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Investigative magnetic device found effective for skin tightening in a small study



– Patients treated with a new device that delivered high magnetic energy with a 3-cm spot size experienced an overall improvement in lower face and neck skin laxity, results from a small trial showed.

Dr. Jerome M. Garden is a dermatologist who directs the Physicians Laser and Dermatology Institute in Chicago.

Dr. Jerome M. Garden

In a trial conducted at the Chicago-based Physicians Laser and Dermatology Institute, Dr. Garden and his colleagues evaluated a new technology for tissue tightening that involves magnetic energy. Developed by Rocky Mountain Biosystems and BioFusionary Corp., the investigative device produces a magnetic field in the targeted tissue, which then results in the heating and eventual tightening of the tissue. “By using magnetic energy, which relies on the polarity of the molecules, it allows for a safe way to target specifically the polar dermis, without heating the relatively dry epidermis or nonpolar adipose layer, resulting in a more tolerable and potentially safer alternative to tissue tightening,” said Dr. Garden, a dermatologist who is the director of the Physicians Laser and Dermatology Institute.

For the trial, 20 patients with facial and upper skin laxity underwent a mean of 4.3 treatment sessions with the 27MHz magnetic device that used a 3-cm spot size, with a minimum of 4 weeks between each session. No anesthetics or analgesics were used. “No gels or skin prep was performed before the treatment, other than a gentle soap beforehand,” Dr. Garden said. “A bland moisturizer was applied to the treated skin after treatments.” The majority of patients (85%) had paid for their procedures (a price comparable to other skin-tightening procedures), and two board-certified dermatologists evaluated both before and after photographs for overall improvement of skin laxity and texture. Follow-ups were done 2-4 months after the last treatment. The observers were not informed which photographs were before or after.

Dr. Garden reported that the observers correctly chose 19 out of 20 patients’ before and after photographs, and they rated the mean grade level of improvement as 43%. Nearly half of the patients (48%) were graded at 50% or greater improvement. At the same time, patients rated their own improvement as a mean 6.5 out of 10. Nearly half of patients graded their outcome at 7 or better, which was designated as “very satisfied.” The procedures were well tolerated, Dr. Garden said, and the most common side effects were minor transient erythema and edema. The erythema generally faded after 2-4 hours, and the mild edema lasted up to 24 hours.

“Magnetic energy is a new technology that can be used to treat lower face and neck laxity,” said Dr. Garden, who is also a professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University, Chicago. “We only treated patients with skin types I-IV, but we feel that this technology is likely safe for higher skin types as well.”

Rocky Mountain Biosystems and BioFusionary Corp. provided the device used for the study. Dr. Garden and his colleagues are currently extending the ongoing trial. He reported having no financial disclosures.

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