Ulthera Vs Laser for Skin Tightening

I am a 54yr young looking female that takes good care of herself and her skin. I am considering ulthera vs laser for overall face/jaw/neck/chest tightening. What would be a good treatment to get me started before everything gets too loose. Thank you in advance. Las Vegas

Doctor Answers 9

Ultherapy vs. Laser Treatments for Skin Tightening

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Laser treatments, such as Fractional Skin Resurfacing or eMatrix Skin Resurfacing, do trigger collagen production to tighten skin. However, these treatments are used primarily to address surface skin damage, such as fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars and other blemishes, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and the signs of sun damage. Both protocols require multiple treatments. Both also involve post-treatment side effects, such as swelling and redness that lasts up to five days. Furthermore, this is typically followed by bronzing and peeling due to the stimulation of healthy new cell regeneration.
On the other hand, Ultherapy is a treatment akin to a non-surgical facelift. The ultrasound energy employed reaches down to the underlying muscle tissue in order to jumpstart collagen production from the inside out. Ultherapy initiates a much stronger process of lifting, tightening, and toning the skin to smooth wrinkles, diminish facial folds, retract skin in the area of the forehead, jaw line and neck, and restore more youthful facial definition. Ultherapy is a one-time treatment, with no down time, and if your problem is lax skin and sagging facial features, Ultherapy is by far the better choice.

Miami Plastic Surgeon

Ulthera vs Laser skin tightening

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I would recommend both.  They work at different depths and both help to tighten your facial tissues.  I often combine treatments to allow collagen stimulation/remodeling at multiple depths.  The laser will definitely have more downtime if you are pursuing an aggressive treatment like the CO2 fractionated treatments.

Ultherapy or lasers

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Ultherapy has advantages as it uses imaging to deliver targeted high intensity 'focused' ultrasound.

Lasers are used for skin resurfacing and not to treat laxity of the skin.

We have performed hundreds of Ultherapy procedures in our Williamsville, NY office.

Read our Ultherapy book on the link below. 

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Overall skin tightening

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There are many different technologies that exist for skin tightening. Ultherapy is ultrasound technology that focuses on the very deep layer of skin and even deeper supporting tissues of the face and neck to achieve lifting of the skin in the areas you mentioned.  Lasers act on the superficial layers of skin to resurface and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. 

Ulthera vs Laser for skin tightening

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Ulthera is a great treatment for people who are just starting to see the effects of aging.  It works at the level of the muscle and deep layers of skin to give a lift that you will see over a period of 3-6 months.  The difference between this and lasers is that Ultherapy does not change the texture of the skin.  A laser can improve pores, fine lines, pigmentation issues and may give some mild tightening.  It sounds like you are looking for more of a tightening that Ulthera can offer.

Angela Sturm, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ultherapy, Pelleve or Thermage for preventative facial sagging

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Non-invasive skin tightening devices for the face can be started before the aging process is very noticable.  Pelleve is a radiofrequency device that can help tighten the skin.  Thermage is also useful for this puropose. Ultherapy may be the most effective when done as a solitary treatment. Lasers can tighten but often do this by either fractionally non-ablatively removing damaged collagen from the dermis through microchannels in the epidermis, or fractionally, ablatively, destroying more tissue and having a longer recovery, or finally non-fractionally removing all the epidermis to reach the dermis thereby creating the longest healing time and increasing risks of scar formation. Think of ultherapy as the deep tightening and lifting, and lasers as the refreshers of the surface damage.

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

Ulthera: Rejuvenation from the inside out

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The primary difference between Ultherapy and laser resurfacing treatments is the depth at which your skin is treated.  While lasers focus energy on the surface of the skin, Ultherapy targets deep below the skin (3 mm and 4.5 mm beneath the surface).  Treating the deeper layers of skin provides a predictable lifting and tightening from the inside out.  I have seen great results using a combination of these two treatments.  Ultherapy does the “heavy lifting,” and laser resurfacing works to address the fine lines that may remain after treatment.

Another important difference between laser resurfacing and Ultherapy is the amount of downtime associated with each treatment.  Patients can expect up to a couple weeks of social downtime after laser resurfacing, depending on the level of treatment.  Ultherapy is considered a “lunchtime” treatment and has virtually no downtime. 

Daniel J. Leeman, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon

Ulthera vs laser for skin tightening: the noninvasive option

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There are important differences between Ulthera and laser peeling such as Fraxel for skin tightening. Both are intended primarily for facial rejuvenation. Laser procedures will have more of an effect on the skin itself but there will be some downtime due to peeling and redness. Ulthera goes deeper and does not disrupt the skin so there is no downtime to recover.

Ulthera in Las Vegas...

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I have been doing Ulthera treatments in Las Vegas for over 3 years, performed over 500 treatments. We have had fantastic results. The difference between Ultrasound and other energy devices are three fold.

1) Because Ulthera is focused ultrasound, there is minimal risk to injury of the epidermal layers of skin. Lasers have to focus energy through the epidermal layer and by using cooling, and other tricks, hopefully causes minimal injury to the epidermis.

2) Because it is focused ultrasound, we can focus the energy at any depth, targeting deeper facial layers that can not be treated by lasers.

3) Because, once again, it is an ultrasound unit, we can directly visualize the various treatment layers. No laser device can claim to do this.

I have created two YouTube videos on a talk I gave at a national cosmetic forum. These videos will review the science and provide you with some good before and after photographs. I highly recommend Ulthera! Best of luck!


Curt Samlaska, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist

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.