Electrical arcs are used in many aspects of our lives. They are sometimes referred to as plasma for marketing purposes.
Devices generating an electrical arc have been used in the operating theatres since the early 20th century. The first electrosurgical unit, also known as the Bovie Generator, is credited to William T. Bovie while he was working at Harvard University. The first use of an electrosurgical generator in an operating theatre was on October 1, 1926, at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, in the USA.
The first operation is believed to have been performed by Dr. Harvey Cushing an American neurosurgeon. Ever since, due to its versatility, the use of electrofulguration or electrodesiccation have expanded worldwide. Later thanks to the increasing availability of voltaic arc generators, the practice has extended to aesthetic uses.
The voltage used by surgical and aesthetic equipment ranges between the 500–10,000 Volts peak-to-peak and are capable of injecting high currents through the body and through its surface, depending on how they are used. So, how is it possible that these sparks, at times injecting high currents, can travel through our bodies without causing any harm?