Is HIFU effective for skin tightening?

Publié le: 20 July 2020 par Dr Larnier

Doctor, my skin is starting to sag, what can I do about it?” This is a very frequent request during consultations. The degree of skin slackening can be more or less significant.consultation. The area most prone to sagging is the lower face, with the major sign being the jowl.

The essential parameters to be taken into account during consultation are :

– the cause of sagging (age, weight loss, photoaging,….)

– the patient’s age

– the quality of skin

The treatment chosen must take into account the skin’s ability to react to the technique used. For example, if the skin has been badly damaged by the sun, it will often be thinner and more difficult to boost with ultrasound.


HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a non-surgical, non-invasive medical facelift technique that can be used on a wide range of areas, including the face, neck and décolleté.


Highly focused, high-energy ultrasound will target different layers of the skin. Several successive probes are used, from the deepest to the surface, to reach :

  • 13 mmm (fat) (for the body only, e.g. abdomen, certain double chins, etc.)
  • 4.5 mm (muscles),
  • 3 mm (deep dermis)
  • 1.5 mm (epidermis) (and for areas with thinner skin, such as the forehead or eye contour)
HIFU probes

Muscle fibers are re-tensioned, and dermal fibroblasts produce more collagen, restoring firmness as well as elastin fibers. Together, these stimuli provide a gradual, natural lifting effect without damaging the skin’s surface.

So the effects will be optimal if you have :

  • Good muscle tissue, which can be stimulated by ultrasound
  • Good subcutaneous tissue (fat) without major volume loss
  • Good-quality skin tissue, (e.g. without too much photoaging, …. )
Before 1 HIFU session
3 months after 1 HIFU session

HIFU won’t work very well unless these conditions are met. It does not work in the case of major loosening.

It’s also an interesting technique for stimulating the skin and preventing sagging.

The advantages of the technique for patients are numerous:

  • one or even 2 sessions are sufficient.s patients.
  • non-invasive, no scarring, no social exclusion.
  • can be performed on both women and men, on all skin types and phototypes.
  • can be used in all seasons, and sun exposure is not a problem either before or after the treatment.

Slight redness may appear during treatment, but disappears very quickly. HIFU should not be used in the event of skin lesions or pregnancy.

The session lasts between 45 and 60 minutes to treat the oval of a face, a little less if it’s just a question of raising the eyebrows. The skin is just a little pink but visibly more relaxed and firmer at the end of the session. Definitive effects are only visible 12 weeks after the end of treatment, but persist for up to 1 to 2 years.

Depending on the desired result, the treatment can be repeated without problem. However, there must be a 6-month delay between HIFU treatment and botox or hyaluronic acid injections.

HIFU can be combined with other bio rejuvenation techniques, such as peeling, mesotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).

For more severe loosening, consider other techniques such as :

  • tensor threads
  • hyaluronic acid injections
  • or surgical facelift

In conclusion, a good assessment of the skin and the desired result are necessary before undertaking HIFU treatment to achieve good results. It is also important to use a medical device and to be carried out by an experienced team. That’s why at our Otelina Medesthetic centers, our doctors always opt for a preliminary consultation.

HIFU is an indispensable treatment for facial sagging, especially of the oval of the face, and for reducing double chins and jowls.or a prior consultation. In the case of drooping eyelids and slightly sagging eyebrows, or even malar bags (localized oedemas on the cheekbones), visible results can be achieved. It can also be used on the neck and décolleté to tighten and soften wrinkles in these two areas.