The How’s and What’s of HIFU treatment in Singapore

No matter how much we try to delay aging, it manages to catch up to us somehow. For every year that is added to our life, our skin gets etched with fine lines and wrinkles, like a grim reminder that all that once thrived would eventually wither. Despite this, there is still some semblance of hope; innovations in aesthetic medicine now allow us to enjoy our youth for just a bit longer.

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound or HIFU is one of the most in-demand non-invasive treatment for skin tightening and face lifting in Singapore today. It uses focused ultrasound energy waves to target four different layers of the skin: the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) layer for lifting, the deep dermis for tightening, the area around the eye for treating eyebags, and the superficial dermis for improving wrinkles, fine lines, and skin texture. The SMAS layer is the among the first to lose elasticity as aging takes its toll and as a result, sagging skin, unsightly jowls, and deepening of the nasolabial folds in the face become more apparent. By targeting the SMAS layer, a natural-looking face lifting effect is achieved.

The face and the neck are the common areas treated using HIFU. The treatment itself can take forty-five to sixty minutes to complete. Once the treatment is finished, patients can resume their daily activities without any downtime and as a plus, women can apply their skin care products and makeup immediately after an HIFU treatment.

This article from Dr. Edwin Lim, a premier medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers custom solutions for all skin concerns, will talk about the following: how HIFU work, the difference between HIFU and laser treatments, and the possible side effects of HIFU.


How Does HIFU Work?



In essence, HIFU treatment works as a non-invasive face lift. It uses ultrasound energy to heat up the tissues deep below the skin surface where collagen accumulates while at the same time, leaving the top layers of the skin unscathed. The treatment targets the collagen reserves in the dermis at a depth of 3mm and in the SMAS layer at a depth of 4.5mm. It is in these layers that HIFU stimulates the existing collagen and triggers the production of new collagen. Collagen in vital because it serves as tye supporting structure that links one cell to another. It is a naturally-occurringprotein substance that provides strength to the skin, elasticity, and suppleness. However, when we reach the age of 20s, the collagen production declines, thus causing the skin to sag and wrinkles and fine lines to form. The purpose of HIFU is not to stop that process – because that is not possible, unless you are actually dead – but to slow it down in order to delay the signs of aging.

When the ultrasound energy reaches the SMAS layer, it heats it up to 60 to 70 degrees Celsius. This is the specific optimum temperature range to jumpstart the process of collagen synthesis. The SMAS is the exact region where surgical facelifts are done because it enables the results to last longer than a face lift of the upper layer of the skin alone.

Using a high amount of heat energy, HIFU also helps reduce the fat beneath the skin. This makes it a good solution for reducing the size of jowls and double chins.


The Difference Between HIFU and Lasers


The main difference between laser treatments and HIFU is that the former usually targets skin issues in the superficial layers of the skin such as pigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkle. HIFU, on the other hand, is designed to address the deep layers beneath the skin and to provide a lift to the SMAS layer, which is the foundational support of the skin.

They differ in the technology used, too. Lasers utilize light energy to address skin issues to a depth of 1.5 mm while HIFU uses sound energy, or ultrasound, to penetrate a depth of 4.5mm. HIFU treatment in Singapore has the capacity to bypass the surface layer of the skin to reach a level that cannot be matched by other non-invasive aesthetic treatments. It is, therefore, ideal to combine both laser technology and HIFU as they complement one another.

Visit us at Dr. Edwin Lim Medical Aesthetic Clinic so that we can create a customized treatment program that will work best for you.


Side Effects of HIFU



HIFU is generally safe for people of all skin types and colors because it does not target the superficial layer of the skin. During an HIFU treatment in Singapore, it is normal to feel some slight discomfort. Although pain threshold varies from one person to another, the sensation is tolerable, temporary, and can easily be managed using topical anesthesia.

The most commonly-reported side effect of HIFU is mild to moderate redness, which typically faded after an hour. There is no specific type of care that is required after the treatment, but your doctor will advise you to avoid prolonged UV exposure and certain skin products such as Retin-A for some time.

You can expect to see initial results after your treatment. However, bear in mind that the full effect will take two to three months to show, since collagen needs time to rebuild and regenerate. As the collagen regeneration process continues, further results will appear up to six months after one session. Lastly, the duration of time that the effects last will mainly depend on you and the rate at which your body restores and maintains collagen.

The majority of our patients only required a single treatment. Factors such as degree of skin laxity, your skin’s ability to creates and maintains collagen, as well as your body’s response to ultrasound energy may have an effect on the results that you want to achieve. Some people opt for two or more treatments so we recommend that the treatment be repeated twice a year for the best possible outcome.

Edwin Lim Medical Aesthetic Clinic
#02-12/13 Changi City Point,
5 Changi Business Park Central 1,
Singapore 486038
+65 6904 2218