As we get older, one of the first noticeable signs of aging on our faces and bodies is skin laxity: the deep wrinkles, lines, and folds that begin to form as the skin loses elasticity and strength. Sagging or crepey skin first becomes apparent on our cheeks, jawline, jowls, and neck — then later appears in other areas, such as our knees and elbows. These early signs of aging are a clear indication that gravity is gradually pulling down on our skin and that our collagen production is not what it used to be. Dr. Jason Emer, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in dermatologic surgery and non-surgical skin tightening, uses a wide range of energy-based technologies and patient-tailored approaches to slow and prevent the signs of aging, such as sagging, wrinkles, sun damage, and enlarged pores.
One non-invasive, minimal-downtime device that helps to improve mild skin laxity is Ultherapy, an FDA-approved skin tightening and lifting device that delivers focused, high-intensity focused ultrasound energy (HIFU) to any problem areas, thereby improving fine lines, wrinkles, and loose or crepey skin. In his vast experience, Dr. Emer has found that Ultherapy, when used in combination with radiofrequency (RF) devices like Thermage and microneedling RF energy devices (such as InMode Fractora, Morpheus8, or Endymed Intensif), can provide advanced, long-term sagging prevention and improvement in skin elasticity for patients seeking smoother, tighter, and more youthful skin.
Ultherapy’s anti-aging and skin tightening results are dramatically improved when complemented with other non-surgical treatments — including lasers, RF treatments, microneedling RF, thread lifting, and Sculptra injections — and can be used on various parts of the body, including the:
- Face (eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, around the mouth, and mouth corners)
- Jawline / jowls
- Legs, knees, and thighs
- Vagina / genital area
How does Ultherapy work?
Ultherapy is a safe, deep tissue ultrasound treatment that counteracts the effects of time and gravity and uses the body’s natural regenerative ability to tighten and lift the skin and promote collagen production. HIFU energy is delivered to precise depths (and at precise temperatures) beneath the skin without cutting or disrupting the skin’s surface; this focused heat causes micro-injuries and instant tightening on the muscle layer, which stimulates natural collagen production and contracts any loose or sagging skin.
Dr. Emer begins the procedure by applying topical numbing creams to the skin and injecting nerve blocks for pain management. He then marks up the treatment area, creating a roadmap of the procedure. Dr. Emer may also inject Sculptra into the area prior to treatment to prompt and increase in collagen production and enhance the overall skin tightening results. After applying a cool ultrasound gel, Dr. Emer administers the Ultherapy applicator in overlapping pulses to the predetermined areas. Using Ultherapy’s ultrasound imaging, Dr. Emer is able see deep within the skin, giving him a clear picture of where the HIFU energy is being delivered and ensuring a safe, effective procedure.
The duration of the procedure can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the size of the area being treated.
While Ultherapy is commonly used on the face and neck, it also provides visible improvement on the knees and thighs (see above) when combined with Thermage, InMode BodyTite, Renuvion RF helium plasma, thread lifting, and collagen-building Sculptra injections. Microneedling RF (InMode Fractora or Morpheus8, and/or EndyMed Intensif) can also help improve skin laxity in the knees and thighs. In cases of more significant laxity, a surgical thigh lift (thighplasty) may be necessary to obtain substantial improvement.
When do I see improvements from Ultherapy?
Although the ultrasound energy starts working beneath your skin the moment it is delivered, patients do not see instantaneous improvements in skin tightening or lifting. Rather, energy-based treatments like Ultherapy offer gradual, long-term improvement and slowing of the aging process.
How often can I get Ultherapy?
Dr. Emer suggests that his patients schedule Ultherapy ultrasound and Thermage RF treatments once or twice per year as part of their facial rejuvenation maintenance plan. For patients who desire a more aggressive schedule to accelerate their skin tightening results, Dr. Emer may advise up to 4 treatments per year for enhanced collagen production.
What other skin tightening options are there?
Combining Ultherapy treatments with other non-surgical and surgical skin tightening procedures produces superior results as opposed to individual treatments alone. Depending on each patient’s unique needs, aesthetic goals, and comfort level, Dr. Emer may propose pairing Ultherapy with:
- non-invasive RF treatments such as Thermage to prevent sagging and tighten the skin over time through long-term collagen production
- Renuvion (formerly J-Plasma) and FaceTite / BodyTite for internal heating and tightening (less invasive surgical procedure)
- Silhouette InstaLift or NovaThreads for immediate lifting and long-term collagen production
- BTL Exilis Ultra, Venus Legacy, or InMode Forma / Contoura for monthly collagen stimulation
- Sculptra injections for additional collagen production
- a surgical facelift / neck lift with or without a Hi-Definition Liposuction procedure and fat grafting for more significant improvement
(invasive surgical procedure)
How does Dr. Emer do it differently?
A renowned skin tightening expert with an array of state-of-the-art devices, Dr. Jason Emer continues to pioneer new approaches to anti-aging, rejuvenation, and facial and body sculpting. While Ultherapy can be used to treat cases of mild skin laxity, its lifting, tightening, and collagen stimulating advantages make it the perfect complement to numerous cosmetic and surgical treatments, including:
- Chemical Brow Lifts using neurotoxins (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau) and fillers to rejuvenate and prevent further sagging in the temples, eyebrows, eyelids, eye troughs, upper eye hollows, and forehead
- contouring of the cheeks with dermal fillers, Sculptra, fat grafting, Bellafill injections, and/or implants to provide an added lift and enhancement.
- contouring of the chin with Coolsculpting, Kybella, FaceTite, and/or Hi-Definition Liposuction of the neck / chin.
- double chin / submental fat reduction treatments with Kybella.
- skin resurfacing treatments with non-ablative lasers (Fraxel or Sciton Halo) and/or ablative lasers (Erbium, CO2, or Sciton ProFractional) for further improvement of fine lines, wrinkles, and mild skin sagging.
- fractional RF treatments, such as Venus Viva or Skinfinity.
- microneedling RF treatments, such as FaceTite / BodyTite, Fractora, Morpheus8, and EndyMed Intensif for further skin tightening and enhanced collagen production.
- cellulite improvement on the buttock in combination with Cellfina, Sculptra injections, fat grating, RF energy treatments, and shockwave therapy.
- surgical facelifts or neck lifts.
Am I a good candidate for Ultherapy?
Ultherapy skin tightening is safe for all skin types and poses no risk of hyperpigmentation as long as the operator is a skilled, trained professional who uses the appropriate technique. Because Ultherapy is primarily used to treat mild skin laxity, patients with significant skin sagging or looseness often require a more aggressive, invasive, or surgical approach. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for Ultherapy, please schedule a formal evaluation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jason Emer.
Is it painful?
Because Ultherapy is a deep, energy-based treatment, it can be painful. To improve the experience for his patients, Dr. Emer uses topical numbing products, oral medications, and nerve blocks (if desired) to reduce the pain and make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
What is the downtime?
While patients may experience some temporary redness, bruising, and/or swelling following the procedure, there is often no downtime with Ultherapy. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately after the treatment.
How do I schedule a consultation with Dr. Emer?
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Emer in Beverly Hills / Los Angeles / West Hollywood, California, please reach out to our concierge to schedule an appointment. Call 424-800-4140 or email us at [email protected]