Cosmetic indications such as cellulite or stretch marks occur exclusively in women. Over 80% of all women are confronted at least once in their lifetime with cellulite mainly at thighs, buttocks region as well as upper arms. And although cosmetic indications are not recognized as a “disease”, they are a real problem for many women limiting their physical as well as psychological well-being.
With its innovative Spark WaveTM therapy MTS represents a gentle and at the same time effective treatment option for cosmetic indications.
How do Spark WavesTM work in aesthetics?
The beneficial effect of Spark WavesTM can be directly used for the treatment of cosmetic indications. In the process especially the biological regeneration mechanisms of Spark WavesTM are utilized, as they
- initiate the development of new blood vessels,
- generally activate the metabolism within the treated areas,
- lead to a improved microcirculation in the subcutaneous fat tissue and promote the lipid catabolism in lower tissue layers.
The combination of all these factors leads to a fundamental revitalization of the connective tissue as well as the reduction of girth of treated parts of the body.
Which aesthetic indications is Spark WaveTM therapy qualified for?
- Stretch marks (striae)
- Reduction/ smoothing of scar tissue
MTS Spark Waves™ in androgenic alopecia (hair loss)
Male pattern hair loss (MPHL) and female pattern hair loss (FMPH) are typically experienced as a “moderately stressful condition that diminishes body image satisfaction”. Deleterious effects on self-esteem and certain facets of psychological adjustment are more apparent among women than men and among treatment-seeking patients 1. Pattern hair loss by the age of 50 affects about half of males and a quarter of females and represents the most common cause of baldness 2.
Conventional therapy includes medical treatment like Minoxidil, an antihypertensive vasodilator. Hypothetically, it is thought to widen blood vessels allowing increased flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the follicles. Its success is moderate and the treatment is not suitable for every patient. Another possibility of intervention is Finasteride, a 5α-reductase inhibitor, interfering with the hormonal balance of the body and bearing the potential of unintended side-effects like e.g. erectile dysfunction or depression (post-finasteride syndrome). Finally, invasive and painful procedures as hair transplant surgery are performed.
Recent reports of the international society of shock wave therapy (ISMST) observed hair growth-promoting side effects on the skin of shock wave-exposed areas during the treatment of other indications and suggested it as a potential therapy for baldness. It is also already used by some aesthetic centers.
The biological mechanism
PHL is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. In hairfollicles, 5α-reductase type 1 and 2, androgen receptors (AR) and AR coactivators can regulate androgen sensitivity of dermal papillae (DP). To regulate hair growth, androgens regulate production of growth factors and cytokines like IGF-1 (insulin growth factor), TGF-β1 (transforming growth factor), TGF-β2, and ILs (interleukins). In addition, androgens enhance inducible NOS (nitric oxide synthase) from occipital DP cells and stem cell factors for regulation of hair growth. Moreover, androgenic alopecia involves crosstalk between androgen and Wnt/β-catenin signalling. 3
It was previously shown, that Spark Wave™ Therapy (SW™T) induced activation of numerous growth factors like endothelial NOS, IGF, TGF-ß, VEGF (vessel endothelial growth factor), FGF (fibroblast growth factor), ILs and PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) leading to angiogenesis and revascularization in the affected areas 4–6. NO became elevated upon SW™T and enhanced tissue perfusion, partially due to the increased performance of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) 7–9. NO , as a potent vasodilator, leads to improved blood and nutrient supply of the tissue and increases overall blood circulation. Hence, by mechanotrunsduction, SW™T strongly induces cascades of cell proliferation, tissue remodelling and regeneration 10.
Microneedling is a relatively new, minimally invasive procedure involving superficial and controlled puncturing of the skin by rolling with fine miniature needles. It was initially introduced for skin rejuvenation, however, now it is used for a wide range of indications including acne scars, post-traumatic/burn scars, alopecia, skin rejuvenation, drug delivery, hyperhidrosis, stretch marks and many more.11 Micropunctures are created using microneedles which produce a controlled skin injury without actually damaging the epidermis. These microinjuries lead to minimal superficial bleeding and set up a wound healing cascade with release of various growth factors such as platelet derived growth factor (PGF), transforming growth factor alpha and beta (TGF-α and TGF-β), connective tissue activating proteins, connective tissue growth factors, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF).11 The use of microneedling over scalp for alopecia is one of its recent advances but already some preliminary, encouraging studies have been performed 12–15.
Under research: The concept of Spark Wave™ Therapy-assisted treatment of androgenic alopecia:
a therapeutic alternative to surgical hair transplant?
The dermaroller with microneedles of medical grade, usually 0.5-3 mm long, will create microdamages to the epidermis and dermis by rolling action. This results in activation of body’s own repair mechanism. When applied to the scalp, it will increases the number of hair follicles and also strengthen and accelerate growth of the existing hair. However, due to a certain restriction of body’s own repair mechanism (homeostasis), the therapeutic effects are still limited. When assisted by SW™T, which on its own leads to fast and intensive hair growth, drastic changes can be expected. On the basis of induced angiogenesis and regeneration the microneedling and SW™T will lead to rapid hair growth as sufficient blood supply is crucial for maintenance, repair and growth of new hair follicles.
The combination therapy using microneedling and SW™T-assisted treatment of andogenic alopecia will exponentiate the outcome of enhanced hair growth. It is an office-based procedure consisting of multiple sittings which are minimally invasive and very cost-effective. The risk of unintended side-effects is very low and adverse events are really uncommon 16. The concept can be considered a safe and gentle alternative to surgical hair transplant. Due to its novelty, clinical trials are required to evaluate its efficacy.
This new concept of Spark Wave™-assisted, minimally invasive treatment of adrogenic alopecia combined with microneedling will create a cost-effective, therapeutic alternative to surgical hair transplant.
The concept was invented together with Mirza Niaz Zaman, MD (General Medicine, 6th course), KNMU, Ukraine. If you are interested to discuss this project or want to manage or participate in a clinical trial please feel free to directly contact us for further discussion.
- T.F., C. The psychosocial consequences of androgenetic alopecia: A review of the research literature. Br. J. Dermatol. 141, 398–405 (1999).
- Vary, J. C. Selected Disorders of Skin Appendages-Acne, Alopecia, Hyperhidrosis. Medical Clinics of North America 99, 1195–1211 (2015).
- Inui, S. & Itami, S. Androgen actions on the human hair follicle: Perspectives. Exp. Dermatol. 22, 168–171 (2013).
- Pfaff, J. A., Boelck, B., Bloch, W. & Nentwig, G.-H. Growth Factors in Bone Marrow Blood of the Mandible With Application of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. Implant Dent. 25, 606–612 (2016).
- Cai, H. Y. et al. Cardiac shockwave therapy improves myocardial function in patients with refractory coronary artery disease by promoting VEGF and IL-8 secretion to mediate the proliferation of endothelial progenitor cells. Exp. Ther. Med. 10, 2410–2416 (2015).
- Xin, Z., Liu, J., Wang, L. & Li, H. [Progress of low-energy shockwave therapy in clinical application]. Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao. 45, 657–60 (2013).
- Mittermayr, R. et al. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for wound healing: Technology, mechanisms, and clinical efficacy. Wound Repair and Regeneration 20, 456–465 (2012).
- Gotte, G. et al. Short-time non-enzymatic nitric oxide synthesis from L-arginine and hydrogen peroxide induced by shock waves treatment. FEBS Lett. 520, 153–155 (2002).
- Antonic, V., Mittermayr, R., Schaden, W. & Stojadinovic, A. Evidence Supporting Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Acute and Chronic Soft Tissue Wounds. WOUNDS-A Compend. Clin. Res. Pract. 23, 204–215 (2011).
- Wang, C.-J., Wu, R.-W. & Yang, Y.-J. Treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: A comparative study of extracorporeal shockwave therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Diabetes Res. Clin. Pract. 92, 187–193 (2011).
- Singh, A. & Yadav, S. Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons. Indian Dermatol. Online J. 7, 244–254 (2016).
- Dhurat, R. et al. A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: a pilot study. Int. J. Trichology 5, 6–11 (2013).
- Farid, C. I. & Abdelmaksoud, R. A. Platelet-rich plasma microneedling versus 5% topical minoxidil in the treatment of patterned hair loss. J. Egypt. Womenʼs Dermatologic Soc. 13, 29–36 (2016).
- Dhurat, R. & Mathapati, S. Response to Microneedling Treatment in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia Who Failed to Respond to Conventional Therapy. Indian J Dermatol. 60, 260–3
- Chandrashekar, B., Yepuri, V., Mysore, V. & Charmalaya, V. Alopecia Areata—Successful Outcome with Microneedling and Triamcinolone Acetonide. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 7, 63–64 (2014).
- Hou, A., Cohen, B., Haimovic, A. & Elbuluk, N. Microneedling: A Comprehensive Review. Dermatol. Surg. 43, 321–339 (2017).