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What’s the Difference Between Ultherapy and HIFU

New aesthetic treatments as Ultherapy and HIFU arise constantly, so it can be hard to keep track of all the new innovations. For many people, having surgery is a drastic step they don’t feel comfortable with. That’s why they chose to trust safer, more natural methods of treatment that would still help them achieve the look they want without going through pain and downtime.

In this article, we will walk you through two of the most popular non-invasive aesthetic treatments, what their similarities are, and which one is better.

Dr. Wiroj Suyapieang

Medical aesthetic & Anti-aging specialist

What Ultherapy and HIFU Do

Collagen and elastin are proteins that support the structure and foundation of the skin. They keep our skin firm and taut with elasticity. However, you lose both collagen and elastin as you age — resulting in loose, sagging skin and wrinkles.

Ultherapy and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatments essentially make your skin lift itself over time. The ultrasound waves pass through the deep layers of your skin before heating and damaging them on a cellular level. In response to this damage, your skin starts naturally producing collagen and elastin in the affected area so that it can restore its lost strength and firmness over time. This process leaves younger-looking faces that have an overall improved appearance.

what's ultherapy definition - skin layers illustration

How HIFU Works

HIFU is an innovative alternative to cosmetic surgery that uses high-energy sound waves to tighten skin and muscles, making facial contours appear younger. Some practitioners also claim this treatment can eliminate acne, speed healing after injury or cosmetic surgery, reduce cellulite, and prevent stretch marks. At the root of these claims is the acoustic lens, a wand that directs ultrasound energy at a specific depth beneath the skin.

More about HIFU on Wikipedia…

How Ultherapy Works

Ultherapy is the ultimate gold standard in non-surgical skin tightening and lifting procedures. It uses thermocoagulation to stimulate the natural production of new collagen and elastin proteins. It is unique because it works by heating tissues just deep enough to stimulate new collagen and elastin production, rather than damaging or burning your skin’s surface with ultrasound energy as other systems can do.

More about Ultherapy on Healthline…

Ultherapy vs HIFU: Differences

Ultherapy is a procedure that uses ultrasound technology, like HIFU, but with real-time imaging. Additionally, while both Ultherapy and HIFU use ultrasound to stimulate skin rejuvenation at a molecular level, Ultherapy uses a different type of ultrasonic energy than the type involved in HIFU. The Ultherapy method is based on micro-focused ultrasounds, so there are beams that are focused sharply upon the skin. This is opposed to the HIFU method which uses multiple beams that do not focus on the targeted area and have a tendency to bounce off of your bone and fat cells.
Ultherapy device machine

Here are more differences between Ultherapy and HIFU:

Imaging Technology

Ultherapy has developed a patented DeepSEETM visualization technology to ensure that its deep intradermal lifting treatment is administered correctly. Seeing the structure of the skin, muscle, and bone underneath makes it easier for the practitioner to zone in on areas that are depleted with collagen without having to damage muscles and skin by poking around blind. Meanwhile, this imaging is lacking in HIFU treatments, earning itself a title of being a “blind” skin tightening treatment.

Treatment Areas

Ultherapy is FDA-approved and CE-marked to treat a wider variety of areas than HIFU. This includes lifting and tightening the face, neck, and chest while also improving lines in these areas.

Research and Studies

HIFU is finally catching up with traditional methods like Ultherapy, but not in the way that it may seem. While Ultherapy has been around much longer than HIFU, the latter has less research and studies to back their product. This is unlike the vast amount of research that has gone into Ultherapy since over 110 independent studies — 60 peer-renewed papers and 50 clinical studies — have taken place on the technology.


There’s no denying that HIFU can stimulate similar depths of tissue as Ultherapy. But there’s also no way for a practitioner to know precisely which tissues they’ve penetrated unless they have Ultherapy’s technology to help them visualize what needs to be worked on. This is why it is so much safer and more effective to rely on Ultherapy because it stimulates collagen and elastin precisely in areas where there has been the most volume loss, rather than simply at any depth.
Genuine Ultherapy is available at Metro Beauty Centers in Bangkok

Regulatory Issues

One of the greatest advantages over HIFU is that Ultherapy came well-regulated. Ultherapy has been legally classified as a medical device by American and international organizations, like the FDA, which proves that it’s safer than other skin-tightening procedures. Be wary of cheap HIFU treatments in Thailand as this could mean it is administered from a non-regulated HIFU machine.

Which Is Better?

Ultherapy® is an impressive non-invasive face and neck lifting treatment that uses state-of-the-art technology to gently lift, sculpt, and tighten skin from the inside out. It is a gold standard when compared to other cosmetic treatments which use surgical procedures that can be more invasive, costly, and dangerous. Thanks to its imaging technology, Ultherapy is a safer and more accurate option than HIFU treatments.

That’s why this is such a huge breakthrough for anyone looking for a non-surgical facelift. We recommend clients to review this treatment option at Metro Beauty Centers. We have earned the title of “Ultherapy® Centre of Excellence”, which acknowledges our individual proficiency as well as the exceptional therapy methods and treatment standards we uphold here. Our team is made up of recognized Ultherapy specialists, and Metro Beauty Centers has been successively rated 5 stars over the years.

Ultherapy treatment at Metro Beauty Centers, Bangkok

Ask us about our Ultherapy treatment. Get in touch with us today.

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