Until now there have been few options to treat the lines and wrinkles of the décolletage. Sun exposure over the years results in changes to the collagen and elastin fibers in the chest skin that produce not only skin laxity but also skin discoloration.
The tightening and lifting of the neck, face, and brow that has been successfully produced by Ultherapy® has now been expanded to the décolletage as the first stage in a program of rejuvenation. Clearance by the FDA for this indication was obtained after clinical studies demonstrated both the safety and efficacy of this focused ultrasound energy treatment in reducing wrinkles and smoothing the appearance of the skin. 50% or greater improvement was achieved on average with one treatment.
The second stage in rejuvenation of the décolletage is treatment of the sunspots and skin discoloration with the Fraxel® Dual laser. The Thulium fiber wavelength in the non-ablative Fraxel® laser directly targets pigmentation in one or two treatment sessions.
Is This For Me?
You should consider Ultherapy® of the décolletage if:
- You choose your clothing styles to conceal the wrinkled skin of your chest
- There is a mismatch between the surgical or non-surgical improvements to your face and neck and the appearance of your décolletage
- You are making an effort to protect your skin with sunscreen but wish you could reverse the damage that has accumulated from the days when sun protection wasn’t a priority
You should consider the Fraxel® Dual laser of the décolletage if:
- In addition to wrinkles, you have brown sun spots and skin discoloration
- Your skin is not wrinkled and you only have sun spots
During your consultation, Dr. Forley will evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for the décolletage rejuvenation program. The procedures will be explained in detail and you will be given an idea of realistic expectations for improvement with examples of before and after results. You will have plenty of time to get all of your questions answered.
The program usually consists of a single 30 minute Ultherapy® session followed about 3 months later by two 30 minute Fraxel® Dual laser treatments one month apart. In some cases, you may only need one part of the program if your chest doesn’t have both issues. When severe sun damage is present, additional treatment sessions may be indicated to maximize the results.
- Avoid extreme sun exposure prior to treatment
- Ibuprofen, Motrin, or Advil 600mg one hour before your appointment
- Do not drive yourself so that we can give you additional medication to decrease any discomfort
What To Expect During Your Treatment
The Ultherapy® treatment involves 3 levels of energy delivery at 4.5mm, 3mm, and 1.5mm depths. You can expect some temporary discomfort primarily located centrally over the bony area of the chest. Numbing cream will be applied to this area to diminish any sensitivity prior to the start of the treatment. Pain medication is usually not required following completion of the procedure.
The Fraxel® Dual laser utilizes a continuous flow of cold air in addition to the application of numbing cream to minimize any discomfort. There is no bleeding or any visible wound with this type of laser.
You will be in the office approximately 1-1/2 hours for each laser treatment.
This video demonstrates the precise delivery of three levels of focused ultrasound energy when treating the décolletage with Ultherapy®
There is no downtime following the Ultherapy® treatment. Minor bruising and mild tenderness to the touch may be present for a few days in some cases. The Fraxel® Dual laser will produce some skin redness for a few days. The outer skin layer remains intact so there is no visible wound healing. A bronzing and flaking of the skin occurs about day 3 or 4 after the treatment and will resolve in a day or two. Frequent application of moisturizers will help the skin recover more rapidly.
Followup & Maintenance
The key to longevity of the results of a décolletage rejuvenation program is the use of sunscreen to protect your chest from exposure to the sun. The free radicals produced by UVA and UVB exposure will result in a recurrence of the damage to the collagen and elastin building blocks of the skin. Dr. Forley recommends the use of EltaMD® sunscreens which contain microfine, transparent zinc oxide for long lasting protection. Maintenance décolletage treatments may be indicated at 18-24 month intervals to keep you looking your best.