Korean Lifting HIFU Lasers Comparison: New Thera vs Shurink?

To prevent losing skin elasticity, many lifting lasers like Ultherapy, New Thera and Shurink have been introduced on the market. Many people wonder which laser is better for their skin or has more tolerable pain levels. One of the most common questions received is, "What's the difference between these lifting lasers?". Today, we'll dive into the details of typical lifting lasers with Dr. Choi Bo Yoon, Director of Dr. Skinny.

What do the New Thera and Shurink lasers have in common?

Both lasers have something in common in that both are HIFU lasers. HIFU is an abbreviation for high intensity focused ultrasound. Basically, it uses ultrasonic heat to lift the skin. It’s similar to a magnifying glass. When you were young, you might have burned paper with a magnifying glass. The magnifying glass collects sunlight into a spot on the piece of paper and burns it with heat. These ultrasonic lasers are also very much the same principle of focusing ultrasound on the target layer, using heat to tighten the skin.

Which laser is less painful?

Photo Credit: Dr. Skinny

New Thera laser is less painful. There are three types of laser treatments at our clinic: Ultherapy, Shurink, and New Thera. When we asked our long-time patients who have tried all three types of laser, their feedback was that New Thera was the least painful. In fact, there's a reason for this lower pain level. It is because New Thera uses a patented “centerless” technology. Normally, ultrasound lasers gather heat at one point. If you look in the middle, the heat energy overlaps there, and is more than necessary. This makes you feel more pain. New Thera uses a newly developed “centerless” technique to relieve the pain of traditional lifting lasers. A hole is drilled in the center of the ceramic tip to prevent too much heat energy from gathering in the center. Therefore, New Thera has the advantages of lower pain levels and lower chances of side effects as compared to other lasers.

Which laser works better?

Many people are wondering which laser, the New Thera or Shurink, works better, but there are many differences between both lasers, so it’s hard to say which one is better. When comparing the amount of heat administered, for the same number of shots, it's the New Thera that administers more heat.

For your understanding, I will show you how energy is pulsed from this kind of ultrasound laser. I will apply ultrasound gel on the tip and shoot the laser.

Photo Credit: Dr. Skinny

When a shot of laser is pulsed, you can see dozens of streaks of energy are pulsed from one end to the other end. Here lies the difference between a shot of New Thera and a shot of Shurink. The length of a shot for New Thera is 30mm long, while the length of a shot for Shurink is 25mm long.

Photo Credit: Dr. Skinny

In one shot, the ultrasound is pulsed at every 1mm interval. Since the tip of New Thera is 30mm long, 31 heat points are pulsed. On the other hand, the tip of Shurink is 25mm, so 26 heat points are pulsed. Therefore, in just one shot, New Thera pulses 5 more heat points as compared to Shurink.

Photo Credit: Dr. Skinny

There's not much difference between the two in a single shot, but the difference accumulates when you compare a full-face procedure, where we apply around 400 shots. If we compare the number of heat points in 400 shots, New Thera pulses 2000 more heat points compared to Shurink. Another way of seeing it is that 400 shots of New Thera has the same number of heat points as 480 shots of Shurink.

How are the types of tips different?

Usually, when we do skin tightening treatments, it is important to consider the thickness of your skin, which varies from person to person. The thickness of the skin on various parts of your face, such as your cheeks and your eyes, are also different. The two basic kind of tips are the ones that reach up to 4.5mm in depth and the ones that reach less than 3mm in depth. Besides these two tips, there's also a tip that reaches 1.5mm in depth. Since this 1.5mm tip reaches the shallow layers of skin, it requires a lot of technical skills and your skin can get burned if you do not visit a skilled dermatologist. The only HIFU lasers with this 1.5-millimeter tip are the New Thera and Ultherapy lasers. With the various tips, we can do a comprehensive laser lifting that targets the skin on the various areas of the face.

Are these lasers safe?

HIFU lifting lasers are generally safe for use, and both New Thera and Shurink are approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), formerly known as the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA). However, it is still important to visit a skilled dermatologist to receive these lifting lasers, because it takes years of expertise to assess your skin condition and administer the lasers according to your needs and skin concerns. 

We have compared the two lifting lasers, New Thera and Shurink, and while the specifications of the lasers are important, the most important thing to consider is the skills of the dermatologist. You should visit a dermatologist who takes into account the patient's skin condition, such as the thickness of the skin and fat layers, and the areas of the face that requires lifting. If you are getting a lifting laser, don’t just focus on the number of shots you are getting. The number of shots and type of laser should be customised according to the areas you want to lift. This way, you can get the best treatment for your skin concern.