SkinPen Precision Gains FDA Approval for Neck Microneedling

 I am thrilled to announce that our own SkinPen Precision device was approved by the FDA to treat neck wrinkles a few weeks ago on April 12, 2021. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? CONFIDENCE IN YOUR INVESTMENT Although microneedling has been performed on the neck for years, this means there is more clinical data than ever proving its results. This FDA approval signifies the culmination of years of research and thousands of patients who have received microneedling. Ultimately this means the consumer can rest easy knowing that their investment in neck microneedling using the SkinPen Precision is worth it. WHAT DID THE FDA APPROVE? SAFE FOR DEEP DEPTHS OF SKIN. The SkinPen Precision microneedling technology is safe for use with a depth of up to 2.5mm on the neck. This is the deepest setting of the SkinPen Precision which allows licensed clinicians to access the living layer of the skin. WHAT DO THE STUDIES SHOW? MOISTURIZE SKIN. WITHOUT MOISTURIZER. 94% of patients noticed an improvement in how their neck wrinkles looked 1 month post-procedure. This treatment can successfully be used to reduce neck crepiness and “tech neck” lines. Decreased epidermal water loss to the air. Skin was more hydrated and plump. Essentially, skin was more moisturized without using moisturizer.  Facial dermal density increased 101.86% Facial epidermal density increased 19.28% Facial elasticity increased 28.2% after 3 months. Collagen type III and elastin gene expression was higher 3 months after a series of 4 treatments. Blood flow decreased 25.8% in the face and 42.3% in the neck. This demonstrates increased oxygen levels in the tissue.  Total elastin remained unchanged, thus elastin-booting treatments like Neocutis Bio Serum Firm and Vivace are still needed to enhance elastin. (Subjects were 44-65 years old. Treatments were conducted 1 month apart. Biopsies were done before the first treatment, before the 4th treatment, and 3 months after the 4th treatment.) WHY IS MICRONEEDLING BETTER? PRESERVING THE EPIDERMIS IS KEY. Ablative techniques like laser and dermabrasions run a high risk of discoloration because they cause lots of damage to the epidermal layer of skin where the melanin-producing cells reside. Stripping the epidermis = high risk of scarring and irregular pigmentation. Microneedling is a minimally invasive alternative that triggers new skin formation while preserving the valuable epidermis.  LESS DOWNTIME, REDUCED SIDE EFFECTS Removing the epidermis also leads to prolonged healing, downtime, and increased risk of infection.  While ablative techniques have been used over the past 30 years, we now have a better solution with microneedling. SAFER FOR SUMMER MONTHS Skincare lovers know sun and dermatology treatments often don’t mix well. However, since microneedling preserves most of the epidermis, patients can still receive microneedling treatments safely during the hot, sunny summer months because of the mild side effect profile. Of course, SPF and hats will still be required for 30 days after the procedure while outdoors. WHAT SHOULD PATIENTS EXPECT? HIGH PATIENT SATISFACTION Over 90% of patients noticed an improvement in how their neck appearance 1 month post-procedure QUICK RESULTS 88% of patients were pleased with ther treatment 1 month post-procedure.  FAST RECOVERY Ability to recover quickly, even during the summer months. Epidermis is left intact, Pro tip: Add-on Vivace sheet masks, Biopelle Tensage ampoules, and PRP to accelerate recovery further. TAP HERE TO RECEIVE A SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON MICRONEEDLING AT SLK TODAY.

PRP: Why it is important during microneeding?

A tube of freshly centrifuged PRP. PRP FROM 2010-2020 Although microneedling with PRP (also known as the “vampire facial“) is a relatively new therapy, the utilization of PRP in other fields of medicine such as dentistry, orthopedics, and reconstructive surgery has been increasing dramatically over the past couple of decades. PRP’s regenerative properties are now widely accepted among researchers, doctors, and nurses. Providers can now even use it to produce new hair! So what can this powerful substance do for your skin? Over the past 10 years, dermatology researchers have discovered that PRP is quite promising in regenerating skin that has been damaged through scarring, age, or UV damage. WHAT IS PRP? For those who aren’t familiar, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) consists of a patient’s own blood plasma that has been enriched by concentrating the number of platelets so it exceeds normal blood levels. Concentrating the plasma is desirable because plasma contains various growth factors that are instrumental in repairing skin. These growth factors include platelet‐derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TFG), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and insulin‐like growth factor (IGF). PRP growth factors stimulate tissue remodeling and when they are concentrated, they are associated with enhanced healing, upregulation of collagen synthesis, and promotion of tissue regeneration. The growth factors contained in PRP and their respective roles in the body. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMBINE MICRONEEDLING WITH PRP? The increased growth factor activity associated with PRP is believed to multiply the effects of microneedling to promote aesthetically-superior tissue remodeling. In other words, PRP with microneedling makes the skin more young and beautiful than microneedling alone. The synergistic effects of microneedling with PRP offers unique results. Studies show that combining microneedling and PRP in the same appointment produces thicker epidermis and more developed rete ridges, compared to PRP alone or microneedling alone. PRP combined with microneedling also achieves greater patient satisfaction scores compared to microneedling alone. It is well documented that PRP combined with microneedling produces superior benefits for depressed acne scars than microneedling alone. Rete ridges in the upper layer of the skin. What are rete ridges, you ask? Rete ridges are crucial structures in the skin that promote epidermal proliferation and provide a natural, specialized environment for our skin’s stem cells. Damaged or scarred skin lacks rete ridges. INJECTING PRP WITH MICRONEEDLING INCREASES ELASTICITY We also know from clinical studies that when injected (also known as the “vampire facelift“, PRP can nearly double skin’s elasticity. Why is this important? In photoaged skin, the skin’s network of elastic fibers has become destroyed. Elastin becomes thickened, tangled, crooked, degraded, and dysfunctional, resulting in elastosis, which is characterized by deep wrinkles, laxity, yellowing, and tough skin. To build elasticity, 3 injections of PRP are needed spaced 1 month apart. Above: Signs of photoaging include lip lines, brown sun spots, and crows feet lines next to the eye. If you have these signs of photoaging, you likely are experiencing premature elastosis (loss of elasticity). PRP DECREASES DOWNTIME For those patients concerned with downtime, PRP also accelerates healing following microneedling. In particular, it reduces redness and edema (swelling) a couple days earlier, which is a true testament to the regenerative power of platelet-enriched plasma. Since the application of PRP in dermatology is so new, it is likely we do not know yet all the benefits of applying PRP during microneedling. WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRP AND MICRONEEDLING? Although the concept of PRP sounds simple (people get their blood drawn all the time, right?), how PRP is prepared can determine how much of a result you can see. To learn more about how SLK believes is the best way to prepare and purify PRP, read more here.

How SLK Generates PRP

SLK’S PRP PURIFICATION PROCEDURE, STEP-BY-STEP There is a ton of variability in how different clinics harvest and purify their PRP. At SLK, we don’t just buy a PRP system and follow a cookie-cutter recipe, we spend a LOT of time researching and studying the best ways to purify your platelets so that they have the highest viability and efficacy. That said, we wanted to share with our patients our process for generating PRP so they can become better informed about the PRP process. At SLK we use the following method to purify our PRP because it has proven to be the best method for eliminating inflammatory red blood cells and white blood cells. Failure to eliminate red blood cells during the PRP purification process may result in inflammation, cell death, free radical formation and impaired healing. Presence of white blood cells will also lead to inflammation, free radicals, tissue damage and impaired healing. STEP 1: GEL SEPARATION A collection tube containing a physical gel separator is obtained. This is a key step in ensuring platelets rise to the top of the tube, while larger inflammatory cells like granulocytes and red blood cells are filtered to the bottom of the tube. Many clinics use PRP systems without gel separators but we find it is critical to ensuring plasma quality. STEP 2: BLOOD DRAW A SLK nurse or nurse practitioner with many years of phlebotomy experience draws the blood into the collection tube. The collection tube is pH balanced so the PRP does not produce a burning sensation when injected into the patient’s skin. STEP 3: CENTRIFUGATION The collection tube is then placed into a centrifuge where it is spun for several minutes to separate the plasma from the red blood cells.  STEP 4: SEPARATION INTO LAYERS The nurse removes the collection tube from the centrifuge. The red and white blood cells are now located below the gel separator so they cannot contaminate the upper layer of plasma. The plasma layer is now yellow or straw-colored. This matrix provides a scaffold to keep platelets in place and to support prolonged growth factor release, resulting in prolonged stem cell activation. The PRP remains liquid for approximately 10 minutes before forming the matrix. STEP 7: INJECTION The platelet-rich plasma is now ready for injection. Small needles or cannulas will be used to inject the PRP into the subdermal layer of skin where the platelets may now release significant levels of growth factors while being securely retained in the fibrin matrix.

What Causes Large Pores?

THE SCIENCE BEHIND LARGE PORE FORMATION: In the past, enlarged facial pores were regarded as an irreversible aging process rather than a correctable cosmetic problem. However, with significant advances in dermatologic devices, we are now able to treat them. But, how are these nuisances formed in the first place? Read to find out: 1. HIGH OIL PRODUCTION Both facial pore size and sebum production are linked to the genetics we inherited from our parents. Variation in pore size is also correlated with ethnicity. Asian women have smaller pore sizes when compared with other racial groups. African Americans demonstrate substantially larger facial pores than any other racial group. 2. GENETICS If your main goal of the treatment is to improve superficial concerns like fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles then the microneedling pen may be the best course of treatment. Vivace is an excellent option for desired goals of skin tightening, lifting, contouring, and severe acne scarring and wrinkles. The right procedure should be chosen based on treatment goals.  SLK Clinic offers both the microneedling pen and RF microneedling. Need help deciding? Book a complimentary consult to help you learn more: 3. GENDER Females are predisposed to larger pore size than males are. Why? This is believed to be a result of the monthly menstrual cycle when hormones influence sebum production. Sebum output level becomes elevated during a woman’s period and thus the pore size becomes larger in the ovulation phase. 4. SUN DAMAGE Repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun will damage the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, which will decrease collagen density, damage the elastin structure, and increase the size of pores. NOW, HOW TO SHRINK PORES: No pore strip, face mask, or facial will ever minimize pore size; these modalities simply disguise the appearance of pores. To truly shrink pores, follow these steps: 1. USE A RETINOL Use a retinol or retinoid such as tretinoin every day or every-other-day. This will increase collagen synthesis to minimize pore size. At SLK we recommend the Neocutis Nouvelle retinol to our patients because the slow time-release microsphere formulation is the most gentle form of medical-grade retinol and won’t result in redness or skin flaking. 2. RADIOFREQUENCY MICRONEEDLING Pores before and after 3 Vivace RF Microneedling treatments Undergo periodic radiofrequency microneedling to shrink pores rapidly. The energy waves will stun the sebaceous glands into producing much less sebum, resulting in smaller pore openings. Treatments every 8-12 weeks (4-6 times per year) will keep the sebum at bay all year long. Our favorite RF microneedling device is Vivace because it has the least amount of pain and downtime. 3. MICRONEEDLING PEN WITH PRP TREATMENTS Microneedling will rebuild collagen, plus the channels can be used as an entryway for PRP which will rebuild elastin fibers which are essential for elasticity and to keep pore openings tight. 4. SUNSCREEN Use SPF 50 (Better yet PA+++) or higher every morning to block UV radiation from further widening of pores due to collagen degradation. We recommend keeping a Colorescience sunscreen brush or two at your desk or in your car to re-apply throughout the day. To purchase the Neocutis Nouvelle retinol or Colorescience brush, or to speak with a SLK expert about microneedling, PRP, or Vivace, contact us for a complimentary consultation now! book now

Why SLK Offers The Best Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) In Nashville & Chattanooga

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING A PRP PROVIDER PRP (platelet rich plasma) has received significant attention in the fields of tissue engineering, wound healing, bone grafting, and trauma surgery in recent years. This is because PRP contains up to 30 times the amount of growth factors your blood normally contains, making it the liquid gold of tissue regeneration and restoration. When combined with microneedling, PRP can virtually stall the aging process, making this procedure one of the greatest developments in dermatology of our time. However, not all “PRP” facials are the same, and it is important to know what you need to look for when selecting a provider in order to see maximum results. Human platelet containing alpha-granules, which are vesicles full of growth factors. 4 ESSENTIAL THINGS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN CHOOSING A PRP MICRONEEDLING PROVIDER: 1. THE CONCENTRATION OF THE PLASMA You should always receive your plasma treatment from a professional who has had formal laboratory training, for example a nurse or doctor who took chemistry and biology laboratory classes as a pre-req for their medical/nursing classes. The effectiveness of your PRP treatment is directly dependent on the concentration of PRP. Therefore, it is critical that your provider possess the technical training and correct equipment to generate a well-prepared sample. The wrong device, or the wrong lab technique could result in improper dilution of your blood sample, rendering your treatment ineffective.  2. BLOOD SAFETY PRECAUTIONS Blood carries diseases like Hepatitis, syphilis, and HIV, so you want to ensure the provider’s facility has the proper protocols in place for containment of blood waste, and disposal of dirty needles. At SLK clinic, our nurses have been trained in infection control since year one of nursing school. We use hospital-grade disinfectant to clean each room and all equipment in between every patient. Additionally we are serviced by a bio-hazard collection agency regularly to safely dispose of all needles. 3. MULTIPLE HANDLERS OF YOUR BLOOD SAMPLE Most medspas do not operate like a hospital where every patient blood specimen is carefully labeled and barcoded with the patient’s information. Thus the chance for medical error can potentially be higher in a medspa setting. For example, if an aesthetician is performing your microneedling procedure (which, by the way, is considered legally problematic, read why here), they will first have a nurse draw your blood because because aestheticians do not have a license to do so. Ultimately, this results in your blood sample passing through multiple hands which is not ideal because of the well-known fact that every “hand-off” is an opportunity for to accidentally mix up one patient’s lab sample with another’s. Thus it is best to ensure the person drawing your blood is the same person performing your PRP injections. 4. THE PROVIDER At SLK, only nurses and nurse practitioners will perform your treatment from beginning to end. No other healthcare professional is taught to handle needles, inject medicine, and draw blood as early on as nurses are. Additionally, no healthcare professional is as well-versed in cleanliness, aseptic technique and infection control as nurses are, ensuring you have the safest treatment possible. Ready to make an appointment with one of our top board-certified nursing staff? Please call us or submit your contact info below and a representative will reach out to you very shortly! CONTACT US NOW Before (left) and after 4 sessions of microneedling with platelet-rich plasma