Send to

Choose Destination
J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Sep;7(3):232-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00397.x.

The effect of topical caffeine on the morphology of swine hypodermis as measured by ultrasound.

Author information

LABEEST, Laboratory of Stress Study, Department of Biophysics and Physiology, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.



Cellulite or lipodystrophy involves the modification of the subcutaneous adipose tissue. A wide variety of topical products is available to combat cellulite, but these have difficulties in being absorbed through the skin. One option is the therapeutic use of the ultrasound to enhance the trans-dermic transport of these drugs.


The objective of this study was the analysis of the effect of caffeine on the morphology of the swine hypodermis, both when applied topically and in combination with ultrasound treatment.


The following treatments were applied to the dorsal areas of five pigs (Landrace x Large White, 35 days old, weighing 15 kg each): gel, gel + ultrasound, gel + caffeine (5%, w/w), and gel + caffeine + ultrasound, daily for 15 days. A fifth area received no topical application and was used as a control. Continuous ultrasound of 3 MHz with an intensity of 0.2 W/cm(2) was applied at a rate of 1 min/cm(2). After histological processing (hematoxylin and eosin), morphometric analyses were conducted to determine the thickness and numerical profile of the hypodermis. A one-way analysis variance using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was conducted, with a Tukey test used to identify significant differences. A confidence level of P < or = 0.05 was adopted.


Caffeine treatment was effective only when associated with ultrasound therapy; the combination resulted in a significant reduction in the thickness of the subcutaneous adipose tissue, as well as damage to the adipocytes, consequently decreasing the number of cells.


Ultrasound treatment was effective in increasing the cutaneous permeation of caffeine, as evidenced by the reduction in thickness of the hypodermis and number of adipocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center