Fine Lines

Volume 3, Issue 2

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Focused Ultrasound A Treatment to Tackle the Signs of Aging by Maggie Staszcuk As we age, collagen and elastin fibers break down and lead to fine lines and sagging jowls. According to dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD, our skin's collagen begins to diminish by 1 percent each year after the age of 30. 1 Skin on the neck is especially fragile and thinner than skin on the face and body. As a result, this area tends to develop signs of aging faster. One of the most popular ways to treat this area is with ultrasound. HOW IT WORKS Focused ultrasound for skin tightening uses the same technology as ultrasound for imaging purposes but with a different intensity. Similar to a magnifying glass focusing sunlight, ultrasound for skin works by rapidly heating the targeted tissue to between 65 and 70 degrees Celsius. 2 Ultrasound focuses this heat to a depth of 1.5–5 millimeters within the layer of the dermis where fibroblasts (the cells responsible for collagen and elastin production) are located. 3 As heat builds, the cells are damaged. 4 This cell damage is an important part of the process, but not the end goal; the goal is to encourage the body's wound-healing response to stimulate cells to rebuild. Over time, collagen and elastin increase, leading to smoother, plumper looking skin. WHAT TO EXPECT A good candidate for focused ultrasound has mild to moderate skin laxity (loose skin under the chin and around the neck, or fine lines and wrinkles in this region). Ultrasound skin tightening treatments have little to no downtime, although some clients may experience redness or tingling that resolves within a few hours. During treatment, comfort levels will vary. Some clients report discomfort due to the amount of heat generated by the ultrasound device, but this sensation only lasts while the ultrasound energy is being applied. 5 Pain management in the form of numbing agents may be used. Results typically appear over the course of 90 days and can be achieved with one treatment. Ask your esthetician if this is a service they can provide, or if they can refer you to someone qualified to perform this advanced work. ▪ Notes 1. Emily Taylor, "4 Doctor-Approved Ways to Tighten and Tone Loose Skin," New Beauty, April 28, 2020, tone-and-tighten-loose-skin. 2. Emily Taylor, "4 Doctor-Approved Ways to Tighten and Tone Loose Skin." 3. Sabrina Guillen Fabi, "Noninvasive Skin Tightening: Focus on New Ultrasound Techniques," Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology 8 (February 2015): 47–52, CCID.S69118. 4. Jacquelyn Cafasso, "Can High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Treatment Replace Face Lifts?" Healthline, February 4, 2019, 5. Ultherapy, "Frequently Asked Questions About Ultherapy," accessed June 2021, questions. 16 ASCP Fine Lines

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