Galvanic electricity was named after Luigi Galvani, the discoverer of ‘animal electricity’. It referred to electric currents produced by chemical action so batteries and the electric current they generated were described as galvanic. Batteries have a fixed polarity – one pole, terminal or electrode is positive, the other negative – so the electrical current they produce only flows in one direction, with electrons moving from the negative to the positive pole. It is unidirectional, what we would now call a direct current (D.C.).The action of the galvanic current is always chemical; hence it is often called the “chemical current.”
When the current comes into contact with body tissues the positive pole (anode) produces acid while the negative pole (cathode) generates an alkali. This occurs because body fluids naturally contain dissolved salts (electrolytes) which can be affected by electrical charges. The medical profession credited the acid with having a hardening effect on the tissue while the alkali was said to be softening, a process called desincrustation. This process involves a dissolving alkaline solution reacting under the cathode (- pole) to produce Sodium Hydroxide. This strong alkali has two effects:
Saponification of lipids- sebum (your skin’s oil) is converted into soap
Proteolysis- excessive keratin (or skin cells) are broken down
These affects combined make this a perfect treatment for those clients suffering from oily and acneic skin.