US 2700975 A
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Feb L 1955 o. HQPFINGER Erm. 70mm HIGHJREQUENCY APPARATUS FOR PAINLESS EPILATIQN Filed Dec. 8, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 1N V EN TOR.
Feb. l, 1955 cz4 HOPFINGER ETAL HIGH-FREQUENCY APPARATUS FOR PAINLESS EPILATION 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec.
maf/M@ gru@ ,4 rra/@MEV United States Patent O HIGH-FREQUENCY APPARATUS FOR PAINLESS EPILATION Otto Hopfinger, Louis L. Weisglass, and Carl P. Weisglass,
New York, N. Y., assiguors of one-half to Otto Hoplinger, and one-half to Louis L. Weisglass and Carl l. Weisglass, all of New York, N. Y.
Application December 8, 1950, Serial No. 199,774
Claims. (Cl. 12S-303.18)
The invention relates to a method and an apparatus for epilation of hair-i. e., the destruction of the root of the hair-thereby causing as little pain as possible.
One of the objects of this invention is a method in which high frequency currents of different intensities are applied to the papilla in a predetermined order.
Another object of the invention is an apparatus for producing high frequency currents of different intensities and for applying these intensities in a predetermined order.
Another object of the invention is to apply high frequency energy in the form of short pulses.
A more specific object of the invention is to apply high frequency in the form of a sequence of pulses of different duration, preferably of shorter duration first and of longer duration thereafter.
Still another object of the invention is to control the number of pulses of high frequency energy to be applied to the papilla.
In a specific embodiment of the invention, the intensities of different pulses applied to the papilla are adjusted independently, another adjustment being provided in the variation of the number of pulses to be applied.
A further specific object of the invention is to simplify operation of the high frequency apparatus used for epilation by making a number of steps automatic and fixed, leaving other steps to manual adjustment in order to give this method utmost flexibility.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to apply lesser high frequency energy in the form of several short pulses representing varying degrees of energy, with relatively lesser energy first and larger energy later, the variation in degree of energy being preferably determined by the relative duration of the pulses, leaving intervals between pulses substantially equal.
A further object of the invention is initiation under the control of the operator, preferably by foot operation, and automatic occurrence of a number of pulses of predetermined length, duration, and interval, and thereafter under control of another preferably manual operation, the occurrence of a larger energy pulse, especially one of larger current intensity.
In this way, it is possible without reducing the flexibility of the operator in adapting his treatment to the sensitivities of different individuals, to reduce these operations to a minimum and to permit epilation at an optimum speed with minimum pain.
These and other objects of the invention will be more fully apparent from the drawings annexed herewith, in which Figure l represents diagrammatically certain high frequencyenergy pulses, duration, intensity, and intervals utilized in accordance with the invention.
Figure 2 represents, also diagrammatically, the temperature or heat development produced by high frequency pulses around the papilla.
Figure 3 shows equally in the form of a diagram the sensations perceived by the nerve adjoining the papilla as a function of time.
Figure 4 shows a circuit diagram of a high frequency apparatus used for epilation and embodying certain features of the invention.
Figure 5 shows a preferred form of electrode system also embodying certain features of the invention and preferably used in connection with the apparatus shown in Figure 4.
Figure 1 shows four pulses of relatively low and preferably constant intensity, followed by a larger pulse 5 of about twice the intensity. The four pulses 1, 2, 3, 4 are of increasing duration. Pulse 1, for example, is shown to have a duration of .l0 second; pulse 2 a duration of .l5 second; pulse 3 a duration of .20 second; pulse 4 a duration of .25 second.
It is, of course, possible, and very often preferable, to have pulses 3 and 4, or all pulses except one, i. e., 2, 3, 4, of substantially the same duration, say .15 second.
Any number of low intensity pulses may be provided without exceeding the scope of the invention.
The interval between pulses 1, 2, 3, 4 is substantially equal and a multiple of the duration of these pulses, preferably as shown in Figure l, .5 second.
Pre-pulses 1, 2, 3, 4 are followed at an interval determined by the choice of the operator by a relatively large main pulse 5 of about twice the current intensity, preferably as shown of about twice the current intensity of pulses 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The duration of pulse 5 is also determined by the choice of the operator.
The intensity of pulses 1, 2, 3, 4 may be adjustable with respect to each other as well as their respective intervals may also be adjustable without exceeding the scope of the invention.
However, in order to reduce operations to a minimum, and for all practical purposes, it has been found useful to keep interval of pre-pulses 1, 2, 3, and 4 constant; and predeterminedly to adjust only the intensity and number of these pre-pulses.
In principle, intensity and duration of main pulse 5 as well as its distance from the last pulse of pre-pulses 1, 2, 3, 4, may also be predeterminedly adjusted. However, in practice it has been preferred only to predetermine the intensity and to leave the other variables in the choice of the operator during operation.
It has also been found useful to determine the low intensity current of the pre-pulses between ten and twenty milliamperes, while the intensity of the main pulse has been found effective at twenty-live to fifty milliamperes, measured at the point of the needle.
This has been found sufficient to effect epilation with a minimum of pain.
An explanation for the painlessness produced by the application of methods and apparatus in accordance with the invention may be found in Figure 2 showing the temperature development at or near the papilla as a result of the application of pulses. The temperatures developed by pulses 1 through 5 are indicated in curves 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. It is apparent that the ascendant parts of curves 6, 7, and 8, while eventually exponentially approaching each other, although extending over increasing times for the different pulses 2, 3, 4, do not produce a corresponding increase in temperature and therefore do not cause any increase in affectation of the nerve associated with that papilla; this is due to the prolonged ofi period, thus assuring the dissipation of heat to almost normal body ternperature.
The reason for this relative reduction in pain sensation is believed to reside in that each of the pre-pulses 2, 3, 4, while not causing complete destruction of the papilla, produces a shell of a coagulating layer about the periphery of the papilla which, by its heat insulating properties, pren vents, or at least impedes, the high frequency energy applied through the next pulse from reaching the nerve. Thus, this pulse, although extending over a relatively greater time, fails to exert upon the nerve a higher influence than that produced by the preceding shorter pulse.
Similarly, the next or third current impulse, Whether it be applied over the same or over greater duration, will cause no greater, if not a lesser, sensation in the nerve because in this case the preceding impulse will have contributed to further destruction and formation of an increased coagulating layer around the papilla, which will tend to protect the nerve, at least to a certain extent, from conduction of electricity as well as of heat.
Now, after having applied a number of pre-pulses, each in itself while not sufficient to produce complete destruction, but causing coagulation and the formation of an increasing insulating layer protecting the nerve against current and heat conduction, thereby reducing pain sensation to a hardly noticeable minimum, it becomes possible to effect complete destruction by a relatively larger pulse, for example a pulse such as shown at of about twice the current intensity of the pre-pulses which also will not be very noticeable due to the reduction of heat transfer to the nerve caused by the preceding coagulation due to the pre-pulses.
Figure 3 attempts to explain this reduction in pain resulting from the invention. The sensations caused by the different pulses of Figure l are indicated at points 11, 12, 13, and 14. Apparently, in spite of the increasing pulse duration and increased heat, the sensation caused by pre-pulses 2, 3, and 4 should not be more, but may be less than, that caused by the first pulse 1, and intervals and pulse dimensions are so dimensioned that the sensation caused by the main pulse 5 and indicated by curve 14 is substantially not greater than that caused by the first pre-pulse.
Any further adjustment of the apparatus to the requirements of the individual or of the particular section of the skin surface or properties of the papilla treated may be effected by varying the intensity and the number of the pre-pulses as well as the duration and intensity and, if necessary, the number, of the main pulses.
In the past it has been found necessary to use a relatively large amount of high frequency energy. This energy was applied for epilation in the form of a prolonged pulse of high intensity, thereby causing pains that could hardly be sustained.
It is apparent that in applicants invention there is great latitude, depending upon the sensitivity of the individual and the various skin and hair portions to be epilated While number of pulses, intensity, duration of pulses, and intervals between the pulses may be varied, it is possible at the same time to reduce these variables to a minimum and yet maintain sufficient variables to permit the operator to use his skill with utmost efficiency.
In the diagram of Figure 4, an electronic oscillator circuit of the Hartley type is used. Tube 16 is a triode of the 80l-A type supplied with the necessary voltages over a line transformer 17. High frequency currents are set up in an oscillating coil 18, which is capacitatively coupled over condenser 19 to two circuits 20, 21, each containing a variable capacity 22, 23, respectively; one, say 22, if operatively connected supplying a current of high intensity, and the other, say 23, if operatively connected supplying a current of low intensity.
Capacities 22, 23, serve to adiust or predetermine the intensities t'o be applied to needle 24 for example to the different values apparent from Fig. l. The two output circuits 20, 21 are connected to the common electrode or epilation needle 24 through a switching mechanism which includes a timing disk 25 operating in otherwise well known manner at predetermined and adiustable times a number of contacts to close or open, as the case may be, different circuits at predetermined times and in predetermined order.
In this particular instance, there are three contact pairs 26, 27, and 28, which are operated by timing disk 25, as will be explained further below.
Timing disk 25 itself is driven over a shaft diagrammatically indicated at 29 and a magnetic clutch 30 coupling shaft 29 to motor 31.
The coil of clutch 30 is indicated schematically at 32 and is energized by a foot switch 33. Current is supplied to motor 31 from lines 34 and to clutch coil 32 from a line 35 of, say, 24 volts.
The same or a different 24 volt line is indicated at 36' to energize relay coils schematically indicated at 37 operating contacts 38, 39, and relay coil 40, operating contacts 41 and 42, for connecting the different circuits 20, 21, to needle 24 in predetermined order and at predetermined times.
Light 43 represents a small incandescent lamp in shunt with a condenser 44 to indicate to the operator the actual flow of high intensity current through needle 24.
As shown in Figure 4, high and low intensity currents are fed over substantially the same lines 62, 63 and for this reason high frequency chokes such as schematically indicated at 47, 48, are provided to prevent high frequency from flowing into lines 49, 50.
Similarly, blocking condenser 51 prevents the relay current from by-passing manual switch 45, which operf ates the main pulse.
The apparatus operates as follows:
Motor 31 is assumed to be running, operated by a separate switch (not shown) which could be coupled with or replaced by foot switch 33, or a relay controlled thereby and locked after foot switch 33 has been operated; such locking circuit being released under control of timing disk 25 at a predetermined position thereof, as is well known in the art.
Upon operation of foot switch 33 clutch 30 is energized, coupling timing disk 25 to the running shaft of motor 31. Timing disk 25 imparts a number of mechanical impulses to contacts 26, closing and opening these contacts and thereby intermittently energizing relay coil 37 over power supply 36', impulse contacts 26, and normally closed contacts 27. Contact 38 of relay coil 37 closes the plate circuit of oscillator tube 16. Contact 39 closes but is ineffective because switch and contacts 28 are open.
Thus, upon rotation of disk 25, contacts 26 will be closed for as many times and for such durations and intervals as desired or predetermined in accordance with the number and duration and intervals of pre-pulses to be applied in accordance with the invention.
In this way, a series of pre-selected impulses of relatively low intensity will be applied over condenser 19, line 21, variable condenser 23, contact 42, signal lamp 43, to electrode needle 24.
Relay control unit 40-42 prevents the high intensity impulses to be carried to needle 24 in the following manner. During occurrence of the low intensity impulses, the high intensity energy derived from condenser 22 cannot pass to needle 24 because contacts 41 of relay coil 40, which remains unenergized, remain open while contacts 42, also associated with relay coil 40, remain closed, serving to connect circuit 21 and adjustable condenser 23 over signal lamp 43 to epilation needle 24. Thus lamp 43 will signal actual passage of the low intensity pulses.
After final extinction of lamp 43', indicating that the number of pre-selected impulses of low intensity have occurred, timing disk 25 will open contacts 27 and close contact 28. If push-button 59 mounted on the needle handle 46 is now pressed by the operator, relay coil 37 will be energized via:
Power supply 36', line 49, relay coil 37, contact 28, line 52, choke 48, cable line 53, switch 45, cable line 54, choke 47, line 50, power supply 36'.
Contact 39 of relay 37 closes and actuates relay 40, closing contact 41 and opening contact 42, thereby changing the path of the current to needle 24 from circuit 21 and condenser 23, to circuit 20 and condenser 22.
Thus in another predetermined position of timing disk 25, succeeding the above-mentioned positions which are required for the multiple operation of low intensity circuit 21, relay coil 37 will again be energized, connecting over contacts 38 oscillation coil 18 as before. However, in addition to relay coil 37, relay coil 40 will be energized.
As a result, contacts 42 of relay 40 will open, interrupting low intensity circuit 21 and contacts 41 will be closed connecting over contacts 41 high intensity circuit 20 over condenser 22, signal lamp 43 to needle 24.
It is apparent, however, that signal lamp 43 must have such a high resistance that relay coil 40 will not be energized unless manual switch 45 is operated.
In this way, while it is assured that low intensity circuit 21 is controlled merely by opening and closing of contacts 26, respectively, under control of disk 25 automatically once foot switch 33 has been operated, the high intensity circuit 20 will only be connected provided that contacts 27, 28 are closed and respectively under control of timing disk 25, if hand switch 45 attached to hand piece 46 carrying needle 24 has been operated.
In this way, the occurrence of the relatively weak prepulses derived from circuit 21 is made independent from the operator, once adjustment of current intensity by means of condenser 23, and pulse number by means of adjustments on timing disk 25, have been accomplished. v
As to the high intensity pulses derived from circuit 20, the adjustment of pulse duration is made manually by pressing switch 45, which is preferably of the pushbutton type, down at one or more predetermined times, preferably only one time, and only after thedevelopment of a predetermined number of low intensity pulses, as indicated by the number of signals indicated by lamp 43 or any other visual or acoustic identifications which may be caused to occur simultaneously with the occurrence of the pre-pulses or by lamp 43 after termination of these pre-pulses to advise the operator of the necessity to apply the main pulse. All these or similar signalling means are within the scope of the present invention.
Figure 5 shows handle 46 of Figure 4 in greater detail.
Extending from an insulating body 5S there is inserted at one end thereof needle 56. Cable 57 connected to electrode needle 56 inside handle body 55 (in a manner not shown but irrelevant for the invention) leads into handle 55 at projection or extension 58.
A switch of the push button type is schematically indicated at 59 arranged more or less diametrically with respect to inlet 58. Inlet 58 and cable 57 extend from han dle preferably, and at least initially, in an orthogonal direction with respect to handle 55 or substantially in a direction which does not exert any torsional momentum upon handle 55 or upon the operators hand holding handle 55 in a position where the index finger of the operator touches button 59 ready to push and to apply high intensity current to needle 56.
Needle S6 is provided with an insulating coating 60 which extends preferably over the entire length of needle 56, but should extend at least over a length sufficient to go beyond the length of penetration of needle 56.
In this Way it is assured that the high frequency current does not pass to the skin of the person treated, except through the papilla.
Needle 56 should be thin enough to enter the pores, but should have sufficient flexibility not to penetrate the skin while the operator searches for the pores even on application of pressure. Ground return occurs in other wise well known manner, through the body of the patient who is grounded during epilatory treatment.
This flexibility may be achieved or enhanced by a deformation or the diminution of the cross section of needle 56 and as schematically indicated at 61.
The insulating coating is very thin, of the order of .002 inches, or about a tenth of the diameter of needle 56, which may have a diameter of .017. Coating 60 may consist of a synthetic dye, thermoplastic or a layer oxidized upon needle 56 over a predetermined length thereof.
The coating itself should have a contrasting color such as red so as to permit the operator to distinguish the needle from the skin as well as from the hair pigment.
In case of epilation of relatively pigmentless hair, it is preferred to use a transparent coating and to apply cross light or side light for illumination during the treatment. In cross light, both the transparent coating as well as the relatively pigmentless hair will become more strongly visible.
The invention is, of course, not limited to the methods specified and apparatus shown and illustrated, but may be applied in any form and manner whatsoever without exceeding the scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.
l. In an apparatus for epilation under considerably reduced pain, high frequency generating means having output means for producing at least two high frequency currents of predetermined and different intensities, electrode means adapted to be applied to the papilla and time controlled switching means selectively connecting said different high frequency currents to said electrode means including means under control of time controlling first connection of the output means of a preadjusted intensity to said electrode means for a number of preselected times separated by substantially equal intervals, at least one of said succeeding times being larger than a preceding time of connection; and manual switching means connecting after said first connection the output means of a preadjusted intensity to said electrode means for an arbitrary time and after the passage of an arbitrary interval.
2. Apparatus according to claim l, wherein said switching means include means under control of time for applying said high frequency currents in the form of pulses being of the order of a fraction of a second.
3. Apparatus according to claim l, wherein said time controlled connecting means including cam operated contacts include means for pre-selecting said predetermined number of times and wherein said output means include means including a variable impedance for adjusting said different current intensities substantially independently from each other.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said time control switching means include relay means, energized by a current having a frequency substantially less than the high frequency of said generating means, a common output line for said low and high frequency currents; and means for blocking said high frequency currents from said low frequency current supply means.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising electric driving means, coupling means, and automatic contact means operated from said driving means upon operation of said coupling means, mechanical contact means for operating said coupling means, relay means controlled by said automatic contact means to connect at least one of said output means for a preselected number of times to said electrode means; the other output means being only prepared for operation; and other mechanical contact means for operating said prepared output means.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said first mechanical contact means is a foot operated switch and said other mechanical contact means is a hand operated switch; said first contact means controlling connection of the first preadjusted current for a preselected number of times; and said other contact means connecting the second preadjusted current for an arbitrary time substantially independent from said other times.
7. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the different current intensities are independently adjustable.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising foot operated means causing said switching means to apply high frequency current a number of times; said number being preselected and independent from the foot operation; and hand operated means to apply a second high frequency current for a time depending upon the hand operation.
9. Apparatus according to claim 8, comprising means for holding said electrode means at one end of said holding means, and supporting said hand operated means near said end in a position to be operated by the index finger.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9, comprising first relay means under control of said switching means for connecting first intensity current, and second relay means under control of said switching means operative after said first intensity has been connected; and also under control of said hand operated means for connectingsecond intensity current to said electrode means.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,858,104 Miles May 10, 1932 2,099,511 Caesar Nov. 16, 1937 2,238,344 Schuler et al. u Apr. 15, 1941 2,295,585 Lindquist Sept. 15, 1942 2,444,173 St. Pierre June 29, 1948 2,532,788 Sarnotf Dec. 5, 1950