About Electrical Muscle Stimulation for Skin Rejuvenation

Facial electronic muscle stimulation may rejuvenate aging, wrinkled or sagging skin. However, these claims have not been proved by the FDA. Electronic muscle stimulation, or EMS, is the practice of stimulating specific muscles through electric current. While some individuals seek these treatments to improve their appearance, others utilize this process to combat the effects of certain health complications. Consult your physician before starting any alternative treatment practices.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

How it Works

A health care provider or licensed cosmetologist give facial electrical muscle stimulation in a series of treatments 2. The provider will place a mask, usually made of terry cloth, on the face with metal probes strategically attached at desired points of stimulation, which are stimulated by low-level electrical currents. Treatments may last between 10 and 30 minutes; providers recommend these treatments several times per week. Because the effects of electrical muscle stimulation are temporary, a permanent effect can only be achieved through continual, consistent treatments, according to a report by the New York Times 1.


Many individuals may seek electrical facial muscle stimulation treatments to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while others may wish to help increase circulation to specific areas. Many others utilize the benefits of electrical muscle stimulation to reverse the adverse effects of certain health complications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows doctors to prescribe EMS for symptoms resulting from stroke or injury 3. The Chiropractic Resource Organization reports that EMS can also be used to treat facial drooping as a result of Bell's palsy 2.


The New York Times reports that, on average, electrical muscle stimulation treatments can cost hundreds of dollars when performed several times a week 1. Many health insurance companies may not cover treatments for cosmetic purposes, but may cover treatments prescribed by a physician to address the effects of health complications.


The FDA states that no electronic muscle stimulator has been proved to promote any long-term benefits. However, these devices may temporarily tone, firm or strengthen muscle. Long-term effects from electronic muscle stimulation may only result from consistent EMS treatments. The New York Times reports that as many as 10 percent of individuals seeking EMS treatments may not see any results, even after the recommended number of treatments.


Before seeking electrical muscle stimulation treatments, check with your physician or health care provider. Many electronic muscle stimulation devices are not supported by the FDA; results and side effects will vary between individuals. If you experience any adverse side effects from the treatments, contact your physician immediately.