3D SkinMed/HIFU - Please Dont Do It Until You Know All the Risks - UK

3D SkinMed is a new therapy launched in the UK in...

3D SkinMed is a new therapy launched in the UK in September 2015, purporting to 'lift and tighten' skin using ultrasound rays directed into the SMAS layer - its ultherapy in another name. Im 40 years old and aged 5 years in 5 weeks after undergoing this treatment. It destroyed fat in my cheeks leading to volume loss , hollowed my eyes so that I now have dark circles/bags down as far as my cheekbones (I had hollowed eyes prior to the treatment and could not afford for them to get any worse), it hollowed my temples, and it left me with jowls, a dimpled chin, and loose skin. My skin texture also changed, becoming uneven in many places and old pimple scars/dents have been revealed. I look gaunt, almost skeletal. Like I have lost a lot of weight when in fact my body weight remains unchanged. Over the last few weeks I have watched my face 'melt' and fall downwards and the damage is permanent - fat cells destroyed by Ultrasound are gone forever and cannot grow back.

Upon seeing my before and after pictures, the company behind 3D SkinMed concluded the clear change in my appearance in just a few short weeks was because a) I was wearing make up in one photo and not the other, and, b) my hair parting was 'not in exactly the same place'.

They also responded their machine could not be to blame for the damage I suffered because it was 'impossible' for it to cause fat loss - the energy released 'only hits the SMAS layer and nowhere else', and scientific studies have shown the machine is safe.

My damaged face, however, tells a very different story.

The ultrasound energy has to travel THROUGH the subcutaneous fat layer in order to reach the SMAS which is it target. It targets the SMAS at high temperatures in a process called 'thermal coagulation' - or to put it another way, it's designed to cause cell death in the SMAS through extreme heat.

Considering the fat layer is less than one 10th of a milimeter away from the SMAS, the claim its 'impossible' for even one ajacent fat cell to be destroyed is preposperos. Clearly the potential for ajacent cell death is there, even if only a minimal number of cells are destroyed.

Coincidentally, similar machines are marketed in Asia as "face slimming machines", designed to kill off fat cells in the lower face of young Asian woman seeking a 'v-line' look...

So ladies - please think long and hard about the potential adverse consequences of undergoing this procedure before committing to it. The possible risks will not be explained by your provider prior to your treatment, because providers themselves have not been made aware by 3D SkinMed any such risk even exists, and reviews from women who've undergone 3D SkinMed are as rare as hen's teeth since the machine itself is so new.

Lastly, my aim in writing this is not to demand "this machine should not be allowed exist, ban it immediately", its simply to help other ladies make an informed decision with all the facts. I realise 3D SkinMed/HIFU is likely to produce desireable results for many (the majority) of women, but in my case the results were disatrous and my experience thus far has been soul destroying.


Apologies folks, I wrote 'UV rays' at the top of the above post which I typed out last night while I was very tired - I of course meant 'ultrasound waves' and not UV. Hope it doesnt confuse.

The road to recovery

Its been a while since my original post so I thought Id do a quick update.

Ive visisted several doctors who have all confirmed the facial fat loss I suffered as a result of 3D skinmed/HIFU is indeed permanent. All proposed an lower eyelid lift and full-face fat transfer as the only long term solution. Suggested temporary solutions included fillers and PRP.

Im unable to afford expensive surgery options and quite frankly they now scare me - after suffering a disaster once, anything 'permanent' does not fill me with a great deal of ease.

So Ive currently opted for the temporary fix - a few weeks ago I had hylauronic acid fillers in my undereyes and cheeks. I had very small amounts placed above the brow bone, at the temples, in the cheek hollows, either side of my chin just under the mouth, and at the base of my jawline right at the bottom of the cheek - the overall effect has given support to my sagging face and replaced lost volume, thereby going a little way to masking the damage 3D skinmed caused.

I look better, but still not like my old self of just a few short months ago.

My skin has thankfully begun to improve all by itself. The doctors I consulted all concluded HIFU had destroyed my skin barrier - this resulted in extreme moisture loss causing patchy, blotchy, shrivelled dry skin and wide open pores, very poor elasticity, continual irritation, and adverse textural changes that could not be solved by creams/moisturizers etc - adding any product to the face only irritated the skin further (due to the destroyed barrier) and prevented any possible healing.

So I went weeks with no make up or topical creams, only washing my face every other day with raw honey, and apllied a natural MSM solution 3-4 times a week. My skin began improving each day and Im now at the stage where I can apply make up and gentle topicals again (but not actives). It seems the MSM was key here - as soon as I brought that into equation the healing really stepped up and its still ongoing.

A week ago today I also had PRP. PRP can stimulate stem cells which can grow into fat cells - replacing lost fat in the face in areas where cells have been destroyed or died naturally. The volume acheived using this method is always minimal (it in no way compares to fat grafting etc), however, any natural volume-gain to my face at this stage would be better than none at all.

The PRP takes 4-6 weeks before any results are noticeable - so thanks for reading folks and I'll update again as soon as I have anything to report back on the PRP.

PRP update

Its almost 4 weeks since I had PRP and I can definitely notice a difference. My whole face is looking plumper, the hollowness under my eyes has reduced, and my cheeks look fuller. Nothing looks artificial or 'done' either, the increased volume is my own 'new' fat so has grown in all the places and ways it naturally would. This has 'lifted' the skin from my lower face somewhat, I have reduced sagging around the jowl area and my nose to mouth lines have softened.

Im very happy with the results and Im starting to see a small glimmer of my old face back, so far so good!

I still have hollow temples and Ive seen no improvement to the area above my lip and around the chin/mouth yet. Im still unable to use actives on my skin also.

I'll update again in a couple of weeks by which point any further improvements gained through the PRP will be the end result.
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