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November 10, 2010

Ulthera: A New Non-Surgical Option for Tightening Skin

More and more people are opting for minimally invasive skin treatments rather than face-lifts and other full-blown surgical procedures.

As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this fall, "a widening array of minimally invasive treatments are making facial work more accessible to many people, and becoming part of their regular upkeep."

One of the latest of these popular procedures is Ulthera, which uses ultrasound technology to tighten and lift the skin, particularly the brow. It works by delivering focused amounts of low-level heat into the dermis (the underlying layer of skin tissue), causing the skin to contract and, over time, new collagen to form. And it does this without damaging the epidermis, or the outer layer of skin.

I've been impressed with the device's results. I was involved in its early clinical trials, and was the first physician in the Upper Midwest to offer it to patients when it received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval last fall.

Those trials, by the way, found that 89 percent of patients treated with Ulthera experienced a noticeable lifting, firming and tightening of their skin. Furthermore, the improved appearance was found to last an average of 10 to 12 months.

Although safe (side effects are minimal--mostly some temporary redness and swelling), the Ulthera procedure itself can be discomforting, which is why you want to make sure you receive the treatment by someone trained and experienced in its use. At Zel Skin & Laser Specialists, we have developed a careful treatment protocol to ensure our patients are comfortable with the procedure as well as with its results.