How many times have you gotten out of bed, walked to the mirror, touched your face and thought “am I growing old?" Most of us consider the face to be the most distinctive feature of our body, but eventually the years go by and the tell-tale signs of aging appear, such as wrinkles, age spots, stretch marks and more.
Most people think of wrinkles as the primary appearance of facial aging, but the process is far more complex. Aging affects the entire facial structure including the skin, muscles, and facial bones. While there are individuals who choose to accept aging as a part of life, many people opt for cosmetic surgery as an alternative. They approach cosmetic surgeons or dermatologists to help them restore their youth. Cosmetic procedures, known as facial rejuvenation treatments can help you regain your youthful appearance.
There is a wide range of treatments available for facial rejuvenation, and it may be confusing to decide which treatment is right. Some of the procedures involve surgery, like facelifts and Derma Abrasion, but recently an increasing number of minimally invasive procedures have emerged. Non-surgical facial rejuvenation does not require any incisions, and the patients barely endure any downtime. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons stated that approximately 14 million non-surgical cosmetic procedures were performed in 2011. Examples of non-invasive facial rejuvenation include Collagen Induction Therapy and the Platelet Rich Plasma method.
See what lies beneath your skin:
What is Collagen Induction Therapy?
Collagen Induction Therapy (also known as micro-needling), is a procedure that improves the facial appearance by reducing wrinkles, stretch marks, and acne scars by stimulating the skin’s natural ability to repair itself. The Micro needling technique utilizes tiny and extremely sharp needles to create multiple micro-channels in the outer layers of the skin.
These micro-injuries stimulate the body to release growth factors and cytokines, which trigger the wound-healing process. During this process, the body produces more collagen—a fibrous protein that contributes to the structural integrity of the skin—resulting in a thicker and more youthful-appearing skin. The Collagen Induction Therapy method is scientifically proven to be a natural, long lasting, collagen reformation technique.
How does Micro-Needling work?
The needling breaks up old collagen strands that tether the sunken wrinkle. Each microscopic needle insertion immediately causes the release of platelets and fibroblasts by the body. These platelets, in turn, produce a series of growth factors that stimulate the body’s own production of natural collagen and elastin.
The needles penetrate through the epidermis, but unlike other treatments such as TCA Chemical Peels and Derma Abrasion, micro-needling does not remove it and allows the epidermis to heal rapidly at a fraction of the cost. As the skin swells, the needle pricks fuse and the edges of the epidermis begin to adhere. Collagen induction therapy stimulates the superficial layer of the skin, promoting the remarkable healing response of the body.
The micro channels are formed by the small needles penetrating the skin layers which aid in infusing therapeutic serums for greater penetration. This allows the enhancement of the overall procedure and makes collagen induction therapy the perfect choice for non-surgical and non-ablative treatments for various skin conditions and rejuvenation. This technique can be used in places that are hard to reach, such as the area around the eyes, nose, lips, and other regions. The treatment can be classified as an organic treatment due to the natural healing which occurs after the procedure is complete, owing to the natural wound healing property of the skin, promoting the collagen stimulation.
Does It Hurt?
A topical anesthetic is applied before a micro needling treatment. This allows for a comfortable experience for the patient. Patients describe the sensation of the needling as a vibration with minimal discomfort.
The Dermastamp micro needling pen is a state-of-art device intended for professional use. The Micro needling pen is designed to enable the specialist to ensure that their treatment depth is administered in a controlled environment. To avoid the retraction of skin into the needle tip, a needle system is utilized. The needles are as thin as a human hair and are spaced out to perforate the skin at 90 degrees. The micro-channels stimulate the collagen to produce and fill the lines and wrinkles or scarring without removing the top layer of the skin.
Topical applications may be used such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) or peptides, antioxidants, hair loss applications and hyaluronic acid to enhance the effect. At Cornerstone Naturopathic we use the only micro needling machine approved by Health Canada.
Results and sessions
The results of micro-needling are both, immediate and gradual. Most patients see results after the first micro-needle treatment. Individual results vary depending on individual skin health. The skin reddens and swells immediately after the treatment, but by day 2-3, the skin returns to a moderate pink flush and the mild swelling decreases. It is most common to begin to see true changes or positive results as soon as 1-2 weeks after the first treatment. Many patients comment on positive changes in even less time. However, several treatments spaced 3-6 weeks apart are necessary for best results.
For collagen induction, we recommend starting with 3-4 treatments, but with a minimum separation time of 4 to 6 weeks between procedures. For scar reduction, an average of 3 to 6 treatments is recommended to achieve an optimal result.
Once you have completed your series of treatments, we schedule follow-up visits for 6 weeks. Micro-needling requires maintenance treatments at some point, but if you continue to maintain an effective home care regimen, in addition to, regular skin care treatments you should be "sitting pretty," for 6 months to a year before you need a maintenance treatment.
It is important that you relay information to the doctor regarding any allergies and serious medical conditions that you may have and inform us about any medications that you are taking. Post-treatment it is important to avoid sweaty exercise for the first 12 hours and excessive sun exposure for the first 72 hours.
If you have a history of bleeding disorders, are currently on blood thinning medication or have had a diagnosis of skin cancer in the past 2 years, micro needling is an unrealistic treatment due to safety concerns.
Facial Rejuvenation Platelet Rich Plasma technique
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is another natural method used for facial rejuvenation. PRP method uses plasma taken from the patient’s own blood instead of chemicals injected into the body. The substance is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Owing to the organic nature of this treatment, PRP is gaining popularity.
Until now, this technique had been confined to the healthcare clinics owing to the cost of separating the platelets from the blood. Also, a large amount of blood required (one unit) to yield a suitable quantity of platelets was required for the procedure. The novel technology now allows the doctor to produce an adequate quantity of platelets from only 60 cc of the patients’ blood.
This procedure that has been used successfully for years to heal sports injuries and is now on its way to becoming the treatment of choice for women and men to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, sun damage and even dark circles under their eyes. The probability of side effects is practically nonexistent because the body does not reject its own blood.
The National Institute of Health website cites several articles from peer-reviewed medical journals on studies of the Platelet rich plasma treatment method, so let’s look at some of the experiments conducted in the field of PRP.
1. A study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology was conducted on twenty adult females with Glogau photoaging types II and III and Fitzpatrick skin types III-IV, wherein split face therapy was used for the experiment. Each side was unsystematically assigned to treatment by using either growth factors (area A) or platelet rich plasma (area B). The patients received six sessions at 2-weeks interval, and the assessment was carried out using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale (GAIS) for 6 months.
Based on the results, both techniques produced significant improvement with regard to GAIS (skin turgor and overall vitality) and OCT (epidermal and dermal thickness) assessment. In area A, the burning sensation was significantly higher and patient satisfaction was higher in area B. The improvement was more in area B on follow-up. This proves that platelet-rich plasma is effective and safe for skin rejuvenation, compared to readymade growth factors.
2. Another report published by the same journal in its September 2016 issue, studied and evaluated the effect of PRP and hyaluronic acid treatment on 94 female subjects with different signs of facial aging. Platelet- rich plasma and plasma devoid of platelets were mixed with hyaluronic acid and procaine and injected into the deep dermis and hypodermis. Patients rated their personal satisfaction and the overall results were rated by 3 independent physicians.
As a result, there was a significant difference in the general appearance, skin firmness and skin texture when comparing the before and after results. Also, a significant connection was observed between the number of injections and overall satisfaction.
The PRP and hyaluronic acid injections provided a clinically evident improvement on the facial skin. The improvements were observed as the number of injections increased.
3. Another fine example is a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in its July 2016 issue, which evaluated the efficiency and safety of a single autologous Platelet Rich Plasma injection for the treatment of wrinkles and for facial rejuvenation. A total of 20 subjects with various types of facial wrinkles were included in this study and each subject received single PRP intradermal injection. They were clinically assessed before and after treatment. The study was carried out for 8 weeks using Skin homogeneity and texture scale, Wrinkle severity rating scale (WSRS), Physician assessment and Subject satisfaction scale.
The mean value of WSRS reduced after 8 weeks of treatment. The noteworthy results were with younger subjects who had mild wrinkles of the nasolabial folds (NLFs). 14 of 17 subjects with NLFs displayed more than 25% enhancement in their appearance. The experiment proves that a single Platelet rich plasma intradermal injection performs the function of rejuvenating the face.
4. A study published online by the journal – Annals of Dermatology in its November 2016 issue had similar results. The study was conducted to appraise the usefulness of intradermal injection of PRP in the human facial rejuvenation. Twenty women ranging in age from 40 to 49 years were enrolled as the subjects. The mean optical densities (MODs) of collagen were measured before and after treatment. The mean optical density of collagen fibers was clearly highest after the PRP treatment, and there was 89.05% improvement as compared with the mean optical density before the treatment. It was concluded that Platelet rich plasma technique increases dermal collagen levels by stimulating the growth factors, and by skin needling (the mesotherapy technique 'point by point').
The above published, peer-reviewed papers testify that Platelet rich plasma techniques are safe and effective for the reduction of aging signs, including wrinkles, skin pigmentation, and stretch marks.
The final moral
By combining micro-needling and Platelet rich plasma techniques, you can look forward to a happy and youthful face staring back at you, in the mirror, every morning. A combination of both the two techniques will ensure better results for you and your skin.
The list of benefits includes:
Both these techniques are safe, pain-free and have minimum side effects, ensuring that you look 10 years younger just after one treatment. Facial rejuvenation techniques will prevent you from undergoing any surgery and as an added advantage will cost you less compared to the latter. So, if you want a youthful face, that is free of all the signs of aging, try these two techniques, and be assured of a younger and beautiful “you.”
©2018 Cornerstone Naturopathic