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What is Microcurrent and Does it Work?

Sporty & Rich Wellness - What is Microcurrent and Does it Work?

@drmelissa.co

Microcurrent devices have become a staple in the routines of many skincare professionals and aficionados. These at-home and in-office devices claim to tighten and lift the face while softening fine lines and wrinkles...but do they work? 

Microcurrent devices provide treatments that are non-invasive and gentle. They deliver low level electrical currents to the superficial and deep layers of the skin and underlying musculature that have very low risk and may help recover damaged tissues over the treatment area. Theoretically these currents lead to an increase in ATP in the cells, an energy molecule that is needed by the cells to repair and remain healthy. These currents can improve blood circulation, nutrient exchange between the skin’s layers, and may stimulate collagen production and improve the quality of existing collagen, which supposedly restores a more youthful appearance to the skin.  

Various microcurrent devices exist on the market. Some are for home use while others can only be purchased by licensed professionals. For the purposes of safety, the professional devices emit stronger currents than ones designed for the average consumer. Typically a micro-current treatment at-home or in-office involves applying a conductive gel to a clean face, and the microcurrent device methodically being moved over the skin in certain directions to affect change.

Unfortunately, there are very few reliable studies done on micro-current for cosmetic benefit. The result of one of the very few studies on micro-current for fine lines and wrinkles suggests microcurrent is effective for these purposes. In the study, a group of 30 women under the age of 45 were given 30 x 20-minute in-office micro-current sessions, twice weekly over seven months total. 19 women completed the study. Study subjects were evaluated immediately after the final treatment and one month after. The result was adjudicated by two dermatologists and one plastic surgeon, and were deemed significant. Results showed the clearest reduction in fine lines over the forehead area. Tissue around the eyes also showed improvement. Furthermore, scarring, acne and skin rashes also improved with treatment. Participants reported a treatment satisfaction rate of over 70%. 

In my practice, I notice a clinical improvement in facial skin tone, fine lines and overall skin quality of patients who consistently use at-home or in-office micro-current as a part of their skincare routine. Because of its non-invasive nature, it is a treatment that I recommend to patients who are looking for safe, more natural methods of graceful ageing, who have the available budget and time. I always suggest purchasing a reliable device or visiting a provider who is licensed and uses approved devices in your geographical area. 

Additionally, I recommend patients be mindful of the gel used to conduct the micro-current. Many of them contain additives and extraneous ingredients. I prefer simple formulations. 

As with any skincare practice, consistency is key. Micro-current is not advisable during pregnancy or if you have any electrical implants. It is also important to avoid the thyroid gland on the neck during treatment. Otherwise this method can be a gentle, safe add-on to most skincare routines. 

Resources: 

Grant, Melanie. The Modern Guide to Skincare.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230642269

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