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Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

What do you think about using an electrical stimulation machine to firm up facial muscles? I'm on a facial exercise regimen - which I'm going to try for 4 mos & I also have a electrical muscle stimulator - which I'm using on my facial muscles - we'll see what happens.

Doctor Answers 41

Electrical Stimulation (e-stim) for muscle growth or muscle bulk or as as substitute for resistance exercise

Electrical stimulation has been used to maintain muscle growth/volume to prevent atrophy in cases of denervation (nerve injury) or when resistance is eliminated (zero gravity enviroments that occurs with astronauts) but it is my understanding that it has not been successful in enhancing muscle growth or bulk.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Electrical stimulation to help lift the face and firm facial muscles

   The verdict is still out on this one. We see patients with facial paralysis and its very obvious that  knocking out facial muscles causes severe droop in the face and around the eyes. Yet we also see muscle hypertrophy as an undesirable aging effect in the forehead, neck and jaw region. I think that eventually we will tailor our treatment plans to selectively train and firm up certain facial muscle groups with electro-stimulation and relax other groups with neuro-modulators to achieve the best results.

Joseph Shvidler, MD
Tacoma Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Jury is still out

electrical stimulation can help maintain some muscle activity and strength, but not really increase muscle strength. Therefore, its use is somewhat limited. 

Sandy Sule, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Electrical Stimulation

Thank you for your question. The theory of this is that individual muscle cells will be stimulated if the current used is similar to the body’s natural current. The question of whether they can be made firmer is probably misdirected, however. Electrical stimulation is useful in maintaining muscle growth and preventing nerve injury. Yet, it has not been proven that they can have a role in creating firmer muscles.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Stimulating facial muscles

Thanks for the question.  Unfortunately there is no known proven benefit to electrically stimulate facial muscles in order to firm up the facial muscles.    It will certainly have no direct effect on the quality and character of the overlying skin and fat which with age and the force of gravity will droop and sag with time.  This latter scenario is best corrected with a facelift.
There are a lot of gimmicks in the cosmetic industry unfortunately.  But its best to always keep in mind the maxim, "if if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."  Wishing you the best.

Michael J. Yoo, MD
Irvine Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Electrical stimulation to firm muscles of the face

Unfortunately the answer to this is probably not! There are a lot of things on the internet and late night TV that claim amazing things about tightening the face in minutes. However, the old adage of "if its to good to be true, it probably is" holds when it  comes to electrical stimulation. My best advice is to see a board certified plastic surgeon for a thorough review. I hope this helps

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Electric Stimulation Machines

In my experience electric stimulation machines can give some patients a very temporary effect of skin tightening.  It is, in my opinion, more of a waste of money in the long term because the results (if any) are usually for just the day.  It is better to safe your money on these types of procedures for a more traditional facelift.  If you are interested in non surgical skin tightening/lifting procedures I would look into Ulthera.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

The idea of micro-current and electrical stimulation to the facial muscles to "firm up" or tighten the face does not work. It is a scam to call it a non surgical facelift, it isn't. The facial muscles are not striated muscles. They do not hypertrophy, grow or get bigger with stimulation or exercise. Your eyelids aren't bulging with muscles because you are blinking 25,000 times a day. Please consult a board certifidied facial plastic /plastic surgeon to be evaluated.

James Shire, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Electric Stimulation on facial muscles

There are certainly options for you when researching facelift procedures. My suggestion is to consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon or board certified plastic surgeon. In this consultation, you should be able to determine what will provide you with your desired results.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Electrical Stimulation Does Not take the place of a face lift

Firming facial muscles by electric stimulation or other means will not help your skin and therefore will not result in rejuvenation. You age in three ways: lax drooping skin and underlying muscles, skin surface aging and loss of volume - for example in your cheeks. Each is addressed separately. For example when considering your lower face and neck: An exam is always needed to determine how the specific causes of your undesired neck and facial appearance. In particular there are 4 main factors that need to be evaluated:
1. the amount of redundant skin, including excess fat in your jowls and below the chin, (requires neck or lower facelift (mini - lift)
2. banding of your neck mid-line neck muscles (platysmal bands) - requires platysmal plication (neck tightening)
3. elasticity of your skin. - requires laser or peels, thermage, ultherapy
4. a weak chin (supports the skin structure) - requires chin augmentation
Each of these components are dealt with in a different manner. For example, excess fat requires direct removal or liposuction (more common), widely spread playtsmal bands are brought together (neck tightening), and excess skin is removed with a lower facelift or neck lift (this can be done with minimal scars). Certain lasers and peels can help with elasticity problems and your photo seems to indicate adequate chin projection.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.