Sofwave - FDA-approved, breakthrough ultrasound technology
No downtime, minimal pain
After the age of 20, a person produces about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. As a result, skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age. Starting from our mid-20’s, collagen and elastin start to break down, causing our skin to wrinkle.
Always at the forefront of new technology, Mizu is one of the first practices in Singapore offering the FDA-cleared Sofwave technology, an innovative skin tightening treatment with no downtime and minimal pain management. Patients see visible results after just one treatment.
What is Sofwave?
Sofwave is a new, clinically proven, non-invasive approach to rebuilding collagen. It is a new technology that is FDA-cleared for non-invasive skin tightening and for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles.
How does it work?
Sofwave is a breakthrough ultrasound technology. It is one of the latest devices in the aesthetic industry that uses proprietary high intensity, low divergence, multiple ultrasound beam technology for non-invasive skin tightening & improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.
The ultrasound energy makes micro-injuries to the mid-dermis, directly stimulating repair and collagen production in the layer that is most important for skin tightening. Sofwave’s high-frequency ultrasound beams travel through the skin layer and create an array of volumetric cylindrical shaped (3D) thermal zones, resulting in targeted tissue heating and generation of new collagen. The heat energy also immediately causes contraction of the skin, tightening it and improving fines lines.
The integrated cooling mechanism in the handpiece protects the epidermis and assists in focusing the effect in the mid-dermis. Because of this advanced integrated cooling mechanism, Sofwave is able to generate energy and temperature much higher and stronger than other devices, and at the same time ensure that the procedure is still comfortable. Temperature under the skin, in the mid-dermis layer, reaches between 60-70 degree Celsius. This strong energy ensures that results are consistent and more significant in producing collagen.
How is it different from HIFU/Ultherapy?
One may think that the Sofwave loses out in comparison due to its single depth – however, that is what makes it unique. The HIFU and Ultherapy has its own benefits by being able to provide more depth targeting at 1.5mm 3.0mm and 4.5mm. The beauty of Sofwave is that it focuses and delivers higher energy output than the HIFU or Ultherapy at 1.5mm depth. This delivers better results in terms of skin tightening and wrinkle reduction.
Let’s look at a table of differences:
|For skin quality and elasticity. Wrinkled skin becomes tighter and firmer.||FDA-approved.||Lifting and facial muscle strengthening. Reduction of excess fats in areas such as jowls or double chin.|
|Very mild discomfort and very tolerable with only numbing cream.||Non-surgical.||Painful but tolerable with local anaesthesia.|
|IUB – Intense Ultrasound Beam that focus energy at 1.5mm depth||Both uses ultrasound technology.||High Intensity Focused Ultrasound energy that targets 1.5mm, 3mm, and 4.5mm. However, energy levels at 1.5mm is less than 50% of Sofwave at 1.5mm.|
|Targets at mid-dermis layer.||No downtime.||Targets at SMAS layer.|
|Shorter treatment time. 40-50mins||Takes 1-3 months for results.||Longer treatment time. 60-90mins|
- Targets at 1.5mm, 3.0mm, and 4.5mm depths.
- However, at 1.5mm, the energy output for a HIFU/Ultherapy is much less than that of Sofwave’s. The energy output at 1.5mm generates heat of about 42-44 degrees Celsius, while the energy output of the HIFU/Ultherapy at 3.0mm and 4.5mm goes up to 72 degrees Celsius. This results in mainly collagen stimulation deeper down in the skin, and at the same time the stimulation of the SMAS layer. The high energy output at these deeper combined depths results in the effect of a facelift, and less for
loose crepey skin and fine lines.
- The reason why the energy output for a HIFU/Ultherapy at 1.5mm is much lower than Sofwave is because it lacks the integrated cooling device to ensure that the surface of the skin does not get burnt or damaged at a higher energy level.
- Only targets at 1.5mm depth
- Energy generated at 1.5mm is much higher than any other skin tightening devices, yet safe and comfortable due to the integrated cooling device that cools the epidermis and prevents damage to the skin.
- The results due to the focused energy at 1.5mm is the contraction and stimulation of collagen on the outer layer of the skin, resulting in very effective tightening (instead of lifting). This helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the skin surface, stimulates and thickens the skin, tightens loose crepey skin, and rejuvenates the patient’s appearance.
Although both lifting and tightening sound like the same effect, they are in fact very different.
For tightening with the Sofwave, the skin will feel tighter and firmer, especially for those with skin laxity issues. The tightening of the skin results in the reduction of lines and looseness. Although the tightening effect helps a little in lifting the face, the overall muscle lifting effects are not as significant as the HIFU’s.
As for a lifting effect with the HIFU/Ultherapy, one will be able to notice that the face, especially the lower face, will be lifted from within. This results in a sharper lower face, reduced jowling, a mild pulled-back effect like a facelift, and the lifting of certain areas such as the eyes or brows, etc. As this lifting effect targets the deeper layers of the skin, the effects on fine lines and wrinkles on the surface of the skin are not as significant as the Sofwave or Thermage’s.
How is it different from Thermage?
Since Sofwave does tightening like Thermage FLX, what is the difference between Sofwave and Thermage?
The main difference is that Sofwave uses ultrasound energy while Thermage uses radiofrequency energy.
- Uses radiofrequency to cause bulk diffused heating at the skin, down to 3mm depth.
- Energy of up to 42-44 degrees Celsius.
- One hand piece for one treatment per patient, which sometimes results in excess number of shots if the patient only wants to target certain areas.
- Uses ultrasound energy for more targeted heating of the mid-dermis layer at 1.5mm.
- Energy of up to 70 degrees Celsius.
- Customisable treatment for different areas.
Comparing Sofwave and Thermage, Sofwave would be able to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the skin more effectively than Thermage as the energy concentrated on tightening the skin is higher. Thermage, at a higher power setting, would also be able to achieve good tightening of fine lines and wrinkles but is more uncomfortable than Sofwave as the energy spots of Sofwave are much smaller and less painful.
In addition, because Sofwave’s energy is concentrated into smaller spots and at 1.5mm depth, the results of Sofwave on forehead lines is more significant than Thermage. The forehead area is usually an area that has not much soft tissue and the depth of 3mm that Thermage targets at is sometimes too deep for a high-powered setting.
Another advantage of Sofwave is that unlike Thermage, which uses a fixed number of shots of 600 or 900 shots in their handpieces, the Sofwave treatment can be more customised to each patient’s needs. For example, if a patient just needs/wants to target her neck area, a 600 shot Thermage procedure would be too excessive and expensive. Sofwave allows the flexibility of customising the number of shots required for different areas and treatments, and is more cost effective for patients.
However, due to the deeper depth that Thermage targets, Thermage can sometimes help patients with less facial volume achieve a lifting effect. Thermage also has a specialised eye handpiece that is specifically used for the eyelids, a function that Sofwave does not possess.
|Uses ultrasound energy||For skin tightening||Uses radiofrequency energy|
|Targets specifically at 1.5mm depth||FDA-approved||Targets from surface of skin to 3mm depth.|
|Higher energy levels of up to 60-70 degrees Celsius.||Energy levels of up to 42-44 degrees Celsius.|
|Focused targeted tightening of the skin.||General tightening of the skin and sometimes with mild lifting effects for patients with less facial volume.|
|Very tolerable procedure with just numbing cream.||Uncomfortable procedure with just numbing cream.|
|Better at treating neck lines due to patient being able to tolerate required power settings of Sofwave (our doctors’ opinion).||Can be both used for different areas on the body such as abdomen and knees.||Has a specific handpiece that is specially used for targeting upper eye lid sagginess.|
Which areas can the Sofwave treat?
- Neck. The results for the tightening of the neck are more significant with Sofwave due to two reasons. Firstly, the higher energy output which produces better results. Secondly, Sofwave is a less painful procedure compared to a HIFU/Ultherapy or Thermage, allowing doctors to apply the correct high-powered settings for better results without the need to reduce power if the patient feels uncomfortable as compared to Thermage or Ultherapy.
How is the process like?
Before the procedure, a layer of topical numbing cream is applied for 30-40mins. The Sofwave procedure typically lasts between 40-50mins, depending on the areas being treated.
When will I see results?
Results from the Sofwave can be seen immediately due to heat and oedema created by the procedure. However, actual results will take 10-12 weeks like all other collagen-stimulating procedures like the HIFU or Thermage.
Are the any side effects or downtime?
The skin can be slightly pink or flushed for an hour or so after the procedure. Make-up can be safely used after the procedure. There is no other downtime from the procedure and patients can resume their daily activities as per normal.
Some patients can experience a mild soreness the next day after the procedure. This soreness is due to the micro-injuries to the collagen structure in the skin and can last for a few days. This soreness is not experienced by everyone.
How many treatments are needed?
Only 1 treatment of Sofwave is needed. Depending on individuals, the treatment can be repeated once every 12-24 months.
Who is a good candidate for Sofwave?
Sofwave is a safe procedure for all skin types. Anyone with skin laxity concerns or a general anti-aging maintenance is suitable for Sofwave.