skin around the mouth area
- Undefined jawline
As a skin rejuvenating procedure, HIFU can help women lift and tighten the neck, chin and brow, and improve lines and wrinkles on the chest.
There are no special preparations needed prior to the HIFU consultation and treatment. In the doctor’s office, the physician will take the patient’s complete medical history and perform a thorough physical examination, especially the face and neck. With the exception of a diagnosed skin infection or existing skin problem that would require treatment at a later date, the HIFU procedure can be performed immediately after the doctor’s interview.
Most HIFU treatments follow the same procedure outlined below…
- Specially-trained nurses will perform a full facial cleansing and preparation for the patient.
- The doctor applies ultrasound gel to the patient’s face and neck.
- A hand HIFU device is glided over the patient’s skin. This delivers ultrasound energy to the skin, stimulating the skin cells to produce collagen and promote tissue healing, repair and rejuvenation.
- Depending upon the patient’s skin condition, the physician adjusts the skin penetration depth setting of the hand piece As this procedure is being done, the patient may feel heat under the skin or a slight prickling. For an absolute pain-free experience, sedation can be performed by a qualified anaesthetist in the clinic.
- Each HIFU treatment lasts between 30 and 60 minutes depending upon the severity of the skin problem.
Some patients have reported mild soreness, which typically resolves itself.
In the presence of these symptoms, the doctor may prescribe pain medications. Some physicians will also prescribe special facial creams to protect the skin from the UV rays of the sun and other harmful factors in the environment.
The patient does not need any downtime following HIFU treatment. She can immediately resume her daily activities. But again, she is required to apply sun protection creams to protect her skin.
To get the best results, it is advised to have HIFU treatments done for four to six weeks, followed by maintenance sessions at three to four month intervals.
Collagen production is expected to reach its optimum level at two to three months. It is during this period that a patient can already see her facial skin becoming younger-looking, healthier, softer, and supple.