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Facelift vs. Ultherapy™ for sagging facial scars

Posted: 10:40 a.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I am 60 years old but, as a teen, I was in a car accident that left scars on my face that improved with peels and laser resurfacing. With aging, though, my cheek scars seem worse again. Will Ultherapy™ or a facelift help?

Answer: Many facial scars, as well as acne scars, appear worse as the face sags with age. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing can improve facial scars when younger. However, these treatments may be less effective when older, since the cause of deepening of the scars is different in the mature patient.

With aging, the loss of collagen and elastin in surrounding facial tissues — combined with gravity’s pull — leads to facial sagging. At this stage, resurfacing for facial scars may be less effective than tissue tightening and lifting.

While a facelift does not directly treat scars, it can soften their appearance by pulling and repositioning the facial skin. Ultherapy™ also tightens and lifts the deep tissues, but the device can be set to treat the superficial tissues containing the facial scars to lift and tighten the skin containing the scar, thus making the scar appear less deep.

Compared to a facelift, Ultherapy™ has the additional benefit of no incisions, no downtime and no surgery. Ulthera also stimulates collagen and elastin in the tissues for additional improvement of the areas containing depressed facial scars.


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