Anti-Aging: New Use for External Ultrasound in Skin Rejuvenation

New York, NY (January 9, 2001) — Researchers are exploring a new use of external ultrasound for skin rejuvenation, according to an article in the current issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal (ASJ), the peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

Therapeutic ultrasound has traditionally been used for physical therapy. More recently, it has been used in conjunction with lipoplasty; a clear consensus on its benefits for body contouring has not yet emerged. The newest research involves anti-aging treatments for the skin. "Early controlled studies suggest that externally-applied ultrasound can result in significant clinical skin rejuvenation benefits," says the ASJ article’s author, David H. McDaniel, MD.

Research reported in the journal suggests that external application of an ultrasonic wave may temporarily widen the intracellular spaces of the skin’s outer barrier layer. When this is followed by application of a topical skin care product and then a second treatment of ultrasound, the rejuvenating topical agent is actively "driven" into the skin with sonic waves.

The benefits of this intradermal drug delivery can be further enhanced, says Dr. McDaniel, when the skin is pretreated with microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion, a noninvasive technique that uses a stream of micro-crystals to gently abrade or "polish" the skin, allows more efficient penetration of the beneficial topical agents. "Because topical agents and cosmeceuticals do not polish the skin surface, the combination of these two modalities is highly complementary," says Dr. McDaniel.

One downside is that the ultrasound technique increases the potential for skin irritation and allergic reaction because of the increased penetration. Dr. McDaniel concludes that in order to optimize this new therapeutic option, a new generation of skin rejuvenation products specially formulated for these new applications will be needed.

While still in the clinical evaluation phase, ultrasound-assisted skin rejuvenation appears to be safe and effective when proper treatment parameters are followed.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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