What’s New in Skin Tightening

by Dr. Scott Walter

A common complaint we hear from our patients at AboutSkin Dermatology is skin laxity – especially around the eyes and in the neck area.  It is natural to lose volume in these areas and the rest of the face as we age, especially with chronic sun exposure which leads to broken elastic fibers and collagen loss in our skin.  Using today’s latest technology at AboutSkin there are now multiple effective treatments to help tighten skin!

These include Ultherapy (also known as microfocused ultrasound with visualization) and the new Lutronic Genius device (microneedling with radiofrequency heat).   At AboutSkin in the Denver area (Lone Tree and Greenwood Village locations) we are dedicated to providing the most up to date options in skin rejuvenation.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is an FDA approved non-invasive treatment that uses microfocused ultrasound technology to help tighten areas of skin laxity or sagging.  It helps stimulate collagen growth and increased elasticity under the skin without disrupting the surface of the skin. It is most often used to raise the eyebrows, tighten the neck and improve the jowls.  We are even seeing results in tightening the décolletage. The entire face, neck, and chest can be treated. Some patients notice tightening immediately, however most results are noticed at 2 to 3 months as new collagen produced.  While most patients will see significant results after one treatment, some patients will benefit from a second treatment.   Of course, nothing will halt the aging process, so treatments can be repeated every 1-2 years.

What’s the latest evidence on Ultherapy?

Just this year a clinical trial out of Germany reported that a single treatment of Ultherapy significantly increased skin elasticity at 12 and 24 weeks post-treatment.  22 women, average age of 52 years, with moderate to severe skin sagging in the jawline and submental (below the chin) area where studied. Elasticity was measured by skin firmness and involution [1].  This study helped show how Ultherapy is actually changing the biology in aging skin and helping to reverse the aging process.  Previous studies have demonstrated stimulation of collagen production following Ultherapy [2].

What are the side effects of Ultherapy?

  • Occasionally, some mild bruising may occur.
  • Skin in the area of treatment may be tender to the touch for up to 6 weeks
  • Swelling (often up to 1 week, average 3-4 days)
  • Instant feeling of tightness
  • Tension, and sometimes a headache (especially with treatment of brow area)

What is Genius?

Genius is the newest device at AboutSkin Dermatology and Dermsurgery.  You may know its predecessor, the Infini.   Genius is a combination of microneedling combined with high intensity radiofrequency technology.  This device uses microneedles to puncture the skin while at the same time delivering precise radiofrequency energy (heat). By creating these “microinjuries” and introducing heat, the procedure activates the body’s normal healing processes.  This leads to collagen production, which in turn leads to skin tightening and rejuvenation. This is all done while protecting the top layer of the skin (meaning minimal downtime and safe in all skin types).  Genius not only helps to tighten skin but also helps with fine lines, wrinkles, texture and scars. 

What makes Genius different from Infini?

  • With Genius, there is increased precision with the delivery of radiofrequency energy in the skin. This allows more customized treatments depending on the patient and area treated.
  • Increased comfort for the patient

What to expect after Genius treatment?

  • A sunburn like reaction is expected and typically lasts 3-4 days, but it can persist up to 1 week.
  • Swelling and bruising around the eyes can occur and generally worse during the first 1-2 days.
  • A series of treatments provides the best results.

How much does Ultherapy or Genius treatments cost?

  • Treatment prices vary depending on the areas treated.

Not ready for a procedure?

  • Try our Sente neck cream or one of several eye creams. Both of these advanced creams contain a molecule called heparan sulfate which penetrates through the skin and helps attract water leading to increased hydration, firmness and elasticity.
  • These creams are also a great supplement to any of the above tightening procedures!

Please call our office to schedule a cosmetic consultation with one of the AboutSkin MDs or with our medical aesthetician at 303-756-7546.

References:

  1. Kerscher, M., Nurrisyanti, A. T., Eiben-Nielson, C., Hartmann, S., & Lambert-Baumann, J. (2019). skin physiology and safety of microfocused ultrasound with visualization for improving skin laxity. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 12, 71.
  2. MacGregor JL, Tanzi EL. Microfocused ultrasound for skin tightening. Semin Cutan Med Surg.2013;32:18-25.