You’re as young as you feel is a cliché that usually doesn’t hold up when you look in the mirror each morning. Sure, tucks, cuts, lifts and boosts do help fight age and gravity to some extent, but the accompanying pain and scarring makes most people turn to either ineffective anti-ageing creams or give in to what’s politely referred to as “ageing gracefully”.
Those who don’t want to age without putting up a fight now have a potent weapon in ultratherapy, a “no incision-no needles” face-lift that uses ultrasound waves to fill out the skin creases and folds with startling ease. All you have to do is pop over to a plastic surgeon’s clinic with your credit card and leave an hour later with improvement in skin tone. But the improvement doesn’t stop there. Slowly, over the next 12 weeks, your skin will tighten and smooth out the grooves and creases further, taking several years off your face without the downside of the dramatic and often embarrassing changes associated with surgical facelifts.
Popularly referred to as the lunchtime facelift, what ultratherapy does is freeze time and then slowly reverse ageing by tightening skin from the inside out in a single FDA-approved treatment. It works by directing short bursts of ultrasound waves to the deeper layers of the skin to generate heat and stimulate the production of natural collagen.
“The skin’s response to the heat is to contract immediately and then to stimulate the growth of natural collagen over time. This new collagen provides volume to lift and tighten the skin over the next few months, with the results peaking three months following a single treatment session,” says Dr Shahin Nooreyezdan, senior consultant cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon, Apollo Hospitals.
The system works best on brows and chin, widening the eyes and giving back a defined jawline, lasting for more than two years. “Though it’s new in India, it’s being widely used in the US in combination with other treatments such as botox and fillers to redefine a person’s face,” says Dr Nooreyezdan. He recommends it for people over 35 years. “If you start at 35, you will stay 35 for quite a while and end up not requiring a facelift at all,” he says.
No colour bias
To test whether the procedure is as effective on Indian skin, Dr Nooreyezdan tracked the effects of the therapy on 38 people aged between 42 and 70 years since October 2011. “The effects are as startling, with the face and neck showing the most improvement. It’s virtually painless, with some people complaining of slight pain during the procedure, which can be controlled using a combiflam. No anesthesia, local or otherwise, is needed,” he says. Post treatment, skin might appear flushed, but this too subsides in a day or two.
The entire procedure takes 65-70 minutes. “The tightening is so natural that you forget how much older you looked six months ago,” he says.
A big plus is that unlike other procedures, the technology is safe. “Ultrasound imaging technology has an established track record and is safe enough to be used to see a baby in the womb or create visuals of the inside of the body. The Ulthrea system uses the same technology to see beneath the layers of skin and tissue while it’s being treated,” says Dr Nooreyezdan.Priced between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.10 lakh, the procedure doesn’t come cheap. "People don’t mind spending on procedures that are safe and effective. And why not? Your face is something you wear every day," says Dr Nooreyezdan.