Can you get second degree burn from Ultherapy procedure?

Doctor Answers 7

Ultherapy Safety

Ultrasound energy has been used safely in the medical field for more than 50 years. Ultherapy is safe and effective in tightening, lifting and reducing fine lines on the face, neck and brows. 

Every person reacts and tolerates laser treatment therapy differently. Complications or adverse reactions to laser treatments are usually related to the improper delivery of laser energy to the skin. The performing physician registered nurse or technician should have extensive knowledge and training in Ultherapy and other facial laser treatments. 

When you are exploring the options of a facial procedure, make sure that you also explore the right type of cosmetic surgeon to perform your procedure. A facial plastic surgeon is a cosmetic doctor that is an expert strictly in the head and neck which is where Ultherapy is indicated to treat.

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Burns After Ultherapy

Hi and thank you for your question!

In 5 years of performing Ultherapy, our NP has never had a patient with a burn. However, she has had a few patients over the years report getting burns in other practices. The theory is that this is technique dependent and the practice should be informed as they may need additional training on technique. Also, if there is a metal implant in the treatment area, the area should be avoided, as the heat can reflect off the implant and onto the surface of the skin.


Dr. Grant Stevens  

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Ultherapy Burn

We have treated hundreds of patients with Ulthera and I have never seen a burn.  The Ulthera uses ultrasound energy delivered between 1.5mm - 4.5 mm deep into the tissue.  Occasionally, patients experience welts after treatment with the superficial 1.5mm transducer, but these resolve within a few days.  If the device is functioning properly and used in a proper manner, it would be almost impossible to develop a burn.

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Burns and Ultherapy

Never ever seen burns - it uses HIFU or ultrasound and delivers the energy into the deep layers of the skin. Even at its superficial setting of 1.5 mm this is considered deep, as the upper layers of the skin is 15 times shallower than this. Unless there is a fault of the device, no gel, or operator area... namely pulse stacking with gaps, a burn should not occur. Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Burns from ultherapy

It would be very difficult to get a second degree burn from an Ultherapy procedure. The device heats up the tissues anywhere between 1.5 to 4.5 mm deep to the skin. When performed properly, it would be difficult to get a second degree burn, however there are reports of welts that have happened, after using the 1.5mm transducer. Those tend to go away quickly. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Ultherapy for facial and neck tightening and safety

Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy and an ultrasound gel is applied so there is no air between the skin and transducer. I have not seen a burn from ultherapy nor heard from my colleagues of such but it could be theoretically possible. I have seen and tell my patients that when the superficial 1.5mm transducer is used, that there are commonly welts (red swellings) that are temporary but could last for several days.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Ultherapy Results , Combine with Sculptra or Fraxel, Maintain with Exilis Ultra or Venus Legacy

I have never seen a burn from ultherapy if this is done properly.  Please see an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.