Facial TENS Unit: Can You Use TENS/EMS On Your Face?

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If you have ever used a TENS/EMS unit to manage and control pain, then you know one of the biggest no-nos of using one is that it is never recommended that you do so on your face.

That’s because the skin and muscle tissue of your face is very sensitive compared with the rest of your body, and doing so can even cause permanent facial nerve damage.

However, you may be pleased to hear that a dedicated facial TENS unit can be used to help with pain relief, and also give you an added boost to your complexion. But it must be a TENS/EMS unit, and you’ll be using the EMS side of things, not the TENS side of things.

In this blog post, I’ll go into detail on how it works and what it can do for your face.


Facial TENS Unit

TENS machines are a type of electrotherapy that send pulses of electricity to your nerves that disrupt pain signals sent to the brain, and in turn cause your injured muscles and connective tissue to relax, and provide relief from the pain.

Traditionally, TENS (which is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) has been used to control pain all over the body with great effect, which is why this non-invasive and medication-free way of dealing with the stress of pain has become so popular over the years. 

This is done via the connected electrode pads, which are usually placed on the skin in the area where the pain symptoms are located, so that the electrical pulses can pass through to the nerves that control the muscles. The pulse also causes the muscles to vibrate and twitch.

However, it has been determined that because of the strength of electrical pulses emitted from a normal TENS unit, you shouldn’t use these devices on your face. The high frequencies can cause a host of harmful issues.

Because of the strength of electrical pulses emitted from a normal TENS unit, you shouldn’t use these devices on your face. The high frequencies can cause a host of harmful issues.

For example, because the skin on your face is really sensitive, there’s a chance that the electrode pads can cause burns wherever they’re placed.

On top of this, because of the increase in blood circulation that happens when using a TENS unit, using it on your face could result in a seizure, thrombophlebitis, or even facial paralysis.

However, many people do use TENS units for the face to help control the pain associated with tight jaws, trigeminal neuralgia nerve pain, and transmandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ, which many people suffer from due to stress, and the clenching and grinding of teeth as they sleep.

And because TENS machines have also been used to promote the faster healing of skin wounds, other people have used their devices to help remove acne scarring, and even fine lines and wrinkles.

It should be noted, however, that using a TENS unit on the face does come with risks, and you should never use the device on the high-intensity setting, or else you could cause severe pain and damage to the skin.


How To Use A TENS/EMS Unit For A Facelift

TENS/EMS Unit

In order to use a TENS unit on your face to stimulate collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, you need to have a TENS device that includes an EMS mode, which stands for electro muscle stimulation

EMS is a safe and proven treatment for toning muscle tissue, which helps to tighten the skin. Unlike the electrical neural stimulation emitted with TENS, which is measured in milliamps, EMS uses micro-currents measured in microamps, which are even safe for using on the neck (although the thyroid area should always be avoided). Here is an FDA document talking about EMS devices.

Some cosmetics companies like Rika sell EMS devices specifically designed for facial muscle toning .

Last update on 2024-02-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It should be noted that you will still be sending electrical currents, so you should always proceed with caution when you begin the treatment on the lowest setting. If you feel any pain, then you should stop using the device immediately. 

You will still be sending electrical currents, so you should always proceed with caution when you begin the treatment on the lowest setting. If you feel any pain, then you should stop using the device immediately.

In addition, never use your TENS unit on your throat or sides of your neck (the skin is simply too sensitive here), on your temples, which can trigger unwanted headaches, or on the extremely sensitive skin around your eyes and mouth — even on the EMS settings. 

EMS frequencies work by toning your facial muscles through micro-current stimulation, which makes them tighter, stronger, and leaner. 

The effect on your skin is that the built-up muscle tissue fills in any loose or sagging skin, which makes it appear tighter and smoother. Many people have reported that their face looks more sculpted as a result.


How Long Will The Effects Last? 

Using the EMS micro-currents on your face can help to increase blood circulation in your skin, which also boosts the production of collagen and elastin. This means your skin eventually will appear more youthful, while fine lines and wrinkles will be reduced. 

Many people report that they see almost immediate results after about three days of treatment. Without any follow-up, these effects can last for up to six weeks. However, if you use your device more regularly, the cumulative effect goes on for much longer, leaving you with more sculpted, smoother, and youthful appearing skin. 

Our Recommendations

As we’ve mentioned before, it is definitely not advised that you use the TENS settings on your face, due to the damage it could leave behind. Therefore, you need to make sure that your TENS unit has EMS settings, and that you only use those. 

One such device is the Auvon Dual Channel TENS/EMS Unit , which is a device that has 24 different modes of operation, including an EMS mode that’s suitable for skin tightening.

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Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another option is the Dual Channel TENS & EMS Therapy Device by Massage Therapy Concepts , which includes a programmable timer to make scheduling your treatments easier.

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TENS Unit & EMS Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief Therapy, Sciatica, Neck & Back Pain, Portable Stim...
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  • What You Get - 1 Tens/EMS Device, 2...

Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Face Off

Although there is no such thing as a dedicated facial TENS unit, it is possible to use a TENS device to give yourself a facelift at home. However, it must have an EMS mode, because using Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation will cause damage.

When using the micro currents associated with EMS though, you can safely stimulate your facial muscles to give you a more youthful appearance without having to resort to botox or going under the knife.