Cavitation and ultrasound are commonly used as medical-aesthetic treatments to eliminate or reduce localized fat. Ultrasound and cavitation are the same thing, so the technical difference between the two is minimal.
The first thing you should know is that ultrasounds are so called because they are outside the range of human hearing, which is approximately 20 khz. That is, we are not able to listen to everything that exceeds that measurement, even when we are young.
Ultrasound and cavitation: the difference
Ultrasound is a high-frequency sound wave that is used for various purposes, such as in medicine for ultrasound scans, in industry for cleaning and in research.
On the other hand, cavitation is an effect that occurs when ultrasound is used in a liquid. This is a phenomenon that occurs when sound waves are used to break up air bubbles or gases in a liquid. This can have applications in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and materials processing industries, among others.
The difference between ultrasound and cavitation is that ultrasound uses high frequency waves, while cavitation uses low frequency waves. “But didn’t you say before that ultrasound is high frequency?” Yes, that’s right. But within the high frequency, we can find 40khz ultrasounds (considered low frequency) and also equipment such as ultrasound scanners that use frequencies between 1Mhz and 20Mhz.
The higher the frequency used, the lower the penetration capacity of the ultrasound in the fat tissue.
Cavitation and ultrasound for localized fat removal
Cavitation and ultrasound are governed by the same basis of action, since they use sound waves through the fat tissue to destroy fat cells. The big difference is the frequency variation.
In aesthetics, three effects are used to destroy adipocytes. A mechanical movement that causes an increase in the permeability of the cell membranes and facilitates the rupture of the fat content. Another is thermal, a consequence of the mechanical effect, which produces an increase in temperature. And a chemical effect that modifies the structure of the fat to make it more liquid and facilitate its elimination.
What is cavitation
Cavitation uses ultrasound at low frequency and high power. The waves create a bubble effect in the fat cells present in the body. Finally, they burst and release their contents into the body, which are eliminated by the lymphatic system and the liver.
Cavitation is considered more effective than ultrasound for reducing localized fat in specific areas of the body. Precisely because what it achieves is to break the cell and release fats and lipase.
How does ultrasound work?
Technically, what ultrasound does is to emit high-frequency sound waves by means of a transducer, which can be directed at an object or a specific material. These sound waves are then reflected by the object and captured by the transducer, which makes it possible to determine some characteristics of that object, such as its density, size and position.
Ultrasound is applied to the body with a head, which may be different depending on the manufacturer. It moves around the area to be treated, in a circular motion, achieving an improvement in local metabolism.
Ultrasound is therefore used to stimulate, tighten and increase local metabolism via temperature increase.
With focused ultrasound (HIFU) the emission is concentrated to generate a burn. It is used to eliminate fat by generating lesions in the fatty tissue, releasing the contents and being eliminated by lymphatic drainage. In addition, this technique favors the creation of a structure that firms and tightens the tissue.
As we have already done in other articles, we recommend to get in the hands of professionals before any treatment and keep in mind that all these treatments work if they are accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. Cavitation and ultrasound cannot make people slim. Moreover, they are contraindicated in people with weight problems and obesity.