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Electricity Sparks Interest in New Technologies and Cosmeceuticals for Aging Skin
Date:3/15/2011

incare devices), were less than stellar.

"Although the majority of these devices have not been tested, they are generally believed to be ineffective by the scientific community," said Dr. Farris. "In one study where patients using two different at-home electrical stimulation devices were evaluated by blinded reviewers after four months of use, the reviewers examined before and after photos and were unable to detect any differences in the appearance of aging skin in patients who used these devices. Unfortunately, many of these at-home electrical devices are still being sold today via the Internet – with no scientific basis for their claims of improving aging skin."

A more effective electrical technique for non-surgical skin lifting is in-office radiofrequency (RF) treatments. RF devices deliver electrical energy deeply into the skin, changing electricity into heat. Dr. Farris explained that studies show it is the tissues' inherent resistance to the electrical current that generates the heat, which causes contraction of thin membranes running through the fat in the deep layers of the skin, resulting in an immediate tissue tightening.

"RF devices have not replaced traditional surgical face lifting, but significant improvement in neck sagging, jowl and cheek contour, and eyelid and brow drooping have been documented," said Dr. Farris. "The latest generation of RF devices delivers energy using the fractionated technology adapted from lasers, and studies show that fractionated radiofrequency (FRF) may be more effective than traditional radiofrequency at skin lifting because it induces both collagen and elastin formation."

Another new technique using electricity to improve aging skin that is currently being evaluated is electoporation (EP). With this technique, electricity is used to physically enhance skin penetration through high voltage, short duration pulses applied to the skin.

"While research is preliminary, electopora
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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