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Are Ultherapy and HIFU the same?

April 13, 2020



Ultherapy and HIFU are 2 non-surgical face-lifts that you might have heard of. Although they are both commonly used as anti-ageing treatments by stimulating collagen and elastin production, they are different treatments altogether. Ultherapy and HIFU are different in terms of FDA approval, the use of ultrasound imaging, the number of treatment sessions, the requirement of a medical doctor's expertise and cost. 

In the digital age today, beauty standards are ever-changing and we all wish we could stay youthful forever. However, ageing is unavoidable and so are the wrinkles, fine lines and loose skin that comes with the loss of collagen from our skin. In the past, a surgical face-lift would have been your best bet for skin tightening treatments. However, surgery isn’t a comforting option for everyone and the thought of ageing continues to be a haunting one. Technological advancements over the past few years have led to a variety of non-invasive options now. Ultherapy and HIFU are the two most common buzzwords you might have come across when searching about non-surgical lifts.  












(Stay youthful with these new non-surgical lifts.)



Ultherapy is a globally recognised HIFU device brand that uses micro-focused ultrasound (MFU) beams to lift and tighten loose skin on the face, neck, chin and décolletage.



HIFU is a medical technology that stands for High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound. It uses ultrasound energy to stimulate cells in the face and neck and promotes the tightening and lifting in these areas.

ClearSK has 4 types of HIFU treatments that vary in the price range because the key difference lies in the remaining power, accuracy and consistency left when the beam used in HIFU reaches 4mm depth. This affects how long the results last and the effectiveness in strengthening and re-modelling the skin matrix, collagen and muscle layer.

  1. V-max
  2. Lithera
  3. Ultraforma
  4. Ulthera

Essentially, both Ultherapy and HIFU are known to stimulate natural collagen production in the skin, allowing the skin to look younger, firmer and more supple.

So, how are these two treatments different?


1. Ultherapy has FDA’s approval

Ultherapy has been used in over 1.5 million treatments worldwide over fifty years and most importantly, has the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is notably one of the world’s most stringent regulatory bodies for healthcare. This certification provides clients with a peace of mind as there are many HIFU devices that are available in the market nowadays and not all of these are of medical-grade standards and could compromise your safety. If done incorrectly, you may experience side effects such as burns or prolonged pain.

On the other hand, Ulthera is the only HIFU treatment ClearSK offers that is the first USA FDA approved device. Ulthera pioneered the HIFU face-lifting technology and still continues to lead the market as it is the best in its class!








(Have ease of mind when going through Ultherapy.
Photo credits: https://ultherapy.com/


2. Compared to other HIFU machines, Ultherapy utilises ultrasound imaging

Ultherapy is remarkably the only non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound imaging allows practitioners to see specific layers of tissues that are being targetted, allowing them to work on the problem areas more effectively and channel the energy to where it’s most beneficial.









(With Ultrasound imaging, expect more accurate results.
Photo credits: https://ultherapy.com/


3. HIFU treatments need more follow-up sessions than Ultherapy

With Ultherapy, energy is more effectively channelled to problem areas due to the use of ultrasound imaging. Thus, more results can be observed in one single treatment, compared to other HIFU treatments, which may need more follow-up treatments to see sustainable results. Ultherapy can last up to one year or even more, depending on the individual.









(Both treatments have their pros and cons with regards to effectiveness.
Photo credits: https://ultherapy.com/


4. Ultherapy can only be performed by licensed doctors

Only licensed doctors can perform Ultherapy skin treatment in Singapore due to high medical standards by the Health Science Authority (HSA). Such regulations ensure the treatment is done in a safe environment. HIFU treatments, on the other hand, are not as regulated and can be performed by both doctors and beauticians. Hence, it’s important to find out more about the procedure before going through with it.








(Only licensed doctors can perform Ultherapy.
Photo credits: https://ultherapy.com/


5. HIFU is generally cheaper than Ultherapy

For Ultherapy, the price that you pay is always linked to the amount of ultrasound energy that goes into the treatment. 500 shots are generally considered the gold standard. However, that depends on the problem area that is being treated. HIFU's pricing is generally about 10-15% cheaper than Ultherapy. Do note that the effectiveness of the treatment also varies based on the number of follow-up treatments you may have to arrange for sustainability. Beware of full-face treatment scams that may be too good to be true!


Ultimately, there are some key factors such as budget, safety and skin conditions that affect the type of treatment chosen. For instance, HIFU may be more affordable but how many times of treatment are you willing to go through for the intended outcome? It is advisable to have a chat with your doctor to understand the suitability and effectiveness of each option. 

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