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Ultherapy: Say Goodbye to Sagging Skin!
Written by Dr Shehla Ebrahim   

Stand firm in the face of gravity.

Few things are as inevitable as gravity's toll on your skin. One day, all of a sudden, reality stares you square in the face. You might initially think it's because you did not sleep well the previous night, but eventually you admit that an afternoon nap is not going to solve this issue. It’s a bona fide eyebrow droop!

Non-surgical methods to treat laxity of the face and neck are among the most sought-after solutions in aesthetic medicine. Many technologies to tighten the skin have been introduced in the past, and a variety claim to achieve skin tightening. Yet none have been shown to be consistent and reproducible, and many patients leave dissatisfied. Enter Ultherapy: a novel technology and a quantum leap from other non-surgical, energy-based devices used to tighten and lift the skin. This technology combines ultrasound imaging with acoustic energy to visualize tissue under the skin followed by the precise delivery of energy to the desired depth.

Ultherapy: A Non-surgical Breakthrough

As we get older, our faces sag and wrinkles appear due to gravity and sun. Until recently, the main approach to the improvement of skin laxity was a facelift – an effective but invasive procedure associated with downtime plus a risk of scarring and side effects. Ultherapy using ultrasound is a novel device that delivers energy that tightens the skin without cutting. No scalpels, no needles, no cutting. Ultherapy, however, is not a facelift and does not give the same results as a facelift. A facelift stops the clock. Ultherapy slows down the aging process by creating new structural collagen. As a standalone treatment, Ultherapy may be optimal for surgical candidates who are unwilling or unable to undergo facial surgery or for those candidates who wish to postpone surgery.

The beauty of Ultherapy is that there is no downtime. There is no swelling, bruising or crusting and patients can return to work the same day. It’s aptly called the “lunchtime lift.” Ultherapy uses ultrasound heat to set collagen production into overdrive deep below the skin’s surface. As it kicks in, the brow firms, the jaw line becomes well defined and the neck lifts. It’s a lunchtime lift without any surgery. Even more alluring is that Ultherapy provides an immediate smoothing effect. And since the collagen continues to grow, results actually improve over the course of a few months. More than 90 percent of patients notice improvement in tone, texture and some tightening within a few weeks, and are even more excited with the results after three to six months, when the deep wrinkles become fine lines and eyes appear more open.

The duration of response after a single treatment is estimated to last about 1.5 years. The ideal candidate is someone between 35 and 60 with early signs of laxity. These patients see results within three to six months with a single treatment. Patients over the age of 60 may require a second treatment in six months. Many patients are looking to stay competitive in the workforce, which they believe is tied to their appearance. Whether improving their appearance to look more vibrant or for the associated confidence boost, people perceive this to be important and they come into my office looking for help.

Stand Firm in the Face of Gravity

Ultherapy has been extensively publicized in the media as a safe and effective procedure for lifting and tightening of the skin. You may have seen Ultherapy through Dr. Oz, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar or other fashion magazines. Once it was featured on the larger talk shows, the floodgates opened and our phones were ringing off the hook. Be aware that every procedure has risks and side effects if not done properly. With Ultherapy, the heat from the procedure could make you wince, and transient numbness along the jaw line is possible, though temporary. It is, therefore, important to locate an experienced physician to perform the procedure.

Ultherapy offers a distinct advantage over other non-surgical alternatives. Most non-surgical, energy-based devices currently on the market treat only the skin’s surface. Ultherapy goes deeper, providing a different dimension to rejuvenation; depositing energy at very precise depths because it sees and treats at the same time. Treatments can also be individualized according to each patient’s concern. Because the effects occur below the surface, treating specific facial areas individually is certainly possible with Ultherapy. However, most patients select full-face treatments as the best option for a more uniform result.

before and after photos front of face

before and after photos side profile of face

Dr Shehla Ebrahim - Dr

2011 nominee for best doctor on the North Shore, Dr Shehla Ebrahim has a diploma in dermatology and is a certificant and fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. In practice as a family physician since 1992, Dr Ebrahim turned to aesthetic medicine in response to her patients’ growing demand for cosmetic procedures. Her greatest areas of interest include laser- and light-based therapies for several dermatological conditions, including rosacea, acne, acne scars and anti-aging as well as women’s health, osteoporosis, menopause and weight management. Dr Ebrahim has two thriving medical spas on the North Shore that have earned a wide variety of accolades. www.afterglowskincare.ca

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