Are Ultrasound Waves Harmful to Your Skin?
Many of you may be interested in learning whether ultrasound waves have been found to have any adverse or harmful side effects when applied to your skin.
We decided to look into it further to provide you with the basics, such as how an ultrasound treatment works and what to expect, as well as the first and most recent devices on the market. Finally, we’ll discuss our results to address the question, “Are ultrasound waves harmful to your skin?”
THE HISTORY AND SCIENCE BEHIND ULTRASOUND
The first use of ultrasound was to locate enemy submarines during World War I. For the first time in medicine, ultrasound was used in the 1930s. Ultrasound therapy has been approved and effective in treatment for over 80 years. When we think about ultrasound technology, we usually picture a mother learning the gender of her baby or someone being treated for injuries like muscle strains or runner’s knee.
One of the newest and increasingly popular applications of ultrasound is its use for cosmetic facial skin treatments. It has become a common procedure and has gained popularity among dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other medical professionals. The ability to precisely direct heat into the skin to revitalize collagen while still preserving the epidermis appeals to people who want non-invasive facial revitalization procedures.
HOW AN ULTRASOUND PROCEDURE WORKS & WHAT TO EXPECT
The process starts with applying an ultrasound gel, followed by the practitioner placing a handpiece on your skin and gently gliding a probe over your skin. Concentrated ultrasound energy is delivered to predetermined depths within the tissue underneath your skin to encourage collagen production. Ultrasound energy penetrates the deepest layers of the skin, bypassing the skin’s surface and stimulating collagen.
The procedure will take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on which device is being used. The first facial ultrasound device treatment, and Sofwave, a new next-generation ultrasound device treatment, are discussed later in this article.
Patients typically have temporary flushed skin after the treatment. Depending on which device you were treated with, you might also experience minor swelling for a few days as well as moderate tingling or tenderness.
Many patients will only need one treatment, however, depending on the degree of flexibility in their skin, others may require more than one to achieve the best results.
While some effects are apparent right away, it takes two to three months for the complete effect. There will be a continued improvement over the next six months. The exciting news is this treatment will last for a year compared to other cosmetic procedures that will only last 3-4 months.
THE FIRST ULTRASOUND DEVICE
The first FDA-approved facial ultrasound procedure made headlines in 2009 when it cleared for the indication for a non-invasive skin wrinkle reduction treatment to targeting the entire face, using ultrasound waves to stimulate new collagen revitalization. The specifications for the treatment stated that each session lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. The first pass of ultrasound waves is set to go very deep, while the second pass is set to reach tissue layers closer to the skin’s surface. Since the ultrasound waves penetrate deep below the skin’s surface, there is a pain medicine that will be offered to you before the treatment to make the treatment more comfortable. To learn more about the first ultrasound treatment, we recommend you check out the patient reviews on Real Self.com.
THE LATEST INNOVATION IN ULTRASOUND DEVICES
Fast forward to 2020; there is now the next generation of ultrasound devices on the market. To address fine lines and wrinkles is Sofwave. We were interested in learning how the new ultrasound technology differed from previous product treatments.
With the new Sofwave, the treatment is shorter, with one session taking only 30-45 minutes. Patients love the fact that it can fit into an active lifestyle at any time of day. Sofwave’s safety profile and its integrated cooling protect the outer skin layer and enable treatment at the correct depth, ensuring no damage to the underlying structure beneath the dermis. Patients are benefiting from these new advances from Sofwave, the next generation in ultrasound technology, we see this in the following statement.
Karen Lederman, the founder of Laser Skin & Wellness in Palm Beach Gardens (www.laserskinsolutions.com), says she is always searching for the most advanced, innovative treatments available on the market. She added, “Sofwave can help my clients of all skin types achieve a significant level of improvement in facial lines and wrinkles after only a 30 – minute treatment, without surgery and with minimal downtime.” “It’s the next-generation in aesthetic devices and is exactly what our clients are looking for.”
The chances are that if you are not ready for a face-lift but want to reduce your facial fine lines and wrinkles, Sofwave could be the treatment you are looking for.
THE RESULTS – ARE ULTRASOUND WAVES HARMFUL?
In all the published studies reviewed for this article, ultrasound treatments were a safe and effective method for treating facial skin. We see the benefits of using ultrasound sound waves to increase circulation and enable the protein that gives skin elasticity and firmness.
Bear in mind, as with many standard medical procedures, not everything you hear about ultrasound is true. For example, some people say ultrasound uses radiation technology; they have confused ultrasound with x-rays, which does use radiation. However, Ultrasound is based on sound wave technology, not radiation.
In the final word, as with any procedure, there is always a bit of risk, but if you’re in the care of a trained dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or aesthetic professional, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
THE KEY TAKEAWAY
The key takeaway we hope you will walk away with is that ultrasound technology is a safe and effective procedure for treating facial skin. Although you can choose from several different cosmetic skin procedures including topical formulations, dermal fillers and several skin therapy devices, ultrasound provides a safe, non-invasive cosmetic procedure for fine lines and wrinkles. It can be performed in 30-45 minutes and offers long-lasting results with minimal if any, discomfort.
Clinical studies have shown that devices that can treat beneath the skin at the right depth to revitalize collagen are the most effective and fit the need of those individuals who are not yet ready for cosmetic surgery. Sofwave ultrasound which treats fine lines and wrinkles on the face has been proven to be one of the most effective of these cosmetic devices.
Schedule an appointment with your aesthetic provider today to find out which method is right for you.
- Douglas Miller, Nadine Smith, Michael Bailey, Gregory Czarnota, Kullervo Hynynen, Inder Makin and American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine Bioeffects Committee, “Overview of Therapeutic Ultrasound Applications and Safety Considerations”, J Ultrasound Med. 2012 Apr; 31(4): 623–634, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3810427/
- “Ultrasound therapy for sagging skin”, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), https://www.asds.net/skin-experts/skin-treatments/ultrasound-therapy-for-sagging-skin
- “Ulthera Receives First-Ever FDA Clearance to Market Ultrasound Technology for Facial Aesthetic Improvement”, Sep 17, 2009, BioSpace.com, https://www.biospace.com/article/releases/ulthera-receives-first-ever-fda-clearance-to-market-ultrasound-technology-for-facial-aesthetic-improvement-/
- “Don’t Fall For These 4 Harmful Ultrasound Myths”, Jun 30, 2018, WomanCare PC, https://www.womancarepc.com/post/don-t-fall-for-these-4-harmful-ultrasound-myths