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Electricity Sparks Interest in New Technologies and Cosmeceuticals for Aging Skin

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 8:32am
Bio-Medicine.Org

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., MARCH 15, 2011/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It may seem as if new developments to combat aging skin are being introduced faster than the speed of light. At the forefront of the research, dermatologists are underpinning these advancements, refining the basic understanding of how the skin ages in order to develop more effective non-invasive cosmetic procedures and products. Now, as an alternative to laser light – used successfully for years to make skin appear younger – dermatologists are investigating electricity.

"Electrical devices are integral to medicine, as physicians use low-level electricity to stimulate bone growth, reduce chronic pain, pace the heart and even improve hearing," said dermatologist Patricia K. Farris, M.D., FAAD, clinical assistant professor, Tulane University, New Orleans. "As dermatologists, we use electrical devices daily in our practices when removing unwanted growths and stopping bleeding after surgery. Based on these proven medical capabilities, electricity has been studied in the cosmetic arena to further improve aging skin."

Electric Devices: The Good, the Bad, and the Future

Dr. Farris explained that the first attempts to use electricity in cosmetic procedures were aimed at stimulating facial muscles. Low-level electrical stimulation has been shown to increase muscle mass and muscle tone, and it was thought that electrical stimulation of facial muscles might be useful to build up the supporting structure of the skin, elevate soft tissue and improve facial contour. While many of these early electrical devices were designed to use at home to improve signs of aging and were sold directly to consumers, Dr. Farris noted that the results from these devices (known as galvanic sk

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