Grace Blog

Maintaining Your Skin’s Summer Glow This Fall Thu. October 5, 2017

Fall 2017 is turning out to be more of an Indian Summer, no complaints here. However, that means when Fall hits hard, your skin won’t know what’s coming. Luckily for you, owner/operator of Grace Medical Aesthetics, Charis Wipfler, APRN, shares her tips for keeping your skin healthy when the temperature drops.

  1. HEAVY SWEATERS, HEAVY MOISTURIZERS: With the colder months approaching, we know “dry skin season” is right around the corner. Now is the time to begin to prep your skin for the drought by working in a heavier moisturizer than what you kept in your summer routine. Key ingredients to keep in mind– ceramides, fatty acids, and hyaluronic acid.
  1. EXFOLIATE: By exfoliating regularly, the heavier moisturizers are able to reach deeper into the skin and dead or dry skin cells are sloughed off more quickly. Gently exfoliate the skin 3 times a week with a soft facial brush and a gentle cleanser for a smooth complexion. (Be weary of over-exfoliating or using a harsh chemical exfoliant found in some cleansers.) Microdermabrasion or dermplaning by a trained professional monthly will keep your skin radiant.
  1. LASER FACIALS: The secret to a flawless complexion and a summer glow is putting in the work the rest of the year. Fall is the optimal time to commit to a skincare treatment regimen. IPL (intense pulse light), 1540 fractionated laser, or 1064 laser facials can be kept up every 4-6 weeks to work on correction of sun-kissed dark spots. A laser facial with minimal downtime (12 – 36 hours) caters nicely to a busy lifestyle and a complexion that leaves them wondering how you’ve done it. With less UV exposure in the colder months, now is the time to work on correcting and preventing future signs of aging. Learn more about the laser facials offered at Grace Medical Aesthetics on our Facial Membership here.
  1. SPF STILL EXISTS: Less UV exposure does not mean zero UV exposure. SPF protection from UVA and UVB rays continues to be extremely important anytime of year. Don’t forget to SPF-up even if you aren’t donning your bikini.
  1. RETINOL IS BACK, BABY: Time to put your skin to work all hours of the day. Working a retinol or vitamin A product into your nightly skincare regimen will keep cell turnover working while you sleep. Retinol products help to prevent and correct fine lines, textural changes, and sun damage. Start slow- every other night is a good introduction. Don’t be discouraged by initial flakiness the first week or two; your skin will adapt to the heightened cell turnover and begin to work in conjunction with the retinol.

Laser Hair Removal Mon. December 15, 2014

What is PRP? Tue. November 18, 2014

What the heck is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and what can it do for me??

I’ve come across this question often in my practice and I would love to clarify what exactly platelet rich plasma regeneration is – and what it isn’t. PRP has been used for years to heal wounds, repair joints, enhance dental surgery and for various other purposes. Today, PRP therapies are also available for facial rejuvenation¹, hair re-growth, stimulating female orgasm (Whaaat?), improving urinary incontinence, and other areas of aesthetic medicine. Here I will discuss the ones I use in my practice for facial rejuvenation.

Our bodies naturally produce stem cells that help us heal by stimulating the growth of collagen, as well as blood vessels that deliver oxygen to bodily tissues. Platelets and growth factors found in the blood stimulate stem cells, and platelet-rich plasma contains three to five times as many of these substances as normal blood. This means that we can draw a couple tubes of your blood, spin it down via centrifuge, and harvest out those precious cells in a highly condensed plasma (platelet rich plasma).

PRP Microneedling versus PRP Deep Dermal Stimulation:

There has been much conflicting and scary information on the internet about how exactly we can use this amazing, autologous (meaning from our own body) resource to stimulate collagen and improve our skin texture and tone. In order to deliver PRP to the tissues, we can go about doing it one of two ways. You may have seen Kim Kardashian’s over-dramatic portrayal of her own treatment – this is why I write about it – you can’t get any accurate info on the stuff without researching peer reviewed journals. Because Internet.

The first way is to deliver PRP to the epidermis (outer layer of skin) via Microneedling. Microneedling involves using a handheld device that uses multiple tiny needles to puncture the skin and creates controlled micro-injury to the epidermis and superficial dermis- allowing for stimulation of the healing properties of the skin. There are many microneedling pens on the market and no one in particular does much more or less than the others. Trust me, I’ve used at least 4 different ones. Injecting the PRP topically via microneedling provides for many channels (itsy bitsy teeny tiny holes) through which the PRP can be pushed through the top layer of the skin.

When you get a microneedling PRP facial, you should expect to have your face cleansed, sometimes there will be a cooling mask or anesthetic applied, and a small amount of your blood will be drawn and spun down in a centrifuge to harvest the PRP. The portion of your blood that contains the highest amount of platelets and growth factors is found in the yellow plasma layer. This portion of the plasma layer is extracted and painted across your skin. You can treat many areas including face, neck, decollete, and hands. Once the PRP is on your skin – I will microneedle over the top of it to push the PRP into your skin.¹

Overall it is a fairly comfortable, low risk procedure – some liken it to a microdermabrasion. While results may vary, the effects if the micronedling with PRP are pretty awesome – it’s one of my favorite low-budget treatments.*

Side note: Sometimes practitioners will deliver the PRP via micro-injections to the face via a needle the size of an acupuncture needle. [Note Kim K.’s procedure] While this is a reasonable treatment, I find that the risk of bruising and overall discomfort of this technique is undesirable.

Typically, the microneedling technique has minimal downtime, improves fine lines, texture, and tone, and helps create a fantastic glow that you will notice for days to follow. It also works very nicely on superficial acne scarring.¹

Generally you will go home with instructions to apply a gentle cream and follow up with a cool compress mask. It is important not to take ibuprofen/naprosyn following the treatment, as it will blunt the exact healing and inflammatory response you desire. You will notice that you are a little red the night of the treatment and maybe a little pink the following day – nothing dramatic.¹

Microneedling alone can provide you with a nice glow and while results and experiences vary per patient, impressive results can be seen when PRP is done every 4-6 weeks, however – microneedling with PRP is not necessary more than every 4-6 months.* Typically, it takes time for the PRP to work it’s magic on your skin, so once the initial effects of the microneedling wear off, you may start to notice the effects of the PRP working at around 6 weeks.* Read: more is not better – microneedle without the PRP in between treatments instead.

An additional way to stimulate collagen is via Deep Dermal Stimulation (DDS). This procedure is used to deliver PRP to the deeper layers of the skin called the dermis. While microneedling will deliver some PRP to the very superficial layers of the dermis – a deeper treatment is necessary to enhance PRP delivery. I achieve this in my practice by drawing a little more blood than with the microneedling facial and delivering the PRP to the dermis via microcannula. This technique essentially reduces the risk of injury and bruising that many people will report with PRP treatments and only consists of about 4 needle pricks rather than 30!

Following a DDS treatment with PRP, you may find that your cheeks have a little lift, your naso-labial folds have improved, and your chin and mouth have a beautiful fullness that you might have had 10 years ago. This initial lift and fill should recede in a day or two as the PRP absorbs. While results may vary, typically within the next 8-12 weeks, the PRP will continue to stimulate growth. Slowly you will note improvement in skin laxity, quality, texture, and tone.¹

Cost:

I have seen variations of cost of the different types of treatments. Some as low as $400 for the microneedling alone to as high as $7000!! Though I believe the higher priced treatments are in high cost areas such as NYC and Beverly Hills and include dermal fillers as well.

At Grace Medical Aesthetics, I charge based on the extent of the treatment: $200 for the simple microneedling, $400 for Microneedling with PRP, $400 for Deep Dermal Stimulation with PRP, and $800 for Deep Dermal Stimulation AND Microneedling with PRP. Additional areas such as neck/decollete/hands add $200.

What PRP is NOT:

Platelet rich plasma treatment is not a panacea. (not the continent – the cure all) It is not the fountain of youth – though it has been found in clinical studies to have some pretty awesome anti-aging and regenerative qualities.*

I like to compare all anti-aging treatments to a makeup case. In the bag will be various tools and products to highlight, contour, and enhance various different areas of the face – yet no product will make you runway-ready on it’s own. It takes the combination of many treatments – some more dramatic in their outcomes than others – yet no treatment less valuable than the last. Rather than expect dramatic results from one treatment -use all the tools at your disposal to create, enhance, restore, and rejuvenate!

PRP in a Nutshell:

Lots of misinformation on the Internet.
We lose collagen as we age—> skin laxity, wrinkles.
PRP stimulates collagen and has growth factors.¹*
Kim Kardashian.
Microneedling rocks.
Microneedling plus PRP = rocks even more.
Deep Dermal Stim = stimulates collagen deeper in the tissues.
Done with cannula so easy peasy.
Microneedling + PRP + Deep Dermal Stim = rocks most.
Blah, blah, blah, science words, Kim Kardashian.
Not gonna fix everything but a nice tool to add to your toolbox. Or was that makeup bag? – ugh, metaphors.

Hope you enjoyed the read and that I was able to answer some questions about PRP.
Best,
Charis

 
 
 
 

**Results may vary. Unless noted otherwise, testimonials provided for Grace Medical Aesthetics are patients of Grace Medical Aesthetics who have undergone completed treatment(s.) Before and after images reflect real results from real patients, although individual results may vary. Statements estimating treatment duration and the amount of treatments required are based on the typical experience of patients of Grace Medical Aesthetics, however, duration and amount of treatments needed may vary per client. A guarantee is neither provided nor implied.