Microcurrent Stimulation for Macular Degeneration

Microcurrent stimulation is a technique to apply electrical stimulation to nerve fibers using cutaneous electrodes. Microcurrent stimulation of the macula has been used to treat patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), utilizing currents on the order of 50 to 500 microamperes. This procedure is also known as transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the macula (TESMAC). A primary purpose of electrical stimulation, using higher millicurrents as in transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) treatment, has been to relieve pain. It has also been reported in use for increasing circulation, promoting closure of bone fractures and improving wound healing.


The Task Force on Complementary Therapies believes that, based on available evidence in the peer-reviewed literature, strong scientific evidence has not been found to demonstrate the effectiveness of microcurrent stimulation for AMD. Long-term studies with larger samples of patients, well-described patient selection criteria, adequate control groups, and standardized follow-up and outcome measures are critical to establishing a base of evidence regarding effectiveness.


There are two uncontrolled studies published in a non-peer reviewed journal comprising 71 patients with AMD, who were treated with both nutritional supplements and electrical stimulation and one uncontrolled study published in a non-peer reviewed journal of 43 patients with macular degeneration treated only with electrical stimulation. The studies reported that some patients had improved visual acuity after treatment.


Overall, the rate of adverse effects from microcurrent stimulation or TENS is reported as low. Adverse incidents are related to electrode placement. There may be a significant financial risk associated with the costs of these treatments over a long period of time.


Physicians can advise their patients contemplating microcurrent stimulation for AMD to ask the following questions of their provider:

  • Is the treatment being provided as part of an FDA-authorized study?
  • What are the results and benefits compared to a control group (a group not receiving microcurrent stimulation)?
  • What other treatment options are available and how do they compare?
  • Is lifelong treatment with microcurrent stimulation necessary to maintain benefits?



Microcurrent stimulation is a technique to apply electrical stimulation to nerve fibers using cutaneous electrodes. Microcurrent stimulation for macular degeneration is described as applying 200 microamperes of electricity from a nine-volt battery to eight points around the eye. This technique utilizes lower currents, on the order of 50 to 500 microamperes. The device controller provides the microcurrent using two different waveforms and four frequencies.

In comparison, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a technique to apply millicurrents to nerve fibers using cutaneous electrodes. Short pulses of electrical current last from 9 to 350 microseconds, and are applied at frequencies of 0.3 to 294 MHz. The device controls provide for adjustment in the pulse parameters. The primary application of TENS in health care has been to relieve pain. Other reported uses include increasing circulation, enhancing closure of bone fractures, and improving wound healing.


For age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the postulated mechanism is that microcurrent stimulation improves membrane permeability, nerve conduction velocity, protein synthesis, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. In a very small experimental study (n= 9), microcurrent stimulation was shown to increase microcirculatory blood flow in intact skin and blister wounds, as measured by red blood cell velocity.[1] In an animal study, direct electric currents were shown to increase ATP concentrations in tissues and stimulate amino acid transport into rat skin.[2]


Microcurrent stimulation of the macula has been proposed as treatment for patients with AMD. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible severe central visual loss in Caucasian Americans 50 years and older. Typically, patients who progress to the neovascular form of the disease or have geographic atrophy involving the foveal center tend to develop severe vision loss. Laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy with verteporfin, and specific nutritional supplements are treatments that have demonstrated efficacy in randomized controlled trials for certain stages of AMD.


Although it has been reported by VisionWorks, Inc. (New Paltz, NY) that the Macular Degeneration Foundation plans to propose an industry-sponsored double-masked, randomized and multisite clinical trial for microcurrent stimulation of the macula for submittal to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this is not confirmed by the Macular Degeneration Foundation website.

Microcurrent stimulation devices currently marketed in the U.S. do not have FDA premarket approval for the indication of macular degeneration. At this time, any research studies in the U.S. using microcurrent stimulation for macular degeneration require FDA authorization and Institutional Review Board approval.[3]


Search Methods and Study Selection

In August 2000, the Academy searched through MEDLINE and EMBASE in the English language from January 1970 to August 2000 for articles relating to TENS, microcurrent stimulation, and ocular conditions. No articles were identified, but a bibliographic search of related articles identified one study for the application of electrical stimulation in patients with AMD.[4] This article was found in a non-peer reviewed journal.

To update the assessment, in March 2004 a search of MEDLINE and EMBASE was conducted for the period January 1968 through February 2004, with the same search strategy. No new citations were identified. Using the author names from the paper identified earlier, an Internet search using the Google search engine, located another paper in a non-peer reviewed journal.[5] The Internet search found a web site (www.mdsupport.org) which contained a discussion of microcurrent stimulation. Through this source an additional paper was identified.[6]

Statistical Issues and Study Design

Two studies found were case series, one with 25 patients[4] and the other with 46 patients.[5] The treatment in both studies was microcurrent stimulation and nutritional supplements. Another case series was of 43 patients treated with microcurrent stimulation. These studies have the following limitations: small study population, no control population, lack of detailed documentation on patient selection and patients who declined treatment, and lack of standardized outcome measures other than visual acuity. The two studies of microcurrent stimulation and nutritional supplements also have the limitation of insufficient methodology to distinguish between the results of antioxidant supplementation and microcurrent stimulation.

Information about the effect of an intervention should be obtained by comparing a treated group with an untreated control group similar in all the important respects. One way to assure similarity between the two groups is to use randomization. Because case series have no control group and do not use randomization, there is no way to estimate how an intervention might have changed an outcome. In addition, case series usually describe a small number of patients. Small sample sizes can lead to patient-selection bias as well as a higher likelihood that the observed effect was a result of chance. Properly documented case series can provide important insights into the potential utility of a new treatment and be valuable for those designing appropriate controlled clinical trials. Necessary documentation includes details about the patient selection criteria, the number of patients who declined surgery, and how the enrolled patients compared to the patients who refused treatment. Use of standardized follow-up intervals and outcomes assessment would further improve the quality of information, as would comparisons to the natural history of the remaining, untreated patient population. There should be appropriate study controls, such as using sham microcurrent stimulation treatment or using the fellow eye as a control.


The proposed benefits are that visual acuity is improved. In order to maintain the effects, microcurrent stimulation therapy is presumed to be ongoing or lifelong, although maintenance intervals are proposed to be less frequent than the initial treatment phase.

One study of 25 patients with AMD, aged 48 to 79 years, reported the results of both nutritional supplementation and electrical stimulation.[4] Patients were treated for varying intervals, from 2 years to 7 years with a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, and a monthly administration of electrical treatment of 200 microamperes on the closed eyelid for 7 minutes for each eye. There was no control population for comparison purposes.

The study reported the following results: 15 patients improved their visual acuity, and 10 patients had reduced acuity. The overall group lost an average of 0.30 letters of visual acuity over an average treatment period of 4.0 years.[4]

A second paper reported on two series of patients.[5] One series of 12 patients with AMD, aged 60 to 89 years, were followed for up to 6 years and treated with nutritional supplements and microcurrent stimulation once a week for 6 weeks. The second series of 34 patients with AMD, aged 61 to 87 years, were followed for up to 6 years and treated with nutritional supplements and microcurrent stimulation several times a week. There was no control population in either series for comparison purposes. The machines used delivered 200 microamperes at ±9 volts of alternating, square wave current. The series of 12 patients showed an average loss of 3 letters of visual acuity over a 2-year period. The series of 34 patients had an average gain of 8.5 letters of acuity per eye.[5]

A third paper reported on a series of 43 patients (65 eyes) with macular degeneration treated with direct microcurrent of 200 microamperes for 20 minutes for 36 sessions.[6] The treatment was applied for 10 minutes per eye three to four times a week. No details of patients’ ages or length of time of follow up was given. Thirty-five of 65 eyes (54%) had a 1 to 4 line improvement in visual acuity, 35% had no improvement, and 8% had a decline.


The overall rate of adverse effects from electrical stimulation appears to be low. In the studies of AMD and microcurrent stimulation, there were no reported adverse effects from the electrical stimulation. Adverse effects could include: electrical burns if electrodes are not coupled to conductive gel, dermatitis, and skin irritation at the electrode sites with repeated application. Some materials reviewed during the Internet search indicate that patients may self-apply the electrical stimulation, in which case there may be risks of incorrect application. There may also be risks if the current applied is higher than what has been studied. There may be a significant financial risk associated with the costs of these treatments over a long period of time.


  • What is the biological basis for microcurrent stimulation for treating AMD?
  • Does microcurrent stimulation reduce visual loss caused by AMD, using randomized controlled clinical trials in larger, well-designed studies with adequate statistical analyses, standardized outcome measures and sufficient follow-up intervals?
  • How effective is microcurrent stimulation compared to standard therapies for AMD, i.e., laser surgery and photodynamic therapy?


Physicians can advise their patients contemplating microcurrent stimulation for AMD to ask the following questions of their provider:

  • Is the treatment being provided as part of an FDA-authorized study?
  • What are the results and benefits compared to a control group (a group not receiving microcurrent stimulation)?
  • What other treatment options are available and how do they compare?
  • Is lifelong treatment with microcurrent stimulation necessary to maintain benefits?


Based on available evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, the Task Force on Complementary Therapies believes that strong scientific evidence has not been found to demonstrate the effectiveness of microcurrent stimulation treatment of AMD compared to standard therapies. Long-term studies with larger samples of patients, well-described patient selection criteria, adequate control groups, and standardized follow-up and outcome measures are critical to establishing a base of evidence regarding effectiveness.


Complementary, or alternative therapies, are a growing part of health care in America. Americans spend an estimated $14 billion a year on alternative treatments. Mainstream medicine is recognizing a need to learn more about alternative therapies and determine their true value. Most medical schools in the United States offer courses in alternative therapies. The editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association announced that publishing research on alternative therapies will be one of its priorities. The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has broadly defined complementary and alternative medicine as those treatments and health care practices not taught widely in medical schools, not generally used in hospitals, and not usually reimbursed by medical insurance companies. More scrutiny and scientific objectivity is being applied to determine whether evidence supporting their effectiveness exists.

In the fall of 1998, the Board of Trustees appointed a Task Force on Complementary Therapy to evaluate complementary therapies in eye care and develop an opinion on their safety and effectiveness, based on available scientific evidence, in order to inform ophthalmologists and their patients. A scientifically grounded analysis of the data will help ophthalmologists and patients evaluate the research and thus make more rational decisions on appropriate treatment choices.

The Academy believes that complementary therapies should be evaluated similarly to traditional medicine: evidence of safety, efficacy, and effectiveness should be demonstrated.[7,8] Many therapies used in conventional medical practice also have not been as rigorously tested as they should be. Given the large numbers of patients affected and the health care expenditures involved it is important that data and scientific information be used to base all treatment recommendations. In this way, we can encourage high-quality, rigorous research on complementary therapies.[9-11]

Ideally, a study of efficacy compares a treatment to a placebo or another treatment, using a double-masked controlled trial and well-defined protocol. Reports should describe enrollment procedures, eligibility criteria, clinical characteristics of the patients, methods for diagnosis, randomization method, definition of treatment, control conditions, and length of treatment. They should also use standardized outcomes and appropriate statistical analyses.

The goal of these assessments is to provide objective information of complementary therapies and provide a scientific basis for physicians to advise their patients, when asked.

To accomplish these goals, the assessments, in general, are intended to do the following:

  • Describe the scientific rationale or mechanism for action for the complementary therapy.
  • Describe the methods and basis for collecting evidence.
  • Describe the relevant evidence.
  • Summarize the benefits and risks of the complementary therapy.
  • Pose questions for future research inquiry.
  • Summarize the evidence on safety and effectiveness.


  1. Wikstrom SO, Svedman P, Svensson H, Tanweer AS. Effect of transcutaneous nerve stimulation on microcirculation in intact skin and blister wounds in healthy volunteers. Scand J Plast Reconstr Surg Hand Surg 1999; 33:195-201.
  2. Cheng N, Van Hoof H, Bock E et al. The effects of electric currents on ATP generation, protein synthesis and membrane transport in rat skin. Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research 1982: 71:264-71.
  3. Rosenthal AR. FDA Position on Microcurrent Stimulation. Letter to the Editor. EyeNet Magazine 2004;1:8.
  4. Michael LD, Allen MJ. Nutritional supplementation, electrical stimulation and age-related macular degeneration. J of Orthomolecular Medicine 1993; 8:168-71.
  5. Allen MJ, Jarding JB, Zehner R. Macular degeneration treatment with nutrients and micro current electricity. J of Orthomolecular Medicine 1998;13:211-14.
  6. Wallace L. The treatment of macular degeneration and other retinal diseases using bioelectromagnetics therapy. J of Optometric Phototherapy March 1997;4-5.
  7. Fontanarosa PB, Lundberg GD. Alternative medicine meets science (editorial). JAMA 1998; 280: 1618-19.
  8. DeAngelis CD, Fontanarosa PB. Drugs alias dietary supplements. JAMA 2003;290:1519-20.
  9. Marcus DM, Grollman AP. Botanical medicines–the need for new regulations. N Engl J Med 2002;347:2073-6.
  10. Margolin A, Avants SK, Kleber HD. Investigating alternative medicine therapies in randomized controlled trials (editorial). JAMA 1998; 280:1626-8.
  11. Miller FG, Emanuel EJ, Rosenstein, DL, Straus SE. Ethical issues concerning research in complementary and alternative medicine. JAMA 2004;291:599-604.

Prepared by the American Academy of Ophthalmology Complementary Therapy Task Force

  • Ivan R. Schwab, MD, Chair William F. Mieler, MD
  • Roger Husted, MD Sayoko E. Moroi, MD, PhD
  • Jeffrey Todd Liegner, MD Denise Satterfield, MD
  • Harold P. Koller, MD Peter R. Holyk, MD, Consultant

Academy Staff:

  • Flora C. Lum, MD
  • Nancy Collins, RN, MPH

Approved by the Quality of Care Secretariat September 15, 2000

Approved by the Quality of Care and Knowledge Base Development Secretariat March 31, 2004

Copyright © 2000, 2004

American Academy of Ophthalmology

All rights reserved.

Boom & bust, Microcurrent treatment

The economy may be in meltdown, but a girl still has to look her best — whatever the cost. Anna Coogan on 10 of the latest treatments to help enhance your cleavage

By Anna Coogan

Research — it’s all about researching whatever procedure you’re going to have, breast or otherwise,” says Ailish Carthy, managing director of Cosmedico Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Wicklow, about new boob-boosting treatments.

“We’ve had lots of queries about Macrolane filler for breasts and thought about introducing it, but then two girls came in looking for breast augmentation — one was going to audition for a girlband — and both had already had the filler, and we saw the results,” says Ailish.


Boob jobs are not going away, if anything they’re becoming more popular, with Sex and The City writer Candace Bushnell writing about 18-year-old American girls getting bigger boobs for their birthdays in her new novel One Fifth Avenue, and celebrating with pool parties to show off their new physiques.

So breast surgery is a rite of passage for American teenagers, and we know whatever happens Stateside eventually infiltrates Dublin youth culture.


Just like it’s teenagers and young women who make up most custom in salons looking for Brazilian and French waxes before hitting the beach and nightclubs.

Unfortunately, young women are the worst for researching cosmetic procedures, often getting carried away on the promise of a quick fix.


“I’m not saying Macrolane doesn’t work for some women, but I haven’t been impressed with what I’ve seen. I could see the filler in the breasts, and the girls couldn’t have breast augmentation for 18 months afterwards,” says clinic boss Ailish.


Here’s a round-up of the latest bust-boosting treatments — because cleavage is in this winter and you may feel you need help to do it as best you can.


Just don’t forget to research your surgeon or doctor and procedure before signing on the dotted line. After all, if celebrities can get it wrong — and celebrities who’ve been accused of bad boob jobs include Courtney Love, Tori Spelling, Tara Reid, Pamela Anderson and Christina Aguilera — then anyone on an average budget has to be extra careful. Remember, you want your curves to resemble those of Holly Willoughby or Kelly Brook, and not Victoria Beckham.


This is an injectable filler containing hyaluronic acid and is injected deep into the breasts with a thick needle resembling a knitting needle. It aims to give breasts a round and full look, and involves the use of local anaesthetic. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes and it is temporary — patients are recommended to go in for treatment once a year or every 18 months.


There was a big fuss about this procedure last spring when American surgeons began introducing it in clinics. Botox is traditionally used to smooth out facial lines, but the Botox boob job involves injections into the pectoral muscles which subsequently raises the back and improves posture, and as a result boobs are lifted. Just like the face, the effects wear off, making top-ups necessary.


Transfer of fat from either your tummy or bottom to fill out your breasts. Doctors have experimented with augmenting breasts with fat before, the Wall Street Journal reports, but previous tests led to “hard lumps or calcifications” because the fat “died” once it was grafted. The new fat put into breast tissue is sent to a lab prior to insertion, so that the stem cells within can be fortified. This process is all the rage in Asia.

The Gold Thread Lift procedure is a form of thread lift surgery designed to lift the sagging underlying tissues of the cheek and jaw line by threading a web of gold into your skin and deeper soft tissues. Now it’s being used to plump out cleavage creases by stimulating collagen production in the skin. Considered best for sun worshippers with a damaged decolletage, and not recommended for women over 45.


Combines micro-current therapy and deeply penetrating skin care. This treatment uses both a faradic (intermittent) and galvanic (constant) micro-currents to stimulate muscle fibres, which achieves a toning effect and improves surface skin texture. Combined with intensive muscle-toning formulations, skin is toned and the texture smoothed. Fans say it restores elasticity to breast skin. Sadie Frost is said to be a fan.

The Caci Bust treatment aims to lift, tone and strengthen muscles around the bust area, and is another alternative to a breast lift implant. The bust is massaged with cotton-tipped probes, which deliver tiny micro-impulses to firm the underlying tissue and fill out the breast. Viewed as a good choice for women who want to eliminate the concave look that may occur after breastfeeding or weight loss.


The Brava Breast Enhancement System is a clunky-looking bra which aims to increase your breast size by a whole cup size, and has found a market among women who want to ditch the chicken fillets without undergoing the knife. The bra uses vacuum pressure to expand breast tissue, and should be worn every night for about 10 weeks to achieve an increase in breast size.


The ingredients in herbal pills which claim to increase breast size are mostly extracts from rye, wheat, malt, barley, hops, oats and maize, which are all rich in plant hormones called phytoestrogens — oestrogen-like (the female hormone) chemicals. These are said to stimulate breast tissue growth in the same way that oestrogen does at puberty and in pregnancy. They are claimed to be over 80pc effective. The tablets must be taken for about three months to increase breast size by one cup.


Claims to eradicate wrinkles/crepey skin from the cleavage to give a younger appearance. Lasers create a pattern of microscopic wounds which trigger the body’s natural healing process and stimulate collagen for a fresher skin tone.


Plant extracts are reportedly pressure-injected deep into skin using a high-tech oxygen wand. Natural plant hormones stimulate growth in delicate breast tissue, firming sagging skin.


The no-knife facelift: How one doctor claims he can reverse the ageing process without surgery or needles

By Claire Coleman
Last updated at 4:03 PM on 29th September 2008

It’s the issue that has been plaguing us for centuries. Now one doctor claims he can reverse the ageing process without surgery or needles…

When it comes to top-of-the-range skincare and a straight-talking, holistic approach to looking and feeling younger, Dr Nicholas Perricone is the man for a host of Park Avenue princesses and Hollywood’s leading ladies.

But while most dermatologists accept that their job is to try to minimise the effects of ageing, Dr Perricone’s turns traditional thinking on its head.

Far from seeing wrinkles and sagging skin as an inevitable result of getting older, he argues that ageing is actually a disease.

Unconventional: Dr Nicholas Perricone argues that ageing is a disease

‘As controversial as that might sound, I truly believe ageing is a progressive inflammatory disease that occurs at a cellular level and, as such, you can fight it,’ he says.

He’s not claiming to hold the secret of eternal life, but he does believe that the physical degeneration associated with ageing is largely preventable – and he’s managed to convince some influential ladies that he has a point.

With a celebrity fan base said to include Cate Blanchett, Kim Cattrall, Uma Thurman and Julia Roberts, the Perricone brand is big business.

He first hit the headlines in the early Noughties with his books The Wrinkle Cure and The Perricone Prescription, which claimed that a diet rich in salmon and berries could help you look younger within as little as three days.

This anti-inflammatory diet, rich in lean proteins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, is just one of the keystones of the Perricone approach. The other two are potent antioxidant supplements and the doctor’s range of anti-inflammatory topical skincare.

Despite eight more books and a constantly expanding range of products, Perricone isn’t resting on his laurels. Over the past few years, he has been analysing what makes people look young, and conversely what makes them look old.

‘What really gives the appearance of age is loss of convexity on the face,’ he says. ‘When you’re looking at a youthful face, what you see is curves and volume – the forehead curves out, the mouth protrudes, there’s volume in the cheeks and in the temples.

‘With age, we lose muscle mass and subcutaneous fat so those convexities flatten and eventually become concave. We’ve realised that ageing is less about lines and wrinkles and more about tissue loss.’

Perricone is not the only skincare expert to recognise this – more and more surgeons and dermatologists have started incorporating volume-boosting fillers into their procedures.

But the rapid growth in the popularity of Botox and fillers in recent years concerns him.

‘I’m worried about the constant procedures, whether they’re injectables or surgical,’ he says.

‘They all cause inflammation and trauma and I’m not sure this is the best strategy for maintaining a youthful face.

‘The problem with science is that there’s a flavour of the month and people get excited, and a lot of it is driven by economics.

Wrinkles and sagging skin are not an inevitable result of getting older, says Dr Perricone

‘If you’re a dermatologist, you make money by doing procedures, so you’re injecting fillers of various kinds, doing various surgical procedures and injecting toxins that paralyse muscles. I think people have to use some common sense.

‘Look at someone who is paraplegic and has no muscle tone – their legs are like twigs, they waste away. The same thing happens to the muscles of the face when you inject them with a neurotoxin, so that’s a bad strategy – you’re flattening the face, which is the opposite of what you want to do. You won’t have any lines, but you won’t actually look any younger.’

If Perricone is to be believed, by the end of next year there will be a viable alternative to the hugely popular injectables.

His latest master plan is a four-step, noninvasive approach that he claims can give you the sort of results you can get from Botox and fillers, but without needles or knives.

Perricone claims that someone following his programme for eight to 12 weeks would genuinely look ten years younger at the end of it.

It sounds too good to be true and you won’t be able to put his claims to the test until his new product line launches, but if you want an exclusive preview of what the future of anti-ageing holds, and a practical guide to how you can start to reverse the signs of ageing right now, read on.


No surprise that diet is one of the founding principles of Perricone’s latest plan.

‘Good underlying bone structure and muscle mass are the foundations of a youthful face,’ says Perricone.

‘Loss of muscle mass is the result of inflammation, so an anti-inflammatory diet that helps maintain muscle mass and prevent osteopenia (a weakening of the bones) is essential.’

However, one of the other issues with age is that the subcutaneous fat that plumps out the skin is lost, so the diet also has to include nutrients that will help maintain, and promote, these fat levels.

Based on the Perricone Prescription, this means lots of high quality protein, (wild Alaskan salmon, free-range chicken, shellfish and tofu) essential for cellular repair and the building blocks of muscle tissue.

Julia Roberts

The Perricone brand: Dr Perricone’s fan base is said to include Julia Roberts, pictured here attending the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ last year

Low glycemic index fruit and veg ( blueberries, broccoli, spinach) keep blood sugar levels stable and supply the antioxidants that neutralise the free radicals that cause cellular damage, and essential fatty acids (found in fish, nuts and seeds) provide fuel for cellular energy.

In addition, Perricone suggests antioxidant supplements, such as alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol, pycnogenol, co-enzyme Q10 and astraxanthin, as well as nutrients that help redensify bones, such as calcium, magnesium, boron, silica and vitamin K2.


Perricone is convinced that the key to youth and beauty lies in muscle mass – while the rest of the world is intent on paralysing facial muscles, he wants to build them up.

‘When I started to work with a lot of celebrities, I was fascinated by what made them look so glamorous. Were they just genetically different to the rest of us?

‘I realised that what made the difference was the muscle mass in their faces, the soft tissue on their cheeks and chin.

‘If you look at someone like Angelina Jolie, she has these beautiful apples in her cheeks – they’re the result of the muscles in the face.’

And, according to Perricone, you, too, could look like her. In the same way that you can make sagging, flat pectorals look pert, firm and curved by doing lots of bench presses, you can exercise the muscles of the face to create Angelina-style cheeks.

However, exercising your face muscles effectively requires electro-stimulation – essentially running a micro-current to the facial muscles which causes them to contract, firming the muscles and consequently making them bigger.

‘Using electro-stimulation, I can give anyone this sort of a look,’ says Perricone.

‘And, if someone is slightly lopsided, as many people are, I can balance them out by building up one side of their face more than the other.’

If you can’t wait for a treatment from the man himself (and you’re about as likely to be able to get a highly sought-after appointment with him as you are to find him eating a McDonald’s Happy Meal), he believes that a CACI Ultra (from £75 for 75 minutes) salon treatment once a month is a step in the right direction.

If you’re more of a DIY type, you might want to have a look at the Tua Viso (RRP £199), a handheld gadget developed in Italy. It’s not endorsed by Perricone, but it works in a similar way to CACI and has had positive reviews.


The third weapon in Dr Perricone’s antiageing arsenal is light. He’s been waxing lyrical about the benefits of light therapy and its ability to reverse the signs of ageing for years, but his latest trick is to develop a unit for home use.

Light Renewal, a handheld device, has just gone on sale in the U.S. (retailing at around £180), and there are plans to bring it to Britain before the end of the year.

‘This light isn’t laser light, it’s red light [much less intense than a laser], at various frequencies, which has been shown to help rejuvenate the structures of the skin,’ he says.

Light therapy

Light therapy: Pure beams of cold light and colours may help regenerate the skins cells

‘Free radicals and inflammation damage the collagen and elastin in the skin, causing it to look saggy and uneven, but the light we use stimulates the fibroblasts to produce more elastin and collagen.

‘This works to thicken the skin and as a result you get rid of fine lines, begin plumping up the skin and see knock-on effects, such as eyelids being lifted and skin losing that crepey look.’

He recommends using the Light Renewal device for 20 minutes a day for four days a week and claims that patients will start to see a visible difference within three to seven weeks.


Lastly, and perhaps most excitingly, Perricone is in the process of bringing a number of creams to the market that he claims will help tone muscles and build subcutaneous fat.

His line already includes products that contain DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), a naturally occurring substance that is found in human nerve tissue and in certain types of seafood.

When applied topically, it is said to improve muscle tone and diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Set to hit the market next year are new products which Perricone claims will be able to increase the levels of subcutaneous fat in the skin by transporting the necessary nutrients directly to the fat cells, encouraging renewal and growth.

‘We’re waiting to get clearance from the FDA (the U.S. body that regulates the cosmetics industry) to use the active ingredients we want to use, as they have not been used in cosmetics before,’ he says.

‘We’ve done some initial tests on the products and, using ultrasound to measure the levels of subcutaneous fat before and after, we’ve been able to see that it does work in the way that we hoped it would.’

Anti aging center uses Microcurrent to treat aging skin

Baby boomers concerned about those inevitable lines and wrinkles that come with age now have another local treatment option.

Sharon Hladik, a licensed esthetician, has opened The Anti-Aging Skin Clinique at 40 Woodstock Avenue.

Unlike Botox treatments that require needle injections, Hladik offers non-invasive, alternative treatments to help reduce signs of aging.

Hladik uses various natural methods for body cleansing or detoxification, which includes the removal of stored toxic products from the blood, bowel, liver, kidneys and a significant amount stored in body fat.

The non-evasive treatment starts with what’s called micro-current therapy. Hladik said it’s a natural treatment that involves the delivery of micro current to the face and body using conducting wands that are applied to acupuncture points.

She said the method eliminates toxins in the skin, helping to speed cellular metabolism and increase the body chemical that fuels cells by as much as 500 percent and reconstituting the two major proteins in the skin, collagen and elastin.

Hladik said that her treatment is especially desirable for people who want to avoid the evasive procedure that accompanies Botox treatments. But unlike botox, she said her micro-current treatment isn’t a quick fix. “It’s just that it takes longer over time but is safe and effective,” said Hladik, a graduate of the Artistic Academy of Hair & Aesthetics in Morris Plains, N.J.

She said her clients typically undergo 10 to 15 weekly sessions. That’s followed by booster sessions every six to eight weeks.

Clients also have to do their part through diet and exercise, she said.

Hladik said most of her clients are part of the baby boom generation, those born between 1946 and 1964.

“Men and women are concerned about their looks,” she said. “We live in a very vain world.”

The Anti-Aging Skin Clinque offers a foot cleanse with micro-current ionic stimulation. It’s a half-hour foot bath that helps release toxins from the body. Hladik also provides nutritional assessments, facials, body waxing, eyelash and brow tinting, massage and reflexology.

Four Seasons Resorts Hawaii offers NuFace Microcurrent Facial Toning & Anti Aging Treatments

HONOLULU, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Four Seasons Resorts Hawai’i made a clean sweep in taking the top four spots in the Conde Nast Traveler “Readers’ Choice Awards” (November 2008 issue.) Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele and Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay placed respectively numbers one through four in the Hawai’i category of the prestigious reader’s poll. Maui, Hualalai and The Lodge at Koele also respectively placed as numbers 12, 38 and 94 in the “Best of the Best” category, highlighting the top 100 hotels and resorts in the world.To celebrate this accolade, Four Seasons Resorts Hawai’i highlights new spa experiences and special promotional offers. As confirmed by Conde Nast Traveler readers, Four Seasons Resorts Hawai’i are among the world’s most beautiful resorts, renowned for their stunning locations and attentive service. Each resort also offers extraordinary spa experiences to pamper and rejuvenate.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea: Senior Spa Director Pat Makozak recommends guests experience the recently introduced NuFace Facial Toning Treatment, a new addition to the popular “Poolside Tapas Spa Treatment Menu” which utilizes a compact micro-current hand-held device that safely and effectively lifts, and tones the facial muscles and skin producing immediate anti-aging results. The NuFace Facial Toning Treatment increases collagen, elastin, and circulation; all in the comfort of your poolside chaise lounge, complete with unparalleled view. This newly renovated resort offers its 5th Night Free promotion through December 18, 2008, followed by its 6th Night Free promotion from January 4, 2009 through March 19, 2009, with nightly room rates from $640.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu: In mid December 2008, a new spa experience, grounded in island healing practices, will be revealed at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Kupuna (island elders) and wellness practitioners shared their wisdom to give the spa experience a genuine sense of place. When the spa is completed, signature treatments will use native plant and mineral resources; there will be an apothecary to custom-blend oils; complimentary pre-treatment spa rituals in the new Waiea (Water of Life) Garden; new relaxation areas for men and women; and a Couples treatment hale with its own plunge pool. The resort’s Bed & Breakfast package is offered through December 18, 2008; and again from January 5, 2009, with night room rates from $725.

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele: Spa Manager Teresa Blackwell invites guests to experience the new Banyan Spa Suite, opened in September. The exclusive use suite captures the essence of The Lodge at Koele, offering the couple or individual a true private spa experience. The private treatment room features a relaxation room, double massage beds and a private bathroom with a rain shower. An 80-minute Hot Lava Shell Massage or traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage are favorites of those seeking deep muscle therapy, combined with the art and tradition of Hawaiian massage. The Lodge is offering its 4th Night Free promotion through March 19th, 2009, with nightly room rates from $345.

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay: Spa Manager Teresa Blackwell suggests guests spend part of their extra day in The Spa with the new custom blended perfume experience. During the session, the guest is presented a series of olfactory “tastings,” in which preferences for scents are recognized. These organic and wild-crafted ingredients from around the world are then custom-blended to create a private and unique perfume for the guest. This scent can also be blended into oils and lotions to be used in the guest’s spa treatments to continue the harmonious and relaxing experience. The Resort is offering its 4th Night Free promotion now through March 19th, 2009, with nightly room rates from $445.

“The spas at our resorts are elemental to the guest experience. Especially now, the opportunity to further escape from the ‘real world’ is something our guests are enjoying more and more,” said Thomas Steinhauer, regional vice president of Four Seasons Resorts Hawai’i. “The selection of treatments offered at our spas ranges from pampering to therapeutic, cosmetic to holistic – all of them giving our guests another beautiful memory of their stay with us.”

Complimentary night offers must be used in conjunction with initial stay of consecutive paid nights, cannot be combined with any other offer, package or promotion and does not apply to groups. A minimum night stay is required as implied in the property promotion, and room categories are subject to availability. All reservations must be made in advance and certain blackout periods apply and may vary by property. Rates are subject to change and are per room; per night and rate exclude taxes and gratuities.


Four Seasons Resorts Hawai’i, with locations on the islands of Hawai’i, Lana’i and Maui are four of the world’s most beautiful resorts, and the finest collection of luxury resorts in the Hawaiian Islands. Many guests travel between the resorts, as each offers unique experiences. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu offers the essence of Hawai’i’s golden age; Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele defines a sophisticated upcountry lodge experience; Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay offers the private island beach experience and Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea presents chic, sophisticated Hawai’i. The resorts work with guests to encourage “island-hopping” to experience the best Hawai’i has to offer, at Four Seasons Resorts Hawai’i.