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Aesthetic ultrasound: used to break down fats and reduce cellulite

Aesthetic ultrasound: used to break down fats and reduce cellulite

When thinking about ultrasound, the first situation that you visualize are those imaging tests, to see how the organs are inside our body. But for some time the ultrasound has also been used for cosmetic treatments.

Non-focused ultrasound can be used to treat cellulite when combined with other technologies. When it is used in a focused way, it can break down fats or even promote microcoagulation of tissues and consequent stimulation of collagen. Thus, it can be used both in the treatment of localized fat and in procedures against flaccidity and loss of firmness of the skin on the face and neck.

To better understand, ultrasound is a high frequency mechanical wave (above of 20 kHz), which is out of the capacity of the human ear, so our ears do not pick up their sound. It is able to surpass the skin and thus show the location of some structures within our body, reflecting on them and coming back. The greater the frequency of the ultrasound wave, the more superficially it penetrates the skin.

In the case of treatments against skin flaccidity, its effect is thermal, which causes the molecules to vibrate and generate heat, so the collagen is stimulated. When it is used to break down fats, its action is mechanical, as it forms two different types of pressure alternately, compressing and "pulling" the fat cells, which causes them to break. The fat is between the cells and is metabolized by the lymphatic system.

Aesthetic Ultrasound

Aesthetic ultrasound is usually indicated for the treatment of cellulite, localized fat breakdown and to reduce sagging of the face and neck. > How aesthetic ultrasound is made

Aesthetic ultrasound is made using a different ultrasound machine for medical use, which are usually small and easy to carry. Each technology is indicated to an end:

The non-focused aesthetic ultrasound is indicated for the treatment of cellulite, but normally allied to other technologies.

Already focused esthetic ultrasound is divided into two types. High-power ultrasound is able to penetrate 15 mm into the skin, and is indicated for the treatment of localized fat, by acting mechanically, compressing and "pulling" the fat cells alternately, which causes them to break. Some devices even use other allied technologies, such as radiofrequency and infrared.

Low frequency focused ultrasound usually penetrates up to 4 mm from the skin, and acts only by creating vibrations in the skin cells. When they vibrate, they cause an increase in heat, and so the collagen is stimulated. This helps to reduce sagging of the skin on the face and neck.


Sessions vary according to the type of ultrasound applied.

Non-focused ultrasound for cellulite is done weekly or fortnightly, and usually total 12 sessions. After that, maintenance sessions can be done monthly or every three months.

Focused high power ultrasound, which operates on localized fat, should be done at intervals of at least one month, and can be done in a single session or at most three. In the case of this ultrasound, it is not indicated to perform maintenance sessions, but to recommence a new treatment.

Low power focused ultrasound, indicated for reduction of sagging in the face and neck, is done in only one session, and its results can only be evaluated three months later, when the new collagen is formed. After that, new sessions can be made only one year later.

Professionals who can do

Body ultrasound can be applied by physiotherapists, but treatment should be supervised by physicians. Already the focused ultrasound for flaccidity of the face and neck should preferably be applied by a dermatologist.

Care before aesthetic ultrasound

It is very important that the skin on which the aesthetic ultrasound will be applied is without any injuries. Another thing that can not be overlooked is telling the dermatologist which medications you are taking, the doctor needs to be aware of, because remedies that alter blood clotting can facilitate bruising after the session.

Like appliances that reach higher layers deep in the skin, in the case those that act against the flaccidity of the face and neck, usually cause pain in the application of the ultrasound, analgesia or anesthesia is done before the beginning of the session. It is important that the skin is clean and dry and that the creams or makeup are removed.

Care after aesthetic ultrasound

Care is usually not required after application. It is only indicated to perform physical exercises after the sessions against localized fat to potentiate the burning of fat that is broken in the treatment.


The esthetic ultrasound technique is contraindicated in people with cancer, as it can accelerate growth of tumors. It is not usually indicated for people with coagulation problems or circulatory diseases.

Normally, the treatment is not done on unconsolidated fractures, endoprostheses, metal implants (including IUDs), heart (as it may change the contraction of the heart muscle), brain, eyes and ear.

Pregnant women are also contraindicated as there may be a change in the amniotic fluid and even cause malformations in the fetus.

Severe acne is a contraindication to the use of the appliance for flaccidness of the face and neck. However, localized fat is contraindicated in people with very high cholesterol and triglycerides with liver malfunction, since more fat will be released into the circulation to be metabolized in this organ.

Diabetics need to take care when performing this treatment, because the ultrasound generates an aggression in the tissues, and patients with diabetes can present slow recovery of the tissues due to the delay in healing and the neural damages that can result from a long and uncontrolled disease. But this is only emphasized for those who have a history of not being treated for a long time.

Aesthetic ultrasound is contraindicated in pregnancy, as alteration in the amniotic fluid may occur and may even cause malformations in the fetus.

Possible cosmetic ultrasound complications

Normally a redness or swelling may occur at the site where the ultrasound was applied, lasting for a few hours or a few days. It may also appear purplish spots that indicate microsancre- ments on the skin and may last between one and two weeks.

The appearance of lumps, bruises, linear or geometric striations on the skin, temporary have already been reported. Very rarely the skin may become darkened on the spot for 1-2 months.

It is essential to always do the procedure with a trained professional. When ultrasound for localized fat breakdown is poorly applied, it can cause severe burn on the skin. While the procedure for poorly done sagging can lead to paralysis or loss of sensitivity of the nerves of the face, which normally last from two to six weeks. Many studies have already verified the results of this technique and show that they vary greatly from person to person, while some show great improvement, others may feel no difference. About 20-30% of them may not respond to treatment.

For example, it is not possible to compare surgical techniques such as face lift or liposuction, especially when it comes to low-power devices. But given the relationship between risk and benefit, as the dangers of surgery do not occur, experts believe it's worth it.

The procedure aimed at treating localized fat will reduce on average between one and four centimeters of fat per session. While the treatments for sagging get to promote an improvement of 25 to 30% per session, but this will only be noticed after three months.

Combine aesthetic ultrasound with ...

Balanced nutrition

It does not matter if you use the treatment against localized fat, skin flaccidity or cellulite: having a balanced diet will help in all these questions, after all the nutrients are builders of our body. Particularly in the case of those who are using localized fat and cellulite, the ideal is to reduce frying and the consumption of simple carbohydrates.

Physical activity

Having a less sedentary life is the best remedy against localized fat and cellulite. The exercises help to activate the circulation, improving the appearance of this last problem. As for localized fat, usually the ultrasound process already helps in breaking down fat, which is metabolized in the liver and turns energy. If it is not spent on some activity, it will be converted back into fat and settle down where it once was.

Lymphatic drainage

When you do the esthetic ultrasound to improve cellulite, drainage can be a great ally, since improves circulation and metabolism of the massaged region. In the case of those who treat the adipose tissue, the fat is reabsorbed by the lymphatic system, and drainage helps to accelerate this process. Compare aesthetic ultrasound with other treatments

When we think about ultrasound, other treatments can have a similar action. Radiofrequency

The technique works similar to ultrasound when it generates heat in the skin, thereby renewing collagen. The results are even very similar. Mesotherapy

The method also accounts for localized fat by applying substances that reduce fat directly at the site where it is accumulated by means of injections. The result is similar to ultrasound.


The procedure consists of waves that make the cells vibrate and thus stimulate the production of collagen and also improves the local metabolism, avoiding cellulite. Laserlipolysis

This is a microinvasive method, more effective than ultrasound, in which a cannula inserted into the skin releases the laser and directly destroys the fat, by thermal and thermo- (CRM-SP 84.332), a master's degree in dermatology from the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo Dermatologist Tatiana Jerez ( CRM-SP 116,926), member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD)

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