Thursday, March 26, 2015

Does Ultherapy’s non-invasive facelift hold true to its promise of firmer skin that gets better in time?

Article from

Ultherapy promises to tighten and tone the skin with nary a nip nor a tuck. We try out one of the first machines to hit the region and finds out you really can turn back the clock.
The background
I have been interested in Ultherapy ever since interviewing several MDs from the original American edition of the television show The Doctors. Near the end of the interview, in February 2012, I asked Dr Andrew Orton and his partner, Ritu Chopra, what facial procedures really, really work – and Ultherapy was at the top of the list.
The FDA-approved device uses ultrasound to stimulate tissue under the skin of the face and neck to produce more collagen, penetrating to 4.5 millimetres. Previously, the only way to stimulate the collagen that deep was by cutting – no thanks. The treatment, which conforms with Orton and Chopra’s “not-obvious” aesthetic, wasn’t even available in the UAE or Gulf region at the time.
I have heard many promising things about Ultherapy since then, watching as it received good reviews and explained some of the most gorgeous and natural-looking forty and fifty-something actresses of our time. So when Euromed’s Rebecca Treston Aesthetics bought one of the first machines in the region earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to test it out.
The mindset
Deep breath: I am 44. But also pretty happy with the way things are going in terms of the ageing process and my face. The only thing I have been worried about is my neck. I have always had a double chin and the kind of neck and jawline that is the opposite of defined. And once I hit my late 30s, I started to obsess about the state of the skin on the neck I already didn’t love. It was, um, sagging. Treston explained that I am a great candidate for a little “prejuvenation”; as are women in their 30s.
The procedure
I was warned to use a numbing cream on my face and take ibuprofen, which I did. When I arrived at the clinic, Treston cleansed my face and applied a cool ultrasound gel, which served as a conductor for the Ulthera wand. I have to say, despite the precautions, it still hurt. The most similar experience I could liken it to would be sticking a series of needles into your face. But it wasn’t nearly as painful as laser hair removal and it never hurt to the point where I thought I wouldn’t be able to take it.
When Treston gave me a mirror before moving on to the second half of my face, I could totally see a difference. And when we finished less than an hour later, I noticed an immediate tightening up around my jaw. Afterwards, I looked totally fine. My face did ache all over for more than a week and was also quite itchy – a sensation that cropped up on and off for several weeks after that – and I swear I still feel it sometimes, months later.
The verdict
Although there are some immediate results, the benefits are supposed to unfold as new collagen is produced. After more than three months, the recommended time for making judgements, I can really see a difference. And I’ve had about half-a-dozen compliments too, of the “you look really well” variety. Oddly, Treston had promised me in the office that is exactly what people would say. Word for word.
All I really wanted to change was my neck and jawline and there is an obvious improvement and tightening there. I hadn’t even thought about the grooves around my mouth (in the business they are called “nasal labial folds”) until I saw the before-and-after pictures. To me, they are quite diminished.
Treatments, which can also be tailored to target certain areas such as the chin, eyes or brow, are supposed to last for several years. I like that there is a viable, natural-looking freshening-up option out there that is not outrageously priced – compared with fillers and Botox, which are extremely expensive, can be painful, need to be done regularly and, let’s face it, can make people look weird if overdone. If you are ageing and concerned about your face and neck, with some money to spend, this is the way to go.
• A full face and neck Ultherapy treatment takes between 60 to 90 minutes and costs Dh18,000, including consultation, treatment and follow-up appointments. 


This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Harper's BAZAAR.

If you start noninvasive treatments early, you may not need a face-lift. My approach is three-dimensional. First, it's about targeting muscles—the foundation of the face—with an Ultherapy ultrasound treatment [$4,500], which tightens both muscles and skin by stimulating the production of collagen. For extreme sagging on the neck or jowls, I'd reach for ThermiRF, a radio-frequency device [$6,500]. A tiny needle goes inside the skin to melt fat and tighten. Next, it's about adding volume. I like to inject Restylane, a filler, under the muscle instead of directly in folds, for a nice plump lift—along the jawline, the front of the ears, and the apples of the cheeks. Finally, I'll resurface with a Fraxel Dual laser [$2,000]. It makes microscopic tunnels in the skin to create new collagen. If you have it done enough times, all of your old skin is replaced.

How Ultrasound Skin Tightening Can Firm, Lift Your Face

Many people don’t realize that ultrasound imaging can be used to lift skin and promote collagen production. One such noninvasive treatment, Ultherapy®, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Practitioners use the ultrasound treatment to target deep tissue layers. They can use the device to focus energy where it is most needed.
Ultrasound therapy — long used for imaging and other treatments — is now helping to give people’s faces a lift.
Ultherapy uses noninvasive ultrasound energy to lift the eyebrow, neck and under-chin. Recently, the FDA approved the technique for smoothing d├ęcolletage (chest area) lines & wrinkles as well. 

How does ultrasound therapy work? 

The ultrasound device reaches 4 mm deep under the skin, penetrating into the second layer of muscles underneath the facial muscles. Lasers don’t even go that deep.
Going deep into the skin matters because that’s where your skin makes new collagen.

Stimulating collagen creation 

Unlike other laser treatments that simply target the outer layers of skin, ultrasound therapybypasses the skin's surface. It delivers the collagen stimulating ultrasound energy to the deepest layers. 
The dermis layer of the skin contains most of the skin’s specialized cells and structures. It synthesizes less collagen each year after about age 20. For women, estrogen levels decrease after menopause. This leaves the skin drier, thinner, and not as taut as before.
Once the dermis begins producing the new collagen, sagging facial and neck skin lifts and starts to look younger and tighter.

A micro facelift without the scalpel 

Because ulrasound therapy  is noninvasive, there is no cutting, no stitches and no downtime, 
Ultherapy is a good alternative for those who cannot or do not want a face-lift or who at least want to put off surgery for a few years.
After the procedure, clients can go right back to their normal activities without having to follow any special post-procedure instructions. Most people see the full effect of the treatment about three to six months after the procedure. Some notice initial effects sooner. 
One treatment is usually sufficient. However, some people need three or more sessions to achieve the desired goal,

For mild to moderate skin laxity

People with mild to moderate facial and neck skin laxity make good candidates for ultrasound therapy treatments. Even younger people (i.e., under age 30) can use the procedure as a preventive measure.
Some plastic surgeons use the therapy on surgical face lift patients to enhance and prolong results of the surgery.

Monday, February 16, 2015

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU): The new miracle in Dermatology

What is HIFU ?

HIFU is a safe, non-surgical ultrasound treatment that counteracts the effects of time and gravity on your skin. HIFU uses the body's own regenerative response to gently and gradually lift skin on the eyebrow, under the chin and on the neck.

What is unique about HIFU ?

HIFU is the only non-invasive treatment cleared by the FDA to actually lift skin. HIFU is also the only cosmetic procedure to use ultrasound imaging, which allows practitioners to see the layers of tissue targeted during the treatment to ensure the energy is deposited to where it will be most beneficial.

Can HIFU replace a facelift ?

HIFU treats the deep foundational layer addressed in cosmetic surgery, but won't duplicate the results of a facelift. However, HIFU is a great alternative for those not ready for surgery or for patients looking to extend the effects of cosmetic surgery.

How does HIFU differ from laser treatments?

HIFU uses sound energy - tried-and-true ultrasound - which has unique properties that allow it to bypass the surface of the skin to treat depths unmatched by any other non-invasive cosmetic device. HIFU ultrasound stimulates collagen production in the skin's foundation, resulting in a clinically significant lift of tissue over 2-3 months.

Lasers rely on light energy, which cannot reach deeper skin layers at an optimal temperature, so laser treatments typically only treat superficial skin and are not FDA-cleared to lift skin.

Since the two technologies often treat different types of skin issues, they're actually very compatible.

How does HIFU stimulate the creation of collagen?

HIFU deposits focused ultrasound energy deep beneath the skin at the optimal temperature for collagen regeneration. The treatment jumpstarts a natural process known as neocollagenesis to strengthen existing collagen and produce fresh, new collagen. HIFU doesn't involve any creams, fillers or toxins; it just relies on your body's own collagen-building process for natural, noticeable results.

How long does an HIFU treatment take?

The length of the treatment will depend on the area being treated and your individual treatment plan. A face and neck procedure typically takes 60-90 minutes, while a chest treatment takes approximately 30 minutes.

Will I need to take time off?

With HIFU, there is no downtime. After your procedure, you can resume your normal activities immediately, without having to follow any special post-treatment measures.

What does the HIFU treatment feel like?

As the ultrasound energy is delivered, you will feel tiny amounts of energy being deposited to precise depths, indicating that the collagen-building process has been initiated. Comfort levels vary from person to person, but the sensation only lasts while the ultrasound energy is being delivered.

When will I see results from the HIFU treatment? How long do they last?

You may see some initial effect, but the ultimate results from HIFU will take place over 2-3 months, as tired collagen is rejuvenated by the growth of new collagen. Most patients enjoy fresh, young collagen for at least a year after their procedure. As skin continues to age, future touch-up treatments can help keep pace with the natural aging process.

How many HIFU treatments will I need?

Most patients only need one treatment. However, based on the degree of skin laxity, the biological response to ultrasound energy and the individual's collagen-building process, some patients benefit from additional treatments. Because skin continues to age, future HIFU treatments can help patients keep pace with the body's natural aging process.

Are there any side effects?

The skin might appear flushed at first, but the redness should disappear within a few hours. Some patients experience slight swelling, tingling or tenderness to the touch, but these are temporary in nature. Other, less common post-procedural effects may include temporary bruising or numbness on small areas of skin. As with any medical procedure, there is the possibility for other rare effects, which your practitioner will review with you.

Is HIFU safe?

The FDA-cleared HIFU procedure has been used safely in over 250,000 treatments worldwide. Ultrasound energy has been used safely in the medical field for more than 50 years.

How much does the HIFU procedure cost?

The cost of an HIFU treatment can range depending upon the area being treated and factors such as geographic location and individual physician practices.

Who is a good candidate for HIFU ?

A good candidate has mild to moderate skin laxity where the skin begins to feel and look less firm. Examples include a lowered eyebrow line, loose skin on the neck, sagging under the chin, and fine lines or wrinkles on the chest. Of course, the best way to find out if you're an HIFU candidate is to consult with a practitioner.


In today's day and age Jewellery is an important part of daily life BUT do we really pause to think about the ramifications of wearing products whose composition might be horribly detrimental to our health.

One such ingredient in artificial jewellery is LEAD.

Lead in jewellery and other products may look different from pure lead, depending on how much lead is in the product. Items that are made with a high percentage of lead are greyish in colour, heavy for their size and may leave a grey mark when rubbed against a piece of white paper if the lead is not coated.

The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure of adults to lead at work has resulted in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system. Lead exposure may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists or ankles. Lead exposure also causes small increases in blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older people. Lead exposure may also cause anemia. At high levels of exposure, lead can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately cause death. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. High-level exposure in men can damage the organs responsible for sperm production.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cautionary tale from Hong Kong !

We in India are faced with even bigger problems.

Doctors say that only medical professionals should be operating high-risk equipment in beauty parlours; high charges are criticised
Beauty parlours that offer laser skin treatment will continue to pose a danger until they are forced to use only licensed medical professionals to operate equipment, a panel of doctors told a forum yesterday.
In one case, a woman who received laser treatment from a beauty parlour suffered a second-degree burn, said Connie Lau Yin-hing, a former chairwoman of the Consumer Council and a panel speaker.
In another example of why regulation is needed, the forum was told that one parlour charged as much as HK$240,000 for its laser skin treatment - more than double what a dermatologist would normally charge.
At present, anyone performing laser treatment or operating intense pulsed-light equipment is not required to have medical training. Doctors say professionals should be operating such sophisticated equipment.
Lau said the Consumer Council received 99 complaints about light-based cosmetic treatments in the first 10 months of this year - already more than last year's total. Some of them were critical of hefty charges by the beauty parlours, Lau said.
Misleading advertisements were also common, Lau said. Some touted permanent hair removal, but Lau said tests by the US Food and Drug Administration did not support such claims.
Lau, who is also chairwoman-designate of a working group set up by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, said Hong Kong needed laws to ensure "the right person does the right thing".
"It's necessary to have a certain level of regulation. High-risk medical procedures should be performed only by qualified doctors," Lau said.
Hong Kong Surgical Laser Association president Dr Chan Wai-man said the government should pass legislation to bar non-doctors from using the high-risk equipment. "At present, anyone can open a clinic and use such equipment, even if they do not have a medical qualification."
He said veteran specialists agreed that using intense pulsed-light equipment was tricky. "When the intensity is too low, the customer will say it's not working. When it's too high, there'll be side effects."
Medical Association vice-president Dr Chow Pak-chin said legislation should cover four aspects: import, installation, repair and use of the equipment. "Beauty parlours would be responsible for ensuring the first three areas are OK."
Chow said it took a fatal accident in October involving the DR beauty centre for the government to wake up to the problem.