Can you use a TENS Unit for Skin Tightening? We look at studies to see what the truth is and if it can help with loose, sagging skin.
As we grow older, one thing we notice as we look into the mirror is our sagging facial skin.
This is the result of our skin loosing it's elasticity.
With the emphasis that society places on a youthful appearance, many people seek to halt and even reverse the aging process on their face.
Options for Skin Tightening
Until recently the standard treatment to erase the signs of ageing has been a surgical procedure.
During this procedure some skin may actually be removed and other skin tightened and lifted.
It has differing results; some people are so pleased with the results that they have several procedures as they age.
Of course there are people that are not as pleased after having the surgery.
Some people turn to injections of Botox, which is helpful to relax wrinkles and lines, thus giving the skin a smoother appearance.
Botox injections may or may not be used in conjunction with injections of filler.
Filler can sometimes give the effect of lifting and tightening the skin, thus giving a more youthful appearance.
These injections are usually done by a doctor in his office.
A treatment that has become popular within the last 10 years is the microcurrent treatment known as the "lunch time facelift".
This treatment uses the Faradic electrical current which is similar to the treatment of pain with a TENS unit.
This electrical current causes muscles to contract and therefore give skin the appearance of tightening.
It can be used tighten the neck and chin areas as well as to lift the eye brow and eye lid area.
The nasolabial fold (also known as the marionette lines) is another area where the tens unit can be used for skin tightening.
What is a TENS unit?
A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes.
You attach the pads directly to your skin. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of your body, which you feel as a tingling sensation.
The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles. They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers.
TENS may be able to help reduce pain and muscle from things like:
- period pain
- pelvic pain
- knee pain
- neck pain
Benefits of TENS Unit for Skin Tightening
Numerous benefits can be had by using the TENS unit for skin tightening.
Improved muscle tone, lifted jowls and eyebrows, lymphatic drainage, improved circulation, and skin exfoliation are among the benefits.
The microcurrent is also very useful in helping skin care product to penetrate the outer layer of skin and work its benefits down into the lower layers of the skin.
Another plus with the microcurrent treatment is that it can be done in an hour.
There is no down time after having the treatment. Microcurrent treatments can be done by a licensed esthetician in a spa setting.
Studies on TENS Units and Skin Tightening
There was one study posted in 2016 where 30 volunteers, all women 35 Years to 55 Years old used a TENS unit once a day for 12 weeks.
The improvement in appearance were measured “by overall facial improvement assessed live by the Investigator and a subject assessment of facial appearance including the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale (GAIS).”
The Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale is a five-grade subjective test. The physician and patient independently describe the degree of improvement in facial appearance. Possible responses were (1) Significantly marked improvement, (2) marked improvement, (3) moderate improvement, (4) slight improvement, (5) no improvement.
The results after 12 weeks showed the following scores:
2.17 (0 to 4)
2.26 (0 to 4)
So both rated the improvement to their appearance as “marked improvement” which is one step better than “moderate improvement”.
Other Benefits of Microcurrent
Microcurrent has also been proven effective in instances of partial facial paralysis due to Bell's Palsy and automobile accidents.
Improvement can be noted with the first treatment and continues to revitalize facial muscles with further treatment.
Results can be seen after the first treatment but are not lasting until the 6th to 8th session.
The treatments should be spread out no longer than 5 days apart. Maximum results are usually seen by the 12th to 14th treatment.
Maintenance treatments are recommended every four to eight weeks.
Is it OK to wear a TENS unit all day?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some people find that wearing a TENS unit all day helps them feel better, while others find that it becomes uncomfortable after a while. You may need to experiment a bit to find what works best for you. If you do wear a TENS unit all day, be sure to adjust the settings as needed so that you remain comfortable. And if you experience any side effects, such as skin irritation or nausea, stop using the unit and consult your doctor.
Does a TENS unit help with inflammation?
There is some conflicting evidence on whether or not a TENS unit can help with inflammation. Some studies suggest that it can help, while others show no benefits. More research is needed to determine whether or not this is an effective treatment for inflammation.
What are the side effects of a TENS machine?
There are a few potential side effects of using a TENS machine, though they are generally mild and temporary. The most common side effect is skin irritation or discomfort at the site of the electrode pads. Other possible side effects include headaches, dizziness, muscle twitching, and nausea. If you experience any of these side effects, simply adjust the settings on your machine or stop using it altogether. As with any new device or treatment, be sure to consult with your doctor before using a TENS machine.
Can TENS damage nerves?
There is no evidence to suggest that TENS can damage nerves. In fact, TENS has been found to be an effective treatment for nerve pain.