Can Have Ultherapy Done Under my Chin and Neck if I've Had Cystic Acne Before?

I have had a few flair ups in 2 specific locations on my chin before of cystic acne where my dermatologist gave me a cortisone shot to clear it up. It happens if I'm under a lot of stress and hasn't occurred in almost a year. I'm concerned that since my body has had a history of it that Ultherapy would "awaken" it in other areas and that would be awful under my chin or jawline. I'm of East Indian skin tone and color so scaring/hyper pigmentation from chin/neck lipo is a concern.

Doctor Answers 7

Ultherapy and Acne

Hello and thank you for your question!

We have not had any patients complain of increased acne or flare up of acne after Ultherapy. There can always be possible reactions to anything, however, it is not currently flared up and doesn't happen often, I would not be concerned. Also, an important point to make is that we don't actually treat the chin with the 3.0 or the 4.5mm. The treatment starts about 2.5 cm outside of the lip line due to the mental foramen that exists in that area. However, If you are getting the 1.5 mm transducer as part of the treatment, your provider may pass under the lower lip with that applicator.

Please feel free to call our office with questions or for a complementary consultation.


Dr. Grant Stevens

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Ultherapy with cystic acne - Los Angeles

You may have a flare up of cystic acne with any procedure. Ultherapy is not indicated for those patients with severe acne scarring due to poor penetration of the ultrasound. I would pursue treatment but ask your surgeon to customize your Ulthera session. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Cystic Acne Scarring and Ultherapy Effectiveness

I agree that 'customization' of the session may help you achieve results even though you may have scarring which makes the Ultherapy device less able to achieve its full potential. However, multiple sessions over a course of a year or 18 months may be helpful but expensive. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Ultherapy is not known to have as a common complication flare up of cystic acne

ultherapy has not been tested to see if it helps or exacerbates a condition of cystic acne. The Ultherapy with the 4.5mm deep transducer is delivering energy well under the level of most cystic acne but the 1.5mm. transducer might traverse the plane of acne involvement. It is not known if this ultrasonic energy would help or worsen the acne as it was not a condition investigate during the FDA trials for approval in facial skin lifting and tightening.

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

I would be cautious having ultherapy with active cystic acne.

I would be cautious having ultherapy with active cystic acne. If you have a history of it, but no current pustules or cysts, then it might be possible but I would definitely consult with your treating physician.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Ulthera in patients with prior cystic acne is no problem

Ulthera can safely be performed in patients which have had cystic acne.  As Dr. P has said, we don't do it in the case of an active infection.  In the long run, it might actually help the acne by partially destroying the sebaceous glands which are the source of the acne problem. There is an active clinical trial to see if Ulthera can actually be used for acne treatment.  

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Ultherapy in Patients With Cystic Acne

Hi Loves2Dance,

Ultherapy can be safely performed in patients with a history of cystic acne.  We do not perform Ulthera on patients with active infections on their face or neck.  It should not "awaken" other areas and stimulate acne outbreaks.  There are actually ongoing studies of Ulthera helping acne improve.  Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.