What does the HIFU treatment consist of? What are the effects, indications and contraindications?

1 December 2023
Patient during the HIFU procedure. En Source: VistaCreate

Modern and non-invasive methods are increasingly used in aesthetic medicine. One of them is precisely HIFU – a treatment that uses the impact of ultrasound. What exactly does this procedure consist of? What effects can be expected and is it worth opting for?

What is the HIFU treatment?

The name of this procedure is an acronym for the full English name, which is High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, which can be translated as  „high-intensity focused ultrasound”. The HIFU treatment is thus a procedure that uses the aforementioned ultrasound.

How does ultrasound affect tissues?

  • A concentrated beam of high-intensity ultrasound affects tissues thermally and mechanically.
  • Under its influence, there is a deliberate heating and coagulation of tissues.
  • Controlled and intentional cell damage also occurs during the procedure.

To summarize: the impact of ultrasound on tissues leads to their deliberate and controlled damage, which activates the skin’s natural regenerative processes – primarily the reconstruction of collagen fibers and increased elastin production.

What can ultrasound be used for in aesthetic medicine?

HIFU treatments are growing in popularity due to their negligible invasiveness and high effectiveness. Ultrasound is most commonly used for:

  • Reducing wrinkles and furrows.
  • Treating scars – including atrophic and acne scars.
  • Eliminating Discoloration.
  • Treating acne marks.
  • Skin rejuvenation and even for subtle contouring of the face, neck and chin.

Interestingly, HIFU technology is more than just another way to reduce crow’s feet or smoker’s wrinkles. The method is also being used to treat much more serious ailments – including cancer.

Indications and contraindications for HIFU treatment

HIFU treatments in aesthetic medicine are most often used as an alternative to the traditional facelift. The method is even sometimes referred to as a 3D HIFU lift or similarly. The most common indications for this procedure are:

  • Wrinkles and furrows, as well as loss of skin firmness – in other words, all signs of skin aging.
  • Scars – both those from surgical procedures and atrophic scars, which can be the remnants of acne or rashes.
  • Falling cheeks, as well as blurring the contour of the face – the appearance of an extra chin.
  • Excess skin, loss of skin density.

HIFU treatments can be performed not only on the facial area, but on virtually any part of the body. The method is often used as a firming treatment for the neck and décolleté, as well as a way to reduce cellulite.

Contraindications to HIFU treatments:

  • Pregnancy and lactation period.
  • Damage, irritation, burns or ulceration of the skin in the treatment area.
  • Active herpes or other viral diseases.
  • Cancers.
  • Having a pacemaker or metal implants.
  • Epilepsy.

These are the most common contraindications to cosmetic ultrasound treatments. Although HIFU is a non-invasive method, not everyone can benefit from it. Instead, some people may develop adverse effects.

HIFU side effects:

  • Transient redness of the skin – usually disappears after just a few hours after the procedure.
  • Hypersensitivity and soreness of the skin in the treatment area.
  • Temporary disturbance of sensation (for example, cold or pain) in the treatment area.

HIFU lift – effects

The purpose of HIFU treatments for the face, neck or décolleté is to rejuvenate the skin – primarily to eliminate wrinkles and improve skin density. On the other hand, a treatment performed on the buttocks, thighs or abdomen aims to restore firmness and smoothness to the skin. These effects are possible due to the fact that the HIFU method stimulates the production of elastin and collagen fibers. Keep in mind that the full results will not be visible immediately after the procedure, but only after several weeks or even months. Importantly, the results obtained may even last for more than a year and a half.

Is it worth it to opt for HIFU treatment?

If your concern is wrinkles, fine lines and loss of skin firmness, you can try an HIFU ultrasound treatment. Reviews about this procedure are usually very good – many people succeed in erasing the signs of aging skin.

The undoubted advantages of HIFU treatments include their low invasiveness, short duration, as well as the fact that the effects last for a relatively long time. HIFU costs depend on how large the area to be treated with ultrasound. They range from several hundred to several thousand zlotys. Bottom line: this is a method that is certainly worth considering if your goal is to rejuvenate and firm the skin without the use of a scalpel.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


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