Clinical improvement of appearance of cellulite and skin characteristics with a non-invasive biphasic pulsed microcurrent device system

By Melanie Riggs, K.C. Holley, Helen Knaggs1, Steve Powell, Brian Cook, Ganesh Diwakar


Low Level alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) microcurrent based treatment devices have been in use for over a century to improve muscle contraction, wound healing, and pain. Over the last decade the microcurrent treatment modality is increasingly being used for improvement of skin appearance, which includes skin tone, elasticity and reducing overall hyperpigmentation on face and body. To the best of our knowledge, the studies examining the benefits of non-invasive low level microcurrent treatment on cellulite have not been previously demonstrated. Cellulite is a skin condition in which the adipocyte (fat) globules aggregate and enlarge causing degradation of dermal matrix, vasoconstriction and blocking of lymphatic drainage. These enlarged hypodermal fat cells push against the dermis and epidermis resulting in a rippled or cottage cheese appearance of skin. Cellulite mostly appears in the upper triceps area of the arm, abdomen, and upper thighs. Cellulite affects women more than men. Here we report results from a 12-week clinical study using a combination of non-invasive biphasic pulsed microcurrent device system (MDS) comprising treatment body serum and post-treatment body lotion demonstrating significant improvement in appearance of cellulite on arms and upper thigh when compared to subjects who used the microcurrent device system alone.


Cellulite is complex skin condition formed from enlarged size of fat lobules in the hypodermis and its protrusion into the papillary dermis due to the perpendicular orientation of septa, variability of thickness of septa combined with thinning and laxity of the skin resulting in alteration of the dermal architecture1. The alteration in dermal architecture is usually accompanied by loss in the density and strength of extra cellular matrix proteins and non-sulfated Glycosaminoglucans (GAGs) Hyaluronic acid. The protrusion of fat lobules in the dermis results in dimpled cottage cheese or rippled appearance. Cellulite formation predominantly occurs in women, specifically around upper tricep area of the arm, abdomen, and upper thighs. In men, the occurrence is usually noticed around the abdomen. The etiology of cellulite generally involves reduced microcirculation, interstitial lymph fluid accumulation (edema), localized enlargement of adipocytes, low grade oxidative stress and inflammation combined with changes in ECM architecture. It appears that aging increases the appearance and development of cellulite2, 3.
Cellulite formation starts occurring in women during post-adolescent phase which is exacerbated during adulthood due to increasing level of estrogen that is required to stimulate adipogenesis around the pelvis and thighs to prepare the body for pregnancy and childbirth. All women have cellulite to some degree. Obesity also exacerbates cellulite development but is not the sole cause. Non-obese and post-menopausal women also show cellulite formation. The major hormones that influence cellulite formation are estrogen and insulin4, 5. Both hormones stimulate lipogenesis in adipocytes and thus block metabolism of fat. In recent years, massage treatments with mechanical devices (Endermologie LPG)5, 6 or without devices, topicals including retinoids, methylxanthines (caffeine)7 as well as dietary supplements8 are also being used to improve cellulite.


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