HIFU in Singapore: Is it Safe?
Everyone experiences sagging skin in their lifetime. There’s no shortage of treatments for facial sagging; a popular one in Singapore is HIFU. What exactly is it, who can it benefit, and are there any side effects? This article will explore more.
What is HIFU?
HIFU, or high-intensity focused ultrasound, is an advanced medical technology first used to treat benign and cancerous growths in the body. Today, HIFU is used in medical aesthetics to treat cosmetic problems in tissues and recognised for its ability to tighten skin layers. The Artisan Clinic is an aesthetic clinic which offers HIFU treatments in Singapore.
HIFU works by penetrating the outer layer of skin to heal deeper skin tissue — which makes HIFU a non-invasive treatment.
What are the benefits of HIFU?
- Less saggy and firmer skin
- Smoother face contours
- Brighter skin
- Less fine lines, wrinkles and pores
Are there different types of HIFU?
There are primary 2 types of HIFU: micro-fused and macro-focused.
Macro-focused removes unwanted tissues on the face and body such as fat, micro-focused removes small columns of skin tissues and is primarily used for stimulating collagen in the target layers.
Most brands out there use either technology. They include:
- Used for face lifting
- Is an established and reliable brand used in most aesthetic clinics in Singapore
- Precise power
- However, can be expensive and requires repetitive movements for hundred of times
- Micro-focused and macro-focused
- Used for face lifting, face slimming and body slimming and tightening
- Is the fastest and most precise HIFU
- Minimum pain
- Highest number of applicator depths
- Most expensive out of all the HIFU options
- Used for body slimming and tightening
- Can be painful for patients
How does HIFU work?
HIFU tightens skin from different layers. Special ultrasound transducers direct ultrasound energy to a point where tissue coagulation forms due to high temperatures. Just like medical imaging, this focused beam of ultrasound energy can pass through the skin without harm, targeting deeper tissues like fat. Protein around the targeted area will reach over 65 degrees and dissipate almost instantly.
The use of highly focused ultrasound energy in different depths among dermal tissues enables HIFU to create thermal coagulation points. At the same time, surrounding tissue is unharmed. This tightening of different depths allow different saggy tissues, ligaments and skin laxity to tighten up.
In addition, patients often comment that after a HIFU treatment, their skin appears clearer. This is because the treatment triggers growth factors in deeper layers of the skin, thus stimulating collagen growth for overall skin rejuvenation.
Can HIFU work for darker skin types?
An advantage of HIFU treatment is that it can tighten tissues at different depths regardless of skin type and colour. Compared to Radiofrequency skin tightening, where the patient’s skin colour determines skin impedance, HIFU does not have the same condition.
However, results and side effects depend on the type of laser used.
So who is suitable for HIFU?
While HIFU is suitable for most people with facial sagging, it does not work as well on people with:
- Severe facial sagging. In such instances, fillers or other collagen stimulators may be better.
- Extremely damaged skin. While HIFU encourages skin layers to repair itself through collagen production, the process is too slow to make a difference.
Are there any side effects of HIFU?
After a HIFU treatment, you may experience some side effects such as:
- Mild discomfort during and after treatment
- Mild swelling
- Mild bruising
- Mild skin irritation and redness
These will usually resolve after a few hours. There are also some unexpected. Side effects, but these are rare and usually happen from poor placement or technique.
- Patterned swelling on the skin surface due to poor contact of HIFU transducer and poor technique
- Skin numbness with nerve damage and muscle weakness due to the placement of transducer and the doctor’s poor understanding of facial anatomy
- Facial sunkenness due to excessive treatment at the wrong depth
One thing to keep in mind is that HIFU is considered medical equipment. Hence, it should only be used at licensed medical centres, and the person using the machine should be accredited to do it. Due to the buzz generated around HIFU treatments in Singapore, there is currently a wide range of brands available. Not every brand offers the same results; so not all HIFU treatments come with the same efficacy and safety.
How much does HIFU cost in Singapore?
The cost of HIFU treatment in Singapore depends on a few factors:
- Brand. For example, Ultherapy costs 10 times more than the price of other HIFU treatments, making it expensive for consumers
- Treatment time. Larger treatment areas require more sessions and thus will be more expensive
- The doctor’s expertise and experience
In general, HIFU for smaller areas like the face can start from about $500 or less, and larger areas like the body can go all the way up to at least $6000. Some businesses might offer mini-HIFUs treatments that combine HIFU with other services or persuade you to do smaller HIFU treatments over a regular basis. Avoid these treatments at all cost; they seldom reach the intensity needed for effective treatments.
The Artisan Clinic
290 Orchard Rd, #07-01