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The Science Behind HIFU

Ultrasound is sound that has frequency higher than the upper limit of human perception. For decades ultrasound has been used as a diagnostic tool to help determine size, shape and consistency of various internal structures. It is well known for monitoring pregnancies and with varying success to break up kidney stones. However, using ultrasound for cosmetic procedures is a new and very exciting development. 


You may be thinking why Ultrasound energy for non-invasive cosmetic skin rejuvenation if there are several existing alternatives already available? Well the answer is that ultrasound may have several unique advantages over the other options currently available. By fine-tuning frequency, intensity and other parameters, ultrasound devices can be calibrated to deliver energy to a desired depth and target a particular structure (e.g. dermal matrix or subcutaneous fat) while keeping the adjacent tissue intact, the epidermis for example, and thus causing much fewer side effects and downtime.


The majority of existing non-invasive cosmetic skin rejuvenation treatments are based on producing controlled damage that triggers tissue remodelling and / or tightening, and that damage then leads to a cosmetic improvement after treatment. Take skin micro needling for example, by creating thousands of tiny micro injuries you set the body into repair mode as it needs to heal itself therefore producing collagen and elastin from the dermis to do this. Again to achieve such controlled damage also includes various forms of directed energy such as lasers, plasma and radio frequency however it appears ultrasound can be used for this purpose as well.


Ultrasound for non-invasive cosmetic procedures was first FDA approved in 2012, since then hundreds of thousands of procedures have been performed worldwide.