HIFU vs. Ultherapy

by | Mar 23, 2024

These two may seem similar in terms of methodology since both use ultrasound treatment – a popular choice for nonsurgical facial tightening and lifting – but they still have some differences that every discerning customer must learn. 

HIFU vs Ultherapy Comparison Chart

HIFU vs Ultherapy Comparison Chart illustration

HIFU vs Ultherapy Comparison Chart


Extent of Skin Penetration

As the name implies, HIFU uses high-energy ultrasound and is primarily used for medical applications, such as non-surgically ablating tumors. It can also be used to vaporize adipose (fat) tissue for body contouring. In contrast, Ultherapy, uses a much lower ultrasound energy to treat the superficial layers of skin, although it is also able to penetrate a depth of up to 5mm of the second layer of the skin. 

Mechanism of Action

The action that can be found in HIFU involves thermal as well as cavitation to cause cell disruption and cell death. The ultrasound energy cause molecular vibrations which result in heat generation and a rapid rise in temperature along the focal zone which will then stimulate collagen renewal. On a cellular level, the elevated temperatures also trigger a mechanical process that will result in cell death hence the elimination of fat cells. Meanwhile, Ultherapy relies only on heat to stimulate collagen contraction

HIFU triggers two concurrent mechanisms to bring about skin tightening/lifting, while taking care of the stubborn fats to better define facial contours. 

Extent of Pain

Those who have tried HIFU reported that it gave them tolerable pain, and it is much less than the one experienced with Ultherapy. If you compare it also to other popular treatments like Thermage, HIFU doesn’t cause any discomfort. 


In terms of cost, HIFU is also known to be cheaper not only in comparison to other ultrasound devices, but other similar non-surgical skin tightening and lifting treatments.  


Call us today at +65 6235 0010 to book an appointment.

As patients, it is always wise to keep in mind that no non-surgical procedure can have the same effect as a surgical facelift or a mini facelift. You must manage your expectations when you think about the change that is to be achieved.

If you have questions about HIFU, bring your concerns to Dr. Tyng Tan of the Aesthetics and Hair Clinic in Singapore. We understand your struggle and the need for the kind of treatment that is tailored to your needs. Book your appointment with us today and let’s talk!



Park, H., Kim, E., Kim, J., Ro, Y., & Ko, J. (2015). High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the Treatment of Wrinkles and Skin Laxity in Seven Different Facial Areas. Annals of Dermatology, 27(6), 688–693. http://doi.org/10.5021/ad.2015.27.6.688

Sud, D., Shin, M., Lee, S., Rho, J., Lee M., Kim, N., Song, K. (2011). Intense Focused Ultrasound Tightening in Asian Skin: Clinical and Pathologic Results. American Society for Dermatolic Surgery. [PubMed]

Fabi, S. (2015). Noninvasive Skin Tightening: Focus on New Ultrasound Techniques. Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 


About Dr Tyng Tan

Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS completed her graduate and medical education in the United Kingdom over a span of 10 years.

She is also certified by the Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (APOC) to operate various laser devices for skin conditions, administer dermal fillers, Botox and chemical peel.


Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic
391B Orchard Road Ngee Ann City Tower B, #08-04, 238874

Phone: (65) 6235 0010

Monday to Friday
9am – 6pm

9am – 1pm

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