Despite half of Twitter thinking I was going for a treatment on my urethra, Ulthera thankfully couldn’t be further from that! I did a lot of research on US blogs where Ultherapy is much more common – in fact, it has only just made its way to the UK. The one thing all the reviews had in common was the pain factor.
In a nut-shell, the Ulthera treatment uses ultrasound to lift, tone and tighten loose skin. I’m pretty much a perfect candidate for this because nothing has gone too far south – my skin is really at the first stage of laxity. The ultrasound is sent to the deeper structural layers of the skin so you’ll see nothing actually on the outer skin, post treatment. The bottom line of sending these ultrasound waves through to the deeper layers is that, over time, you produce more collagen and your muscular structure gets a proper work out.
I would have to say that I was very blessed to have the nicest possible practitioner, Esther, doing this. I’ve got a rotten cold which didn’t help anything at all, and I probably should have cancelled the treatment because I would suggest that you really need to be in top form to be able to get through it. It IS extremely uncomfortable; as the machine sends pulses through your skin, it feels both burny and stingy at the same time. When it is done multiple times in the same place, the pain builds. To be honest, I couldn’t actually see the treatment through. I ended up having about half of what is recommended before throwing in the towel.
It’s really not like me to pike out of a painful procedure – and genuinely think not being well had a lot to do with it – but you cannot underestimate that there is a real pain issue with Ulthera. Stateside, I notice, from reading reviews, they’ll throw as much lignocaine as you like over your face although I don’t think this would actually help the deepest layers; I’d taken painkillers as advised ahead of time but they didn’t seem to be of any help.
However, although the results take up to three months (for the collagen to build) to show, I could actually see a difference in my jawline and chin immediately. I hope that being a wimp about this and not having the full treatment doesn’t affect the results too much – it’s really, other than the pain, the most effective non-surgical treatment there is for natural looking firming. Ulthera is also undergoing clinical trials as an acne scarring treatment amongst other things. I’m not in any doubt that it works – there are enough reviews and before and afters that I’m completely convinced, but it comes at a cost both in pain and money.
I had my treatment done at the Rita Rakus clinic in Knightsbridge, HERE, and even taking into account Knightsbridge rents, Ulthera is a very expensive treatment – £4,000 or thereabouts for a full face and neck. You’d need to be in the high disposable income bracket to consider this, I would have thought.
I’ll post again when I can see more results – and I might even brave another treatment to finish off what we started. I consider that I have a high pain threshold, but I cried. And, that’s saying something. If you are thinking about having this treatment, I’d get straight to the pharmacist beforehand and find out what is likely to give you the most pain relief; I know you can combine paracetamol with Neurofen for example, but it’s really not my place to advise on that count – you must consult an expert.
To finish, Esther, who performed the treatment was absolutely delightful; I found it really helped to talk while it was being done as a distraction factor so I jabbered non-stop about the ingredient list and lavender redness neutralising properties of Clinique CC cream – I hadn’t realised I had absorbed so much information at the launch – for about twenty minutes! Over and over again. I think it was pretty uncomfortable for Esther too – it’s not nice knowing you are inflicting pain and she was so sympathetic and encouraging, giving me plenty of pauses and as many breaks as I needed. However, even she, who is used to performing this agreed that I had reached my limit. It may well be that if I had been in completely good health, I wouldn’t have been quite so sensitive – there’s only one way to find that out of course.. and I’m not ready yet!
Further reading is HERE.