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Facial Tightening with Ulthera: A Good Investment?

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Ultherapy Reviews: Does it Help With Facial Tightening? Via Unsplash

Another non-invasive facial rejuvenation option is gathering momentum in the marketplace. The device, marketed by an Arizona company, is called Ulthera, and the treatment is called Ultherapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the equipment for treating saggy forehead skin in 2009, and today cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and other doctors use it for tightening skin all over the face and neck.

What makes Ultherapy different than other non-invasive facial treatments on the market today—notably, Thermage and fractional laser technology—is it employs ultrasound to do its work. Whereas the Thermage system uses heat to penetrate the skin’s surface and Fraxel and similar devices use laser technology, Ulthera relies on sound waves to penetrate surface skin. As explained in the manufacturer’s press release, the sound waves trigger the body’s healing response, producing more collagen to support surface tissues. The skin is essentially lifted from underneath, as a firmer foundation builds 3-6 months following treatment.

Another innovation Ulthera employs is imaging. Ultrasound enables doctors to see under surface skin and precisely target the treatment area. According to the manufacturer, this results in increased safety and effectiveness.

Should You Try Ulthera?

The device has been on the market and in doctors’ offices for just over a year now, and most reviews are enthusiastic. In fact, on www.realself.com, 94 percent of the 24 patients who gave a review gave their treatment a thumbs up. You can’t get much better than that.

In comparison, on the same website, 40 percent of 175 RealSelf patients who tried Thermage found treatment to be worth the cost, and only 54 percent of 372 Fraxel patients rated that option highly. Even allowing for a smaller range of experiences based on the limited patient pool, the Ulthera results are impressive.

Should You Wait?

Still, there are reasons to stop and think before rushing out to find an Ultherapy provider near you.

The first and most obvious is the fact that the technology is so new.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I will be 60 in February and I have had ultherapy for the past three Decembers. I suppose you can say I was a pioneer. I had tried thermage and thought it was a total waste of money.

There is no question that ulthera works for me. My goal is not to look 25, but to keep a jawline and not to have jowls. I just want to age gracefully. The results are amazing. Many people think I look like I'm in my 40s (probably puffery), but even I know I don't look 60.

But, in all honesty, it's painful. I had natural childbirth many moons ago, so I can handle pain. And I do keep coming back for more. My dermatologist gives serious pain meds before the procedure which helps.

I do swell and bruise a bit after the procedure -- I tend to do that even though most people don't. So I schedule a couple of days of downtime afterward. But most people don't have to do that. The results improve over a couple of months and last a good while. But aging does continue, so I have the procedure once a year.

I had been doing just my lower and mid face, but added my brow area this last time. My eyes already deem more open.

Good luck. I highly recommend the procedure.

December 28, 2013 - 8:08am

That's great news! Would you mind sharing how much the procedure cost?


February 25, 2011 - 1:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

At 52, I had the procedure done. The physician used nerve blocking agent so the pain was minimal. Two hours after the procedure, I was at a business affair and no one noticed a thing.
4 months later, I can say I am very satisfied with the results. Would reccomend to anyone wanting to firm the jowels and under the chin.

February 25, 2011 - 12:32pm

Thanks for the review! Lots of what I've read does make Ultherapy sound promising...


February 2, 2011 - 9:07pm
EmpowHER Guest

I will be 51 this month and for my birthday, I had the treatment Ulthera all over my face and neck about a month ago. They gave me a pain killer prior to the precedure and I could feel like hot needles going through my skin, and although some were painful, they were tolerable. They say I can see the full results in about 2-3 months but I can already say I love the way my face looks! I was having sagging skin from my cheeks and neck, wrinkles on my forehead and smile lines, but now my skin has already tightened quite a bit; and it will only get better! The procedure lasted a little over an hour I think, and there was no down time; in fact I didn't have bruising and only mild swelling, but nothing noticeable. I recommend this procedure a hundred percent!

February 2, 2011 - 8:47pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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