IMPROVING SKIN ELASTICITY
The face is not made of skin alone. Under the skin, and pretty much in continuation with it, are the fibrous tissues that surrounds the fat pockets, the muscles of the face as well as ligaments. Together they make up the fibromuscular layer is also called the SMAS. Skin tightening is therefore about contracting not just the skin, but also the fibromuscular layer of the skin in the face such that face gets lifted.
This is one of the layer which surgeons tighten during an open-surgical-facelift. It is also the layer which many thread lift methods like the Silhouette Threads or the Aptos Threads target.
With Ultherapy, we can target the SMAS non-invasively. With a built-in ultrasound scan, Ultherapy can accurately locate the SMAS and deliver a very precise dose of energy to it. This results in the collagen regeneration, increased elasticity and lifting of the face. Because it is non-surgical, there is no recovery-time.
With Thermage, we can also cause collagen regeneration within the skin to give skin more elasticity.
COMPARISON OF SKIN TIGHTENING METHODS
• Thermage give better skin changes while Ultherapy is stronger for skin tightening and face lifting, although both are quite mild (our personal opinion). These 2 are non-invasive (as in no needles or injections) and leave no-recovery time.
• The Radiesse Lift is very slightly invasive as it involves placing a filler product under the skin. The recovery time may be a few days of swelling and occasionally some bruising. The skin tightening results are a touch better than Thermage or Ultherapy.
• Thread Lifts are again a notch up the invasive-ness scale of things. They involve placing threads to tether at and reposition the subcutaneous fat compartments upwards. Some bruising and swelling is normally to be expected after a procedure.
• Thread Lifts cannot be directly compared to Thermage, Ultherapy or The Radiesse Lift. The indications are quite different. Simplistically put, I would reserve Thread Lifts for more severe sagging, which the less invasive methods may not work. The tradeoff with Thread Lifts are the “down-time” and occasional dimpling and unevenness.
• Thermage, Ulthera and The Radiesse Lift can be combined (although at different times) as they target different layers of skin and the tissues beneath the skin.
• The DL Lift, a filler technique popularized by Dr David Loh, complements all the above skin tightening methods.
• These is also the Ultherapy V Lift where we combine ultherapy with certain fillers to create more V shaped face.