Collagen is important for healthy, young-looking skin, but it increasingly diminishes over time, leading to frown lines and nasolabial folds, wattles and jowls, sagging skin, and uneven skin tone. Missing collagen does not have to be gone for good, however. Ultherapy® at Charleston, SC’s Germain Dermatology can invigorate the skin by stimulating new collagen creation with sound waves.
Sound waves can pass through the surface of the skin without damaging it, unlike many laser treatments that remove layers or create channels to resurface and rejuvenate. The sound energy from an Ultherapy® treatment converts to heat beneath the surface, where the thermal energy prompts new collagen production.
Germain Dermatology is the first practice in South Carolina to offer Ultherapy®. Trained Ultherapists work with each patient to carefully and precisely deliver sound energy into deep layers, where collagen remodeling and renewed production increase volume where it is needed. This smooths out skin and lifts sagging tissue to provide more youthful contours.
The protein collagen is abundant in the skin throughout the first couple of decades of a person’s life, after which the cycles of breakdown and replenishment start to slow. Eventually, collagen is lost faster than it is replaced, which is when the skin starts to loosen and wrinkle.
By creating new collagen, Ultherapy® adds volume that fills out slack areas, creating a tighter, firmer look once again. The skin and other tissues will continue to age naturally after a session, so Ultherapy® is not a permanent fix—but it can be repeated for ongoing youthful results.
The FDA-approved non-invasive treatment can be used on the forehead, chin, neck, and décolletage—all areas that can be negatively impacted by sagging. Candidates are commonly in their 30s or older, though there is no particular age limit for the treatment. Younger patients have been known to get treatments as a way of keeping ahead of their peers when it comes to looking vibrant. Patients who choose Ultherapy® are frequently those who have begun to notice their skin change in look and feel and want to address the mild to moderate laxity before it becomes more significant. Because it is non-invasive, Ultherapy® can be especially appealing to women or men who desire a cosmetic change but do not want surgery due to its cost, risks, or recovery time.
Each Ultherapy® session starts with the skin being cleaned, and gel is applied to allow the handheld device to glide smoothly. This is very similar to the Ultrasound process that allows doctors to “see” unborn babies. Ultherapy® makes use of similar technology, offering a visual depiction of the subdermal layers where the sound energy will be applied. Based on these visuals, any areas identified as needing a collagen boost will be treated.
Your provider will activate the device, which will send a precisely calibrated amount of sound energy into the skin at a carefully determined depth, all designed to maximize the ultimate cosmetic results. A single session can involve just one area, or it may include the entire face.
Patients have said that they can feel the energy as it is delivered, but the treatment is typically well-tolerated. Sensations related to the ultrasound waves dissipate once the session is complete.
There is no downtime required after a session. Since Ultherapy® is non-invasive, no healing of incisions or removal of sutures is necessary. Patients can go about their daily schedules as usual, with no need for recovery. Some mild redness, slight swelling, tingling sensations, and sensitivity in the treated area may last several days. All of these effects can be expected to resolve on their own, with no special care needed.
Collagen levels will continue to improve in the weeks after a session, with ideal results seen after two or three months and extending up to six months.