Current skin rejuvenation treatments that directly target skin cells, such as fractional lasers can lead to scarring and discoloration of the skin. Researchers have developed a non-invasive treatment that has been shown to reset skin metabolism without any unintended side effects. Non-thermal pulsed electric field, or PEF treatments have been shown to temporarily increase cell proliferation in an animal model for a period of two months after treatment.
By modifying a known method of food preservation in which PEF is utilized to kill bacteria, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that a certain strength, duration and number of PEF impulses will cause cells in the area to rapidly reproduce and release factors that promote the growth and repair of tissues without scarring. In studies performed on rats, the team reported an increase in the synthesis and density of collagen fibers and in skin metabolism. Within a period of two months after the treatment, the characteristics of the skin had returned to pre-treatment levels.
Further studies are needed to examine the impact of PEF treatment on aged skin as well as damaged skin.