HI-FU for the first time? What to expect
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a cosmetic treatment for skin tightening, that is considered to be the perfect non-invasive replacement for a surgical face lift. Better still, there is no downtime and it doesn’t cost thousands of pounds!
This treatment is becoming very popular across the UK and we are please to be the first clinic in the Gosforth area to offer this treatment.
As this is still a relatively new treatment, we wanted to answer a lot of the questions you may have regarding HIFU:
How does it work?
HIFU uses ultrasound energy to encourage the production of collagen, which results in firmer skin.
Collagen makes up about a third of all the protein in the human body, more than any other type of protein in the body by mass.
When the human body ages, it lessens the production of collagen, resulting in saggier skin and an older looking appearance.
HIFU uses focused ultrasound energy to target the deeper layers of skin. The ultrasound energy causes the tissue to heat up rapidly. Once the cells in the targeted area reach a certain temperature, they experience cellular damage. I know what you’re thinking “how on earth is that helpful?!” But fear not, the damage actually stimulates the cells to produce more collagen resulting in firmer and tighter skin!
How long does the treatment take?
This depends on the area treated, but can take anywhere from 30 – 150 minutes.
A full face usually takes around – 60 mins
Eyebrow Lift or Neck lift – 30 mins
Full Face , Neck and Decollete – 150 mins
Does it hurt?
Most people say they hardly feel anything at all. Others say they feel a sort of minor electric shock feeling as the heat rays enter the skin. So whilst not 100% painless, it’s definitely tolerable!
Is there any downtime?
How long to see the results and how long do they last?
After your very first treatment, you may see some immediate effect, but the ultimate results will take place over a period of 2-3 months, as your body naturally regenerates its collagen.
Please remember whilst HIFU carries far fewer risks and costs than a surgical face lift, results may not last as long and repeated procedures may be needed.
For best results you should have 3 treatments, 3 months in between each one.
Then, you should not have anything for up to 2 years.
How many treatments do I need?
Many clients may only require one treatment. However, everyone’s skin is different and some people may require multiple treatments to get the desired effects.
Is HIFU Safe?
HIFU is viewed as the safest of procedures known for fixing and lifting the face. Tens of thousands of these procedures have been performed securely around the world.
Are there any side effects?
No matter how common or safe a treatment is, everything has side effects! Even water is carcinogenic, just that you couldn’t drink enough to register an effect.
Side effects with HIFU, are rare but they can include:
This was the most common side effect reported by patients during a study researching the effectiveness of HIFU. Treated areas can become red and blotchy, particularly if your skin is sensitive and prone to redness. This side effect is not permanent, usually going away a few hours after the treatment.
Some people are a lot more sensitive than others, meaning they may feel some pain whilst receiving treatment. If you happen to be one of these sensitive people, Dr. Mona will happily pop some numbing cream on you.
Each person’s skin is different and there are a few people who may find their skin become a little bloated/ swollen after their treatment, especially if you’re already prone to this. This will usually disappear after a few days.
Numbness around the delicate areas such as the eyes and lips may occur and last for around two weeks. This is because as HIFU penetrates the very deepest layers, occasionally this can cause some minor damage which can lead to numbness. The skin however will heal on its own and might juts feel a bit strange for a couple of weeks!
Unfortunately some people who have this treatment experience no visible effect. HIFU is still however, the most powerful treatment available as a noninvasive alternative to surgery.
While rare, this is a side effect that is potentially permanent. Hyper-pigmentation causes the skin to change colour and become darker. Although we have never experienced this before with any of our clients, nor heard of this happening with any aestheticians we know, we still need to make our clients aware that is still an incredibly rare yet possible risk with HIFU.