Can treatments like Thermage, Ultherapy, Exilis harm the underlying nerves?

Dear Dr. Irwin, I am thinking about getting ultherapy ultrasound… I need to know if there is anything about disturbing the nerves in your neck, jaw line, etc I am a little scared about the nerve situation. thank you

These are sound wave based devices that use heat to stimulate collagen contraction (tightening) and collagen growth (by stimulating fibroblasts which make collagen)  at levels deeper than skincare products can.  Their results are similar.  Thermage is comfortable and has the most data behind it.  Exilis is newer, but promising and comfortable.  Ultherapy is quite painful.

I never say never because…….. there’s always a possibility of a very unique situation but…… it would be very rare.    A little temporary tingling or itching for a few days occurs occasionally.  I have not seen any case reports of any permanent or more serious temporary damage to nerves from sound wave based treatments.   That is, of couse, assuming the devices are being used correctly and within accepted protocols.   More questions from readers on Thermage and Ultherapy. 

That’s the hard part isn’t it.  It can be very difficult to assess the skill and knowledge of the person doing the treatment.  It’s why I really vote for going to offices of board certified dermatologists or in some situations, plastic surgeons…….but even then it’s no absolute guarantee.

Hope this helps,  Dr. Irwin

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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