07/09/2012 15:09 | By Sarah Hecks, contributor, MSN Her

A new generation of facelift

Our faces can tell many stories, and while laughter lines might say 'fun times,' droopiness can say 'tired’ - and don’t I know it…


Close up of a woman's face (© Rex Features)

When colleagues are saying you "look tired" even after you've had eight hours sleep, you know it's time to do something about it, so I was certainly intrigued to read a press release that dropped into my inbox about a new facial treatment called Ultherapy offered by renowned plastic and cosmetic surgeon Alex Karidis. According to the blurb:

"Ultherapy is a non-invasive treatment which uses ultrasound to 'lift' the skin by targeting and rapidly heating the dermis. This prompts cell renewal beneath the skin, resulting in tighter skin. This treatment also prompts the body to respond by producing more elastin and collagen, restoring the skin's underlying tissue and rejuvenating the skin."

Hooray! That, I thought is exactly what I need. So I booked an appointment and skipped off to his clinic with visions of younger-looking skin running through my head.

Dr Karidis' clinic is located in St John's Wood, London and within five minutes of arriving I was relaxed and answering questions about my lifestyle and skin with Dr Karidis while he examined my face to see if I was suitable for the treatment.

Dr Karidis explained that Ultherapy is the first and only device ever to gain FDA approval for non-surgical face lifting. It's best at lifting and sharpening the jowl area and jaw line and lifting the brow area. Ultrasound energy is targeted into the fatty fibrous layer beneath the skin. This is the same layer which would be lifted during a surgical face lift to give firm long lasting results and although nothing would ever beat a surgical face lift, this was pretty much the second best thing.

Dr Karidis also explained that the 60 minute procedure requires no special recuperation or preparation and typically only takes one treatment to get a meaningful response. I was also informed that patients enjoy some initial effect immediately following the procedure, but the ultimate lifting will take 2-3 months, as tired collagen is rejuvenated and supplemented with new, stronger collagen.

Finally I was informed that there could be some discomfort during the treatment while the energy was being delivered to the skin but that it is only temporary and signals the collagen-building process has been initiated.

Now, I'm a complete wuss when it comes to pain, so I was a little apprehensive to undergo the treatment but my lovely nurse Karolina (who was administering the treatment) assured me that comfort thresholds vary from patient to patient and it would probably feel more irritating than painful. I was also given painkillers prior to the treatment to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

So did it hurt? I'm not going to lie, it was certainly painful when directed on certain points of my face BUT that pain wouldn't even compare to recovering from a proper facelift. Karolina was utterly sympathetic to my grimacing and helped make the whole procedure tolerable and after the treatment was over I experienced no pain at all - the only thing I was left with was a slight redness to my cheeks, which was covered over with some specialised tinted moisturiser so I could return back to work immediately (darn it...)

I was informed that I might suffer from slight swelling or bruising the next day or feel a little tender around the treated area but I've had no side-effects whatsoever. The only thing I experienced the next day was a lovely follow-up call from Karolina to make sure I was okay!

And has it worked? Well it's too early to say, but I'll certainly be reporting back in a month or so with an update - the litmus test will be if my fellow workers stop telling me I look so worn out. Fingers crossed!

For more information on the treatment visit: karidis.co.uk or Tel: 020 7432 8727 to book a consultation.

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