Updated: May 21, 2021
As the latest results proven non-surgical technology, HIFU ( High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) treatment has became very popular. We have seen a growing trend of this non-surgical solution for anti-aging purpose, you might have seen so many brands of HIFU treatment devices and other skin tightening treatment such as Thermage (monopolar radio frequency) on a skin clinic's treatment menu and not entirely sure which one you should get, let's find out what's the most suitable one for you in this article.
To understand the technology behind:
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is an non-invasive cosmetic technology which delivers ultrasonic energy to "heat" the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The procedure aims to define the skin around the facial and neck areas by stimulating the reproduction of collagen. It is designed to improve the texture of your skin, address skin sagging condition, rejuvenate your skin and make you look younger in as little as one to two sessions.
Monopolar radio frequency (RF) The radio frequency therapy uses low diffused radiation energy to heat the dermis layer of the skin. Research has found that radio frequency is usually safe and can be used to treat mild signs of aging.
In the table below, we will compare the difference between each commonly known device brands ( Ultraformer III; Ulfit; Ultherapy; Thermage FLX ) from a few angles including: What conditions will be suitable? What's the treatment depths? Can the applied energy reach SMAS layer of your skin? Is the treatment painful? What's the price you will be looking at for each treatment? and Which medical company is the manufacturer of the device?
What is SMAS layer? and Why is it important for younger looking skin?
The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) is a tissue sheet of collagen and elastin fibres, and fat cells extending from the neck up to the forehead. It plays a major role in facial expression by connecting mimetic muscles to the dermis.
The SMAS lies below the subcutaneous fat layer, envelops the muscles of facial expression, and extends superficially to connect with the dermis.
The SMAS layer is composed of collagen and elastic fibres similar to the dermis of the skin; however, it has more durable holding property and less delayed relaxation after lifting procedures than dermis of the skin alone. Therefore, the SMAS is a desirable target depth for non-invasive skin tightening procedures.
How does (RF) Radio frequency work on our skin? Thermal stimulation using RF may temporarily changes the helical structure of the collagen within the skin dermis and induces its momentary thermos-coagulation. It also thermally stimulates dermal fibroblast and induces production of new collagen and elastin. Such scenario causes structural change in the dermis and induces skin tightening. How does HIFU work on our skin? HIFU is a typical non-surgical treatment that stimulates collagen within the SMAS and the dermis, and induces skin tightening. It can effectively induce the contraction of both without stimulation by focusing ultrasonic waves in a specific part of the dermal tissue.
The table below shows the difference in terms of treatment depth which HIFU, RF and LASER treatment can reach.