Microcurrent and ATP

Microcurrent is a modality in which a low-level electrical current is used to mimic the effects of the current flow of the body. It was first used in the 1970s to treat Bells-Palsy, a condition that causes drooping around one eye. It was approved by the FDA as a muscle stimulator in the early 1980s. Microcurrent has also been used therapeutically for wound healing since the 1980s. A common use of microcurrent today is for the appearance of skin rejuvenation. Benefits of microcurrent include reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles, improving the appearance of muscle tone, increasing the effects of circulation, and promoting the effects of lymphatic drainage. The combination of benefits results in an overall improvement to the look and healthy appearance of the skin.

Scientific evidence shows that microcurrent works by stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is produced in the mitochondria which is considered the powerhouse of the cell. It is responsible for the use and storage of cellular energy, or more commonly known as ‘energy currency’. Similar to how gas is fuel for a car, ATP is like fuel for our cells. ATP is created from glycolysis which is the breakdown of glucose. The glucose gets broken down into pyruvate where it enters the mitochondria, gets oxidized and makes ATP. This process is known as the Krebs cycle. The more ATP created, the more energy supply the cells will have.

Scientific studies prove that ATP is essential for most cells to function properly. ATP is involved in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, protein synthesis, cell to cell communication, and much more. It helps with all metabolic processes and triggers the production of collagen and elastin. Anyone can benefit from an increase in ATP. The creation of ATP decreases with intrinsic aging, our natural aging process regardless of the environment. ATP production requires 4 hydrogens + 2 oxygens + 2 electrons, more commonly known as water. Microcurrent “charges” the cells creating a polarity difference, which drives water in. The increased water makes more hydrogen, oxygen, and electrons available to produce more ATP. Hydration also diminishes inflammation through the removal of toxins.

For optimal results, it is recommended that clients stay hydrated by increasing their water intake before their microcurrent treatment. Microcurrent treatments require good conduction between the negative and positive poles. More hydration allows for better conductivity and more opportunity for the water to be driven into the cells, ultimately creating more ATP. When it comes to esthetic treatments with microcurrent, the right amperage makes a difference. If the current is more than 100 microamps, it has been shown that it can deplete ATP opposed to creating it.

Microcurrent is a great treatment to fight the signs of aging skin when realistic expectations are given. A series of at least six to twelve treatments should be performed one to two times a week to see the true, cumulative benefits. As well as proper hydration, clients should be informed to use sconce- based clinical home care products to support the results they are receiving in-office. Products including Vitamins A, C, E, peptides, and hyaluronic acid will help improve a firmer appearance, add, topical hydration, and promote a healthy-looking skin. All around, microcurrent with the right home care can help provide a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.



  1. Bio Natural Medical / Residental / Researches / Microcurrent therapy or TENS? (bnm-medical.com)
  2. Keratinocytes mediate innocuous and noxious touch via ATP-P2X4 signaling | eLife (elifesciences.org)


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