Ulthera - Are Welts a Normal Side Effect?

I made an appointment for two weeks from now and my provider says that welts that can take a couple of weeks to resolve are not uncommon. I would like to hear from providers who have experience with this new laser - is this true?

Doctor Answers 26

Welts from Ultherapy

Our experience is that welts are the result of sound waves bouncing off of bone and depositing the ultrasound energy too superficially in the skin.  Because Ultherapy allows us to see the level of the bone before we treat the area, we have found that this problem is completely avoidable. 

Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Ultherapy welts are short-lived (if you even get one)

Isolated welts (small discrete bumps) can develop after Ultherapy treatment, but it is by far the exception rather than the norm in the patients I have treated. They seem to appear when the treatment was delivered a little too superficially in the skin. In the handful of situations where I have had this happen, it has occurred when the patient moved a little bit during the delivery of the treatment. Regardless, if ice is applied immediately, the welts tend to resolve very quickly. The longest that I have seen one last is about 1 week. Even then, it was not particularly noticeable to anyone beside the patient and myself.


Hope this helps!

Dr. Y

Haresh Yalamanchili, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Swelling / Welts after Ulthera can happen but go away quickly

Occasionally, a person which has Ulthera can have overall swelling which is very short lived.  Sometimes bruising can occur and present with firmness under the skin.  Visible dermal swelling/welts can occur if the ultrasonic skin injury occurs too superficial.  It can occasional have a little fluid like a cyst or pimple, but will resolve within about 5 days. 

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

Welts after ultherapy

Welts can happen, especially with the more superficial treatments (1.5 mm and 3.0 mm).  They are temporary, usually lasting < 1-2 days, but can take even several weeks to go away.  

Melissa Chiang, MD, FAAD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews



Thank you for your question. In our experience the welts are most commonly seen when you are treated with the most superficial hand piece. However, welts are not the norm, it usually means there isn't proper contact. That can be caused by holding the hand piece incorrectly or by the patient moving during the treatment. That being said, if you do experience welting, they usually subside within a day or two. Good luck!

Janet Allenby, DO
Delray Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Welts after Ultherapy

Ultherapy is the only non-invasive, FDA-cleared procedure to lift skin on the face, neck, décolletage. It helps you achieve a fresher, more youthful look from your brow to your chest.

If Welts occur, they are usually transient in nature and resolve in a couple of days.  We recommend that if you are experiencing welts after two weeks that you call the Ultherapy Professional for a follow up appointment.

Shehla Ebrahim, MD
Vancouver Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Welts after Ultherapy - a normal side effect

It is not uncommon to experience swelling for a few days to weeks following the procedure. Tingling, soreness and tenderness to touch for a few weeks following the procedure are not uncommon and a normal part of the healing process.

Small areas of bruising, welts or numbness are also a normal side effect of this procedure and will resolve in a matter of days.

Anna M. Pare, MD
Atlanta Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Ulthera - Are Welts a Normal Side Effect?

Welts are certainly possible after Ulthera but not very common.  We tend to see them more often when we treat our patients with the superficial 1.5mm transducer.  They are temporary and will go away in a few days to a few weeks depending on the severity.

Victoria Karlinsky, MD
Manhattan General Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Welts after Ultherapy

Hi and thanks for your question.  I rarely see welts after Ultherapy.  If they do appear, I give the patient an ice pack to place over the welt and it resolves quickly without any longterm issue. 

Jonathan Pontell, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Welts from Ulthera

It is not uncommon to have very small welts from the 1.5 mm transducer that is used to treat fine lines. They typically resolve within a coupld of days to a week.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.