Age is Just a Number You Choose – Non-Surgical Face Lifting
It is quite obvious that modern life takes its toll on your skin and hair. I now see premature ageing as a common symptom amongst practically all city dwellers. (This even though we live most of our lives in covered and often air-conditioned environments)
The first line of treatment for age-related conditions (skin or otherwise) is definitely to start maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are no substitutes for the same. However, I acknowledge that this is often easier said than done. Hence the little external help needed to look your best.
So let’s start with: What is a facelift?
In layman’s words: Any procedure that helps you get rid of signs of ageing like:
and makes your face look younger could qualify as a facelift.
Surgical v/s ‘Non-surgical’ facelift…
Surgical facelifts have been performed from the early part of the 20th century. One of the first facelifts on record is of the year 1901. This generally involves surgery which helps remove excess skin and tissue around the facial features and gives an appearance of tightening of the skin and hence youth.
However, being a surgery they carry the risks that are associated with the same. There is no doubt that medical sciences have made leaps of progress and surgeries no longer pose the same risk that they did in the early parts of 20th century, but they are surgeries none the less and carry some amount of risk.
This has given rise to a whole area of medical research involving non-surgical and sometimes non-invasive techniques
In this article, I try to cover some of the current trends in anti-ageing treatments that are specifically non-surgical and centred around rejuvenating the face.
I would largely qualify them under two categories:
I have written a few articles on Lasers and Injectable Treatments which I encourage you to read through.
But I believe skin tightening/lifting using heat and ultrasound need a bit more clarity.
So here’s the general idea behind these treatments…
An energy source is used to generate heat and hence controlled damage to the cells in the inner / deeper layers of the skin. This stimulates the production of collagen – a protein that provides structure to the skin. The increase in collagen results in tighter, firmer skin with fewer wrinkles.
Now comes the real question that you need to ask: What energy source?
This is exactly what has been evolving over the years and now there are quite a few techniques used to generate the heat in the deeper layers of skin. As listed above these include direct heat, lasers, RF and ultrasound.
In my opinion, the efficacy of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is far more for the specified purpose than other sources like lasers, heat and RF. Also, the fact that there is zero downtime after the procedure and the fact that it is painless make it a favourite choice.
And what is HIFU?
Well, it stands for high intensity focused ultrasound. Which means that ultrasound waves are concentrated and with the help of a probe directed on the skin. This ultrasound ‘beam’ acts on the lower / deeper layers of the skin activating collagen generation without affecting the upper layers of skin or surrounding tissue in any manner.
On a side note – Ultrasound waves are used for sonography during pregnancy, this talks tons about the safety of the procedure. But definitely like all medical procedures this should be carried out by a trained medical professional.
Am I a candidate for HIFU?
HIFU although the safest skin tightening procedure has limitations. It works best on people with mild to moderate skin laxity. For extreme cases of skin sagging often it needs to be accompanied by injectable treatments. Also sometimes multiple sessions are needed before a person can see results.
What can I expect as results?
Here are some definite conditions where substantial improvements can be expected with HIFU:
– Wrinkle reduction
– Tightening sagging skin on the neck (sometimes called turkey neck)
– Lifting the cheeks and eyebrows
– Enhancing jawline definition
– Smoothing the skin
Optimal results are seen 2-3 months post-procedure with enough time given for activation of collagen and restoration of cells.
What can I expect before, during and after the procedure?
The best thing about HIFU is that there’s no special preparation needed before having a HIFU procedure. Just stop using all creams on face and neck two days before and after the procedure.
During the procedure, first, thorough cleaning of the treatment areas is done. Ultrasound gel is then applied to the target areas and then the procedure is started.
During the procedure which lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, one may experience mild pricking sensation but no pain. Mild redness or swelling can occur which subsides within 24 hours.
Since there are no incisions there is no scarring and no requirement of rest or recovery time.
Sun exposure needs to be avoided immediately post-procedure.
On a parting note: The ‘human condition’ is a given; and something we all must go through. A doctor’s job remains to make this ‘condition’ just a little better. These procedures, that we dermatologists perform are sometimes just those little boosts we all need to make life a little happier.
Built on more than a decade of experience of Dr Sejal Saheta, we are the honest and affordable, skin and hair care clinic. Our goal is to make each patient comfortable and happy with their appearance with the least amount of intervention.
Equipped with the latest technology, here qualified and trained doctors to conduct and supervise all procedures in strict adherence to protocols developed by Dr Saheta.
We are happy to be a part of your journey to reach your health goals. If you think we have been able to help you, please do review us:
This article is one in a series of articles on skin conditions by Dr Sejal Saheta – MD, DNB – Dermatology and Venereology. The objective of this series is to educate the reader and help them take precautions against various skin conditions they come across on an everyday basis. These articles are not meant to be used by patients for self-diagnosis or for avoiding proper medical treatment. The images used in the above blogs are just for the visual representation of the treatment results may vary from patient to patient