You know how sometimes you start out a conversation about one thing and it turns into a totally different conversation? Or you know you want to buy one kind of thing and you end up completely loving something else?
Well, this kind of thing happens all the time in the medical field. Lots and lots of drugs are sold “off-label” because their side effects are often found to be good for some other ailment — that’s how they discovered Minoxidil (Rogaine) to help reverse baldness! It was a drug originally used for treating high blood pressure, but patients and health care providers noticed that hair growth was a side effect of treatment.
Other off-label uses of drugs produced cures or help for
premature ejaculation, infertility, smoking cessation, loss of sex drive and more. So when you think about it, it really makes sense that a machine used to target and treat tumors could also have an effect on other body parts.
HIFU stands for high-intensity focused ultrasound. It is a non-invasive procedure, originally developed to eliminate prostate cancers, which uses sound waves, instead of surgery or radiation, to target and destroy tumors. With real-time imaging and software, HIFU delivers precise, focused ultrasound energy to break down the diseased cells.
So, thought some clever researchers, can High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound treatment replace facelifts? Those guys are always thinking.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is now also being used for cosmetic skin tightening, and we here at Beauty of Wax, Where South Florida Comes to Get Sexy, always on the forefront of those beauty trends, have one of the area’s first HIFU machines, and our technicians have been well-trained by the manufacturer to use it correctly and to deliver the best results.
HIFU has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for brow lifts and to improve lines and wrinkles of the upper chest and neckline (décolletage). Several clinical trials have found HIFU to be safe and effective for facial lifting and refining wrinkles. While the procedure is also used for overall facial rejuvenation, lifting, tightening, and body contouring, these are considered “off-label” uses for HIFU, meaning the FDA has yet to approve HIFU for these purposes.
Oh, there’s that off-label thing again. Without it, we might all be bald, sexless, infertile, celibate, sad, and so wrinkly. What a great idea that was.
So, Here’s How It Works.
HIFU uses focused ultrasound energy to target the layers of skin just below the surface. This rapidly heats up the tissue. The cells reach a certain temperature and they experience cellular damage, which actually stimulates them to produce collagen, the protein that provides structure to the skin.
The increase in collagen ultimately results in tighter, firmer skin with fewer wrinkles. Since the HIFU beams are focused below the skin’s surface, there’s no damage to the upper layers.
Is HIFU for You?
HIFU may not be for everyone. In general, it works best on people over 30 with mild-to-moderately loose skin. Some people see results immediately after the first treatment while others may need several treatments. Those with more extensive aging or very saggy skin on the neck may not be good candidates. Call us for your free consultation.
I personally am hoping to try it soon on my neck which is…moderately saggy? — and will post my before and after photos here. Keep watching!
Why You Should Consider HIFU
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), HIFU and other non-surgical alternatives to facelifts have become more and more popular over the last few years. The total number of this type of procedure has increased 64.8 percent between 2012 and 2017.
If you are a good HIFU candidate, the procedure can offer you:
- wrinkle reduction
tightening of sagging skin on the neck
lifting of the cheeks, eyebrows, and eyelids
Enhancing the definition of the jawline
tightening of the décolletage
smoothing of the skin overall
Study results are promising. A 2017 Korean study of 32 people showed that HIFU significantly improved skin elasticity of the cheeks, lower abdomen, and thighs after 12 weeks. In a larger study of 93 people, 66 percent of those treated with HIFU perceived an improvement in the appearance of their face and neck after 90 days.
Here’s a summary of the major differences between HIFU and a surgical facelift:
Chart courtesy of Healthline.com
Most significant, to me anyway, is the cost: According to ASAPS, the average cost for non-surgical skin tightening procedure in 2017 was $1,707, while a surgical facelift carried an average cost of $7,562. Here in South Florida, I hear it’s more like $20k with a good surgeon, by the time you figure in anesthesia and hospital costs, not to mention the downtime. And of course, you want a good surgeon.
The good news is that the cost of a HIFU treatment at Beauty of Wax will only cost you a fraction of that amount, around $250 – $1,200 per area depending on the work to be done.
Will It Hurt???
Maybe a little. It’s sometimes what we have to do in the quest for beauty. Some people describe it as tiny electric pulses or a light prickly sensation. If you’re worried about pain, take an aspirin or ibuprofen before coming in, and, as someone once (actually more than once) said to me, “Suck it up, Buttercup!”
Immediately after the treatment, you may experience mild redness or swelling, which will gradually recede over the next few hours.
There’s no special prep needed before the procedure. Just come in bare-faced and be ready to leave the spa even more beautiful than when you arrived — like almost everyone who comes in here.
You can resume your normal daily activities right away.
Here’s a Before and After picture of a real patient after just one session!
Of course, HIFU isn’t a miracle cure for aging. Like anything, it doesn’t last forever, and you may need to have the procedure repeated in one to two years as the natural aging process takes over.
But if you’re looking for a treatment that is quick, painless, and noninvasive, HIFU may be an excellent option. Come on in and let’s see if it’s right for you.
Mention this blog post for 10% off your first treatment. But you may have to wait for a table cause I’ll be there first!