Is HIFU safe for the face?

Is HIFU safe for the face?
  • Home
  • |
  • Is HIFU safe for the face?

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is considered no downtime, anti-ageing treatment for the face. HIFU is a cosmetic treatment that boosts collagen production and results in tightening deep beneath the skin to provide a visible lift to facial skin.

The HIFU Treatment

A HIFU facial at ENRICH is performed by our nurses using the Ultraformer III,  this high-intensity ultrasound device. We use HIFU on the face to achieve non-invasive facial tissue lifting and to improve skin texture and tone. One of our newer treatment options for non-surgical skin tightening, Ultraformer HIFU treatments result in an unmatched boost for sagging facial tissue.

With any treatment, there is always a certain risk & side effects.  It is important to read your consent and discuss it with your nurse so you understand all the details, manage your expectations, and understand the risk factors. You can expect some minor signs of inflammation at first, which means the treatment has worked. Deeper layers of collagen fibres are tightened, and collagen production is increased. The treatment results become much clearer at the three-month mark since collagen takes time to be naturally produced.

Ultraformer (HIFU) face treatment benefits

  • Visibly tighter facial skin
  • Smoother complexion
  • More even skin tone
  • Reduces visible signs of ageing
  • Increases skin elasticity
  • Brightens skin
  • Improves the appearance of scarring
  • Deep collagen tightened
  • New collagen production stimulated
  • Underlying facial muscles tightened
  • Safe treatment

Safety of the Ultraformer (HIFU) facials

With Ultraformer (HIFU) facial treatments – as with any treatment, there may be risks, and those risks are patient-dependent.  We will talk any risk issue through with you before your treatment.  You can expect some side effects immediately after a treatment, which should dissipate within 24-48 hours. You may experience:

  • Redness
  • Slight swelling
  • Tingling or minor discomfort during treatments (if necessary, eased with pain medication)
  • Some people experience tingling for a few days to a week after treatments
  • Rarely, bruising or numbness, which dissipates within days

Ultrasound energy-equipped multi-depth cartridges of the ULTRAFORMER Ⅲ only target specific layers of skin without damaging nearby tissue.

Best candidates for Ultraformer (HIFU) face treatments

Almost anyone can try an Ultrafomer (HIFU) face treatment at ENRICH, but some people cannot be treated due to the nature of this high-tech skin treatment. There are no barriers based on gender, skin colour, skin type or age. However, those with ageing skin tend to see the most obvious results.

People who can’t get HIFU skin treatments include anyone with an active skin infection, open wounds or visible acne lesions in the treatment area. People with pacemakers or other electronic implants cannot undergo this type of treatment, and those who are pregnant are also excluded.

Results can also be less visible in those with extensive sun damage and people who smoke.

If you cannot naturally heal in a reasonable timeframe, HIFU may not be your best treatment. The skin must perform at a basic level to repair and regenerate.

What does HIFU do to the skin?

HIFU laser facial treatment infographicHIFU treatments work by applying high-energy ultrasound energy underneath the skin. The ultrasound works on deeper skin and collagen levels, without harming other tissue or the outer skin. This is one of the reasons HIFU treatments are so effective: they go deep, leaving untreated skin untouched. This is in comparison to other anti-ageing skin treatments, such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels, which act on the skin’s surface.

The Ultraformer has four multi-depth cartridges directly transfer ultrasound energy into multiple layers of the face to trigger collagen renewal for a tighter, younger complexion.

Can Ultraformer HIFU treatments be performed on other areas of the body?

HIFU treatments can be applied anywhere on the body, with some outstanding results on cellulite, collagen production and skin tightening on the upper arms, thighs, knees, and abdomen. HIFU treatments work exactly the same wherever they are applied, tightening collagen and muscle for the overall tighter appearance of skin. Different areas can achieve different results, so its important to manage expectations. Loose skin after significant weight loss can be non-surgically tightened with HIFU treatments, especially for those who are not keen on the surgical removal of excess skin.

How often will I need Ultraformer (HIFU) face treatments?

Most people can start with one Ultraformer HIFU treatment to start with however, in some cases, two may be performed three or four months apart. For maintenance, treatments may be scheduled annually. However, the frequency will be determined by your cosmetic practitioner. At ENRICH, we have the mantra that 1 +1 =3, so two treatments reasonably close together will give you the benefit of three.

The Ultraformer ( HIFU) treatment is one of those treatments that you tend to see the full benefit months up the track. It is the nature of the treatment and the depth at which the ultrasound energy goes into the layers of the skin.

What does the research say about the safety of HIFU facial treatments?

A 2015 study (Park et al) published in the Annals of Dermatology looked into how well the HIFU treatments worked and how satisfied the patients were after their treatments. The study was conducted on 20 Korean people with facial wrinkles and laxity (sagging) after just one treatment.

The study employed two independent clinicians to evaluate the results across seven areas of the face using before and after photos. Photos were taken once before the treatment, then immediately after, and at the three- and six-month marks.

Both the patients and the doctors had similar views on how well the treatment worked, with visible improvements to facial skin tightness noted. Most patients were very satisfied, particularly at the three-month mark.

The researchers observed that the most noticeable improvements were seen around the eyes, jawline and cheeks. The only adverse effects noted were redness and swelling in six of the 20 patients and two cases of blood spots and bruising. These effects were noted as mild and short-lived.

A 2016 study (Zandvakili et al) saw similar overall results across 25 Iranian patients. In this case, most physicians and patients rated the treatment results as ‘normal’ or ‘good’, with just one person saying the treatment was ‘weak’. The researchers noted that HIFU was a safe and effective treatment for facial skin tightening, reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles, and improving skin tone and facial contours.

A 2012 study (Alster and Tanzi) published by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery showed that HIFU is effective and safe to use for improving skin texture and contours on the knees, inner thighs and upper arms.

Try Ultraformer (HIFU) at ENRICH 
Contact our friendly staff for an appointment



Please Note:

*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.

Spread the Love

Have more questions?

Request a consultation!

Request a consultation

"*" indicates required fields


Check out our Latest Newsletter

We talk psoriasis and see what all the fuss about Bio remodelling is.

Blog Categories

Have you tried our ENRICH skin care range?

Combining Dr Rich’s dermatological skill with his knowledge of restorative skin regimes and treatments, the ENRICH range is formulated to help maintain and complement your skin. Our signature Vitamin C Day & Night creams are now joined by a Vit A, B,&C Serum and a B5 Hyaluronic Gel, both with hydration properties and much, much more. 

Related Articles