When it comes to facelifts or similar aesthetic treatments, invasive surgeries may sound daunting for some of us. If you are afraid of needles or prefer to not undergo surgeries, the best alternative to look and feel good will be non-surgical aesthetic treatments. Moreover, in the recent years, we have been hearing a lot about HIFU and the lasting results it provides.
So, what is HIFU? Why is HIFU so popular in Singapore? Read on, as Become Aesthetics Clinic spills all the information you need to know in this Ultimate Guide to HIFU Treatment in Singapore.
What is HIFU?
HIFU is short for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. It is a non-surgical treatment that uses ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin. Since collagen depletes due to ageing, HIFU sets the foundation for anti-ageing as it helps with face lifting and skin tightening through collagen production in deeper layers of your skin. It is able to reach below the skin’s surface without damaging the upper layers with precision.
How does HIFU work?
How HIFU works is by delivering micro-focused waves of ultrasound energy that reaches your deep skin layers. The ultrasound energy heats the dermal and muscles layers resulting in mild inflammation. This process will then triggers new collagen growth for effective healing and tissue repair, which leads to a gradual improvement in your skin tone and texture. Additionally, the heat generated can also help to melt fats under the skin for effective double chin reduction.
Unlike surgical facelifts, HIFU procedure does not leave scars or require any incisions. Instead, it can provide you with similar results to a surgical facelift, but skipping the risks and complications that may imply with surgeries.
How deep can HIFU reach?
HIFU is currently the only non-invasive medical device that allows the deepest penetration of energy. It targets various depth of the skin at 1.5mm, 3mm and 4.5mm, without disrupting the skin surface.
The 3 different depths of the skin are:
- Superficial Dermis
- Deep Dermis
- Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS), where surgeons manipulate for surgical facelifts
At 1.5mm depth, where the process starts off, the ultrasound energy will helps to reduce the production of melanin to lighten and brighten the skin.
At 3.0mm depth, this is where precise and controlled heat energy is delivered to the deep dermis to stimulate collagen production for skin tightening.
Lastly, at 4.5mm is where the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) layer is situated, and the ultrasound energy will reach this layer for collagen stimulation and skin tightening, which results in an excellent lifting effect.
Which areas can HIFU treat?
HIFU can be used on both the face and neck to reduce the appearance of wrinkles whilst restoring a youthful glow. The treatment will target your dermis and superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) to induce collagen production to help improve wrinkles and saggy skin.
HIFU is ultimately ideal for those with skin laxity. It can treat wrinkles like forehead lines, frown lines, smile lines, crow’s feet and other wrinkled areas throughout the face, body and neck. In addition to that, it can also effectively treats cheek fat, double chin and saggy jowls to improve jawline and to obtain a V Shaped Face.
The Benefits of HIFU
Our skin’s structural foundation loses collagen and elastin as we age, and this results in wrinkles and sagging skin. HIFU is an effective non-surgical procedure that helps to slow down ageing by encouraging collagen and elastin production. The best part is that you do not have to undergo painful, invasive surgeries to achieve that. With a few HIFU treatments, you will notice a more youthful and firmer overall skin complexion.
Other than that, HIFU also have benefits which includes:
- Tightening and firming up saggy skin
- Lifting saggy face and jowls
- Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
- Reducing the appearance of double chin
- Melting excess fats in the cheeks
- Improving overall skin tone and texture
How is HIFU treatment like?
Before your HIFU treatment, we will have your face cleansed. After which, a layer of numbing cream will be applied onto your face for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on individuals. This step can be skipped, if you are comfortable to proceed without numbing cream.
Once your face is numbed, a cooling gel will be applied to help ease the movement of the HIFU probe. This is to ensure that the probe is able to glide smoothly over your skin and to protect your skin from the ultrasonic waves.
During the treatment, our doctor will target specific areas on your face and HIFU energy is delivered from the handheld device in short bursts. You may feel some slight discomfort as the energy is delivered to the treatment areas.
After the treatment, you can resume back to your normal activities immediately. As HIFU is a non-invasive treatment, you will only experience minimal downtime such mild redness and swelling. This is completely norma and it will resolve within a few hours.
How many HIFU treatments are needed to achieve results?
For you to achieve results, you will need to undergo one session of HIFU treatment every six to eight months. If you have severe sagging, two initial sessions with regular maintenance treatments every six months is recommended.
We only use medical-grade HIFU device to performed the treatment, and it will help to stimulate the production of collagen in skin over a period of time. Hence, the best clinical results are often visible after two to three months and peaks around the sixth month.
How long will the results from HIFU last?
You will notice long-lasting immediate and gradual results from HIFU. Some of you may see subtle tightening of the skin after the treatment, but it do not just stop there. HIFU also provides continuous improvement for up to a year after the treatment.
However, the lasting results of HIFU will ultimately depend on your skin condition, lifestyle or whether you are undergoing maintenance HIFU treatments to slow down the unavoidable ageing process. In order to maintain your desire appearance, it is recommended to get regular touch-up treatments.
Is HIFU a safe treatment?
Medical grade HIFU is approved by the respective authorities for being a safe and effective treatment in Singapore. HIFU has also been around for decades and is proven to be safe for medical use with no long term side effects. It is safe for all skin types with saggy skin, and perfect for those who do not want undergo surgeries.
Does HIFU have side effects?
Although HIFU is a safe treatment for non-surgical face lifting, but there are some side effects you need to be aware of.
Some of you may feel some sensation of pricking and heat during your HIFU Treatment. However, this is only during the procedure, there is no further pain felt after. Numbing cream can be applied to the treatment area if you felt any intense pain.
If you have sensitive skin, you may experience some mild redness on the treatment areas. This is not permanent and will subside a few hours after the treatment.
This is a rare side effect of HIFU treatment. You may experience mild swelling, which will disappear a few days after treatment. Once it subside, you can notice the age-rewinding benefits of your HIFU treatment.
This side effect is also very rare and usually occurs in delicate areas, like your lips and eyes. As HIFU energy penetrate through the deep layers of the skin to reach the dermis and superficial muscular aponeurotic systems layer (SMAS), this occasionally may cause minor damage and may lead to a feeling of numbness.
Is HIFU Painful?
HIFU has minimal discomfort that will last for a few seconds during the procedure. You may feel a slight ache or heat sensation due to the warm pulses of energy that is delivered to your skin layers, and it will cause collagen to contract. This is an indication that collagen production is taking place. However, it really depends on individual as others have reported feeling no pain from HIFU treatments.
What to expect from HIFU treatment?
You can expect to see mild results right after treatment such as slight skin tightening and improved skin texture. The full positive result of HIFU treatment appears after 2 to 3 months as collagen fibres take time to mature for lifting effect to be visible and obvious. The long term results that are noticeable include:
- Firmer skin with less sagging
- Lifted and smoother face contours
- Reduced wrinkles and pores
- Brighter skin tone
How is HIFU different from other treatments?
In the market, HIFU is the only medical treatment that allow the deepest penetration of ultrasound energy. It penetrates the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) for face lifting and skin tightening. This is the layer where cosmetic surgeon work on for surgical facelifts.
HIFU and Radio-frequency (RF)
When comparing HIFU to Radio-frequency (RF), remember that RF procedures are often used for skin tightening via heating the skin. It uses bulk heating, which concentrates on the epidermal layers, and does not penetrate the deep dermis. HIFU delivers more energy deep into the skin which is more effective for tightening and lifting the tissues underneath.
HIFU and Lasers
Laser treatments specifically target on the superficial layers of the skin. It address conditions such as fine lines, pigmentation or uneven skin tone. Unlike HIFU, where it target deeper skin layers such as the deep dermis or the SMAS layer. The SMAS layer is the foundational skin layer that is tightened in cosmetic facelift surgery.
It is not an apple to apple comparison for HIFU and Laser treatments. In fact, these two treatments actually complements each other to achieve a healthier and younger-looking complexion.
What is the cost of the HIFU in Singapore?
The cost of a HIFU Singapore treatment will depend on several factors, such as the brand of HIFU, the treatment area, the number of treatments required for your condition and more. In general, the cost of HIFU treatment can starts from $300 for small areas of the face.
Brand of HIFU
There are many different brands of HIFU in the market, using a medical grade HIFU will definitely cost more. The HIFU brands that you commonly hear of are Symalift, Ultraformer 3, Ultracel Q+ and Ulthera. The estimated cost for Sygmalift ranges from $500 to $700, for Ultraformer 3 and Ultracel Q+, it ranges from $1500 to $3000, whereas Ulthera cost around $2500 to $4000.
HIFU can be done on the face, neck and body. Some practitioners will offer HIFU treatments that focuses on specific or smaller areas, such as upper face or lower face. The exact cost will also depends on your objective of getting a HIFU treatment.
Number of HIFU Shots
There are standard protocols to the number of HIFU shots for every region of the face, but this can be customized to the practitioner. On average, 800 shots of HIFU will be sufficient for a complete HIFU treatment that targets the entire face and neck.
A HIFU treatment that is performed by a certified practitioner will definitely cost more than a therapist, this is because experienced doctors have the skill set and specific techniques to achieve a long lasting or better results. You will know that you are in safe hands.
There are multiple methods for non-surgical facelifting. HIFU remains the go-to choice for non-surgical facelifts as it is well tested with years of proven records. You should always seek proper treatments from a certified practitioner, as it can possibly yield unsatisfactory results and cause more damage than benefits if performed incorrectly.
Meet our doctors
At Become Aesthetics Clinic, we have HIFU technology that is approved by relevant authorities in Singapore. If you wish to address your skin laxity, remove your double chin and achieve that V-Shape Face, drop by our clinic for a consultation. We’re happy to serve you!