What do the accuracy of flying bats, military submarines, and the safe visualization of fetuses have in common with the newest scientific discovery in skin treatments? The answer is ultrasound, one of the newest trends in skin care.
Treating the skin
Fortunately for treating the skin, ultrasound presents a number of positive effects that facilitate rejuvenation to improve the appearance of the skin. Professor Dominique Redureau of Paris has worked with the Ella Baché staff to achieve the potential of ultrasound for facial treatments; he categorizes the major benefits of ultrasound under the headings mechanical, thermal and chemical effects.
Mechanical effects. The mechanical effects include the very important micro-massage of tissue, softening of scars, increased superficial toning and increased elasticity. When a conventional facial massage is given, the hands provide an average of three vibrations/second; ultrasound gives three million vibrations/second. A carefully performed ultrasound facial treatment will greatly extend the usefulness of the hands. Dual probes greatly enhance massage capabilities and facilitate the effectiveness of the product on the skin as well, while stimulating blood flow. Molecular friction produced by ultrasound is believed to counteract the pathology of fibrosis, reducing the scarring within the skin, whether from a surgical scar or the microscopic scarring of sun damage.
Thermal effects. The thermal effects of ultrasound create friction and increase local heat. This follows from the micro-massage mentioned above, because the skin converts the mechanical energy into heat just as when the skin is rubbed with the fingers. This heat in turn causes the increased activity of cells in and near the epidermis. By increasing the metabolism of fibroblasts and other connective tissue cells, production of collagen and elastin increases, which often is deficient in sun-damaged or aging skin. Increased temperature also stimulates blood flow to the area, bringing with it more oxygen and nutrients for healing. Another benefit of increased blood flow is an increased lymph flow, removing toxins and waste products.
Chemical effects. Through the indirect effects of the mechanical and thermal effects, ultrasound helps increase the rate of chemical reactions in cells to facilitate healing. It also decreases the local pH and increases the permeability of skin cells—effects that favor the penetration of active ingredients in the epidermis. The specific benefits depend upon the active ingredients in the gels, if there are any present. Any good ultrasound program that employs a well-calibrated ultrasound generator and an efficient gel will achieve results. Take advantage of ultrasound to enhance the active ingredients of your products by incorporating them into the contact gel. This has the benefit of getting a speedy initial effect of the product, setting the stage for a maintenance program of daily usage. This is similar to the strategy of most healing programs, where professional treatment is followed by education, and the client can continue the beneficial effects at home.
Any properly calibrated ultrasound delivery device should produce mechanical, thermal and chemical effects. The combined stimulatory effects on metabolism and collagen and elastin production firms the tissue and helps breakup scars, and tends to counteract the factors that underlie the signs of premature aging.
Treatment should be avoided with clients who have a local skin pathology, such as suspicion of a skin cancer or melanoma; a sensitive local area or paralysis; specific neuralgia of the face, after herpes zoster or shingles; local skin infections; or local metal plates or wires from maxillo-facial surgery that are in the path of the ultrasound.
Ultrasound unquestionably quickens skin renewal and achieves fast, efficient results. Consider that an ultrasound facial takes about 45 minutes, compared to 60–75 minutes for a conventional facial, meaning more time for productivity in the spa.