If you have ever faced an ultrasound machine, you must have noticed the gooey, sticky, and cold sensation coming from the ultrasound gel applied before using the machine. This gel functions as a conductive medium by decreasing airspace amidst the patient’s skin and the ultrasound transducer. Since it is essential to produce accurate results for the scan, we have prepared a list of the best ultrasound gels in this article. The listed products do a great job for various types of procedures like ultrasound therapies, cosmetic procedures, laser and other facial treatments and ultrasound diagnostics. You can also learn more about this gel and why it is used. So scroll down and find out.
In This Article
What Is An Ultrasound Gel?
The ultrasound gel is a water-based hypoallergenic gel that is used in all types of ultrasound scans. It can also be used with cavitation machines. The gel is specially formulated to act as a coupling agent and reduce static while using ultrasound equipment.
The ultrasound gel is made of water and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a synthetic compound that is found in food and cosmetics or hygiene products. The sticky consistency of the gel allows it to spread over the patient’s skin without dripping or running.
The tiny hair and dry skin hold many little pockets of air, and sound waves don’t travel through the air very well. The gel becomes a necessity as it serves as a connector and establishes a bond between your skin and the ultrasound probe by eliminating the air. It helps the sound waves travel directly to the tissues beneath the skin of the patient, allowing them to get a clear image of the organ(s) of interest.
Ultrasound gel has the purpose of serving during the scan and is applied to your skin for better scan results. Here are a few reasons the gel is a necessity during scans.
Advantages Of Ultrasound Gel
- It provides optimal contact between the ultrasonic head and the skin.
- Reduces or eliminates static energy
- It eliminates air between the transducer and the skin.
- It provides superior transmission of ultrasound waves.
- It contains a thickening agent to improve the spreadability on the skin.
- Easily removable after treatment without leaving any residues.
- The gliding properties of the gel help the ultrasonic head subtly glide over the skin.
- It doesn’t stain clothes even if carelessly handled.
- This gel is acoustically correct for the broad range of frequencies used.
Let’s now look at the 10 best ultra sound gels on the market.
10 Best Ultrasound Gels
This multipurpose medical-grade conductive ultrasound gel can be used with any ultrasound device without the fear of damaging the transducers. It is an efficient coupling agent and spreads evenly during therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.
It can be used for Doppler baby heart monitor, Doppler ultrasound, ultrasonic cavitation, therapeutic ultrasound procedures, and more. This gel is recommended for use for all medical ultrasound procedures where a viscous gel is required.
This is a water-soluble gel that does not stain your clothes and damage the transducers. Reviewers love the product because it is hypoallergenic, non-sensitizing, bacteriostatic, and non-irritating.
- Non-damaging to transducers
- Spreads evenly
- Water soluble
- May be a little watery
Spectra 360 is a salt-free and chloride-free electrically conductive gel. This gel is recommended for all electromedical procedures except for defibrillation.
As it is salt-free, this gel is suitable for long-term applications. Spectra 360 is significantly different from other electrically conductive gels. It works by wetting the skin, thereby reducing resistance. It is a non-irritating coupling gel and bacteriostatic. To get a better understanding of the product, check out this video detailing a reviewer’s experience of using it.
- Suitable for long-term application
- Stays wet for long
- A bit sticky
Aquasonic Ultrasound Transmission Gel is acoustically appropriate for a broad range of frequencies. Many reviews indicate that the it’s gentle wetting of the skin assures excellent transmission of ultrasound waves at all times. It doesn’t have any formaldehyde and spermicide.
Dr. Allen Conrad, a chiropractic care and massage therapist, says, “Chiropractic office and physical therapists have been using Aquasonic for many years due to its smooth consistency and viscosity. Commonly used for therapeutic ultrasound to treat conditions like elbow or knee tendonitis, this gel is easy to use and non stick. It offers a nice glide without much residue and is the favorite gel of most therapists for tendinitis ultrasound treatments.”
This is a complete aqueous solution that doesn’t stain your clothes and damage the transducers. Its unique formula is non-sensitizing, non-irritating, and bacteriostatic. The dispenser bottle comes with a Parker’s SNAP CAP with a self-sealing silicone cap. This quality ultrasound gel for medical professionals is used and recommended by leading manufacturers of ultrasound equipment worldwide.
This professional-grade gel comes with a 5-year expiration from the date of manufacture, as long as it is stored away from light and at room temperature. It is recommended for all procedures in which a viscous gel is required.
- Clear gel
- Glides easily
- Does not dry quickly
- Not recommended for sensitive skin
The Parker Aquasonic Clear Ultrasound Gel is water-soluble, hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and bacteriostatic. It has no formaldehyde, or fragrance, and is visibly clearer. The transparent gel formula is based on the “World standard” formula of Aquasonic. This quality ultrasound gel is suitable for a wide range of frequencies for massage therapy for sports injury and diagnostics ultrasound. Still not sure about the product? Check out the multiple rave reviews that boast its quality and exceptional results.
- Doesn’t dry quickly
- May have a sticky consistency
This clear ultrasound gel couplant is used for therapeutic and diagnostic ultrasound and neuromuscular electrical stimulation. It is alcohol-free, salt-free, and non-corrosive. It comes in 5-liter containers.
- Clear gel
- Suitable for therapeutic purpose
- Suitable for diagnosis
JazzyGel MV is a trademark of Jazz Labs Company Ltd. It is a multipurpose, medium-viscosity ultrasound gel. This is a water-based and water-soluble gel. It is a stable couplant that holds on vertical and overhead surfaces and fills the depression in rough services.
It is a slow-drying gel and a good transducer lubricator. It has an extended ambient temperature range. This odorless ultrasound gel is free of latex, parabens, salt, and alcohol. This versatile gel is composed of purified water, glycerine, carbomer, polyethylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, and sodium hydroxide.
Chattanooga Conductor Transmission Gel is a water-soluble, non-greasy ultrasound and electrical coupling gel. This gel does not irritate soft tissues or cause damage to the ultrasound applicator. It spreads evenly and is one of the most efficient coupling agents for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
This aqueous coupling agent is non-allergenic and is meant to be used on intact skin only. This product is not intended for surgical use and also should not be used with defibrillators.
- Water soluble
- Non-greasy formula
- Spreads evenly
- Suitable for diagnostic purposes
Medvat Lavender Scented Transmission Gel is a water-soluble and hypoallergenic ultrasound gel. This coupling medium includes aloe vera for additional moisturizing of the skin. The gentle lavender scent enhances the experience of the patient and offers a calming spa-like environment while keeping the skin hydrated.
- Water soluble
- Clear gel
- Pleasant smell
- May not glide smoothly
Medex Blue Transmission and Scanning Gel is a water-soluble, hypoallergenic, and non-irritating gel. It has no formaldehyde. This gel uses high-quality ingredients with the purest water for the best conductivity. It provides a wide range of frequencies for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
- Water soluble
- Does not irritate the skin
- High-quality ingredients
Aquaflex Ultrasound Gel Pad is a disposable gel pad. It eliminates the risk of cross-contamination in therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. This gel cushions sensitive areas and is hypoallergenic and bacteriostatic. It is aqueous and flexible and best for difficult to visualize and near-field areas or when gel alone won’t do. This gel pad is easy to use.
- Water soluble
- High-quality ingredients
Given the purposes of ultrasound gels, it can be hard to find the best one for your use that does not have any harmful effects. Our buying guide will enable you to choose the best ultrasound gels available on the market.
How To Choose The Best Ultrasound Gels
Look for thick and sticky gels that glide smoothly and do not drip off of your skin. Additionally, look for gels that have a wide range of frequencies. Your ultrasound gel must be non-sensitizing, non-irritating, and tested for acoustic impedance. The gel should be antibacterial and salt-free to prevent skin issues. Choose an ultrasound gel that is non-transferable, does not stick to your clothes, and can be easily removed.
The ultrasound gel of your choice must constitute skin-friendly ingredients like aloe vera, that will not harm the skin and effectively correct its texture. Ingredients such as formaldehyde and propylene glycol negatively impact your skin, so avoid them. Look for FDA-tested ultrasound gels to avoid any bacterial contamination that can grow over time.
Ultrasound gels must be long-lasting enough to last an entire procedure in only one or two applications. The gel should offer a smooth and pain-free glide during procedures.
- Relaxing Effect
Your ultrasound gel must have a soothing quality to it. If your gel causes a burning sensation or itchiness to your skin, it can disrupt or negate treatments. For the smooth and comfortable mediation of ultrasound waves, the gel has to be conductive enough without causing any kind of discomfort.
Ultrasound gels can be used for varied purposes. However, we advise you to read the product description before you use it for any other intended purpose. The above lists featured the best-reviewed and used ultrasound gels on the market.
Ultrasound scan is considered to be a safe radiological procedure, supported by expert opinion. Though adverse skin reactions with doppler ultrasound are uncommon and rare, a few cases have been reported. A small population of people developed contact dermatitis when exposed to ultrasound gel. The test in this study concluded that the purpuric reactions occurred as a result of phenoxyethanol and paraben mixing and causing irritation to the skin (1). We have listed a few more side effects of the ultrasound gel below.
Ultrasound Gel Side Effects
- Ultrasound gels can leave behind a sticky and greasy residue, causing drying of the skin or flaking.
- Bacterial contamination
Let’s now look at the difference between ultrasound, ECG, and IPL gels.
Difference Between Ultrasound Gel, Electrocardiography Gel, And IPL Gel
The electrocardiography (ECG) gel has the same viscosity as the ultrasound gel. The main underlying difference between ECG gel and ultrasound and laser gels is that the electrocardiography gel contains an additional component that enables it to transmit electro activity via a person’s skin. This is done with the help of electrodes. The current is then transmitted into the ECG device for recording.
The IPL gel has more viscosity than the ultrasound gel, which helps to disperse and minimize the heat produced by the laser or IPL equipment. The laser gel provides much more favorable results of refraction of light when passed through it when compared with other gels.
Infographic: What Should You Consider When Buying An Ultrasound Gel?
Ultrasound gels are applied to the abdomen to help monitor the baby’s movements during an ultrasound. Since your skin is extra sensitive during pregnancy, it is better to use allergen-free gels. Not just that, you also need to consider various other factors to ensure the safety of your skin and the device. Check out the infographic below to learn more.
The best ultrasound gels play a major role in ensuring accurate results of the scan without any harmful effects. This conductive medium is used in various clinical tests and scans for similar reasons. The Parker 12-08 Spectra 360 Electrode Gel can be an excellent option as it is non-gritty and suitable for long-term application, meanwhile, the Aquasonic Ultrasound Gel promotes clear imaging for precise diagnoses. But if you want a gel with a pleasant smell then try the Medvat Clear Transmission Gel which is enriched with aloe vera. The products mentioned in our list are hypoallergenic and water-based. They have a sticky texture so that the formula is easier to apply on the patient’s skin. Some of these products are chlorine-free and non-irritating to avoid any allergic reactions, and they are suitable for a wide variety of frequencies used in ultrasound therapies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ultrasound gel made of?
Ultrasound gel is a thick transparent substance. Several companies make it out of various combinations of water, propylene glycol, glycerine, perfume, dyes, phenoxyethanol, or carbopol R 940 polymer. The information about the ultrasound gel is hard to find, but you are most likely to find it in the material data safety sheets of the various companies that make it.
How long does ultrasound gel last?
The manufacturers mention that the shelf life of the ultrasound gel is 5 years. However, it is advisable that once the bottle is open, you should mark it with an expiration of 28 days. The rationale behind this recommendation is that this gel is used by multiple people and multiple times. Thus, there is no way to ensure that the gel is not contaminated. Ensure that only sterile ultrasound gels are being used for procedures involving vaginal or esophageal transducers, biopsy, etc. The sterile gel is only for one-time use.
What can be used as a substitute for an ultrasound gel?
While the ultrasound gel is a specialized formulation used during the procedure, there are many substitutes that serve the same purpose, like KV jelly, Bio-oil, moisturizers, and creams, hand sanitizer, skin gel, or aloe vera.
Is it safe to use ultrasound gel substitutes?
Medical grade ultrasound gel is costly. Hence, many consumers and clinicians resort to alternatives. However, these gel substitutes come with some risk. They might give unreliable diagnostic results, cause skin irritation or allergies, and even damage the machine. Coupling agents are specialized ultrasound supplies. The conductive gel has been formulated, keeping in mind the needs of the procedure.
Are all ultrasound gels the same?
No, there are several types of ultrasound gels based on viscosity and time of drying.
Is KY jelly the same as ultrasound gel?
No, they are not the same. KY jelly is a lubricant, while ultrasound gel is a coupling lubricant used in medical procedures.
Do I have to wash off ultrasound gel?
No, wiping is enough to get rid of this sticky gel.
Does ultrasound gel have to be refrigerated?
No. While unopened packages may be stored at room temperature, opened packages with ultrasound gel need to be stored at cooler temperatures to prevent bacterial growth.
Can I use expired ultrasound gel?
No. Using expired ultrasound gel may lead to infections as the product becomes prone to bacterial contamination past its expiration date.
Why Trust StyleCraze?
An accurate ultrasound scan requires the right ultrasound gel. We can help you narrow down your search for the right products and make sure you are getting the most out of them with our compiled list. This list was compiled by researching and analyzing reviews online. Choosing these products enusure a smooth ultrasound scan experience and performing ultrasound diagnostics.
Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.
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