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REGENERATIVE MEDICINE:  What’s it all about?

You may have heard the term regenerative medicine and wondered, “Does that have any relevance to me?” It is the current buzzword used in all sorts of cosmetic product and aesthetic treatment advertisements. The new science of longevity reveals that aging is reversible through the use of regenerative factors. Let’s take a look at some science to see why this field holds the key to the future of rejuvenation of the face and body.

Skin Aging Phenotype

As part of the natural aging process, our skin goes through some significant changes:

  • Reduced production of collagen and elastin resulting in thinning of the skin layers
  • Reduced cell regenerative capabilities
  • Slower wound healing
  • Decreased microcapillaries and less oxygen to the tissues
  • Increased pigmentation

All these effects are sped up by things like sun damage, smoking and decreased hormone levels.
Even younger patients in their 30s and 40s will start to see signs of the “aging” process.

So understanding this underlying biology, treatment options have evolved over the past few years to specifically address each of these issues at the very basic cellular level. For example, rather than injections of collagen, which were common many years ago but didn’t last very long, now by harnessing techniques and products that stimulate your own cells to produce new collagen, make new blood vessels, and deliver more oxygen to the tissues, these aging processes can be delayed or even reversed.
The result is healthier, more youthful-appearing skin. Yes, beauty is skin deep.

What are those treatments and how do we know they are effective?

Broadband Light Therapy (BBL):
Studies have demonstrated that exposing the skin to specific light energy in a precisely controlled manner can turn on DNA to produce proteins (collagen and elastin), thus restoring improved thickness to the skin layers.

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma):
This is our body’s storehouse of biochemical compounds (growth factors) that can mobilize and increase the number of cells available to produce new microcapillaries, increase blood flow and oxygen, and increase production of the proteins mentioned above. With a simple procedure, we can isolate the platelet-rich plasma from a small blood sample, concentrate the platelets and activate and release specific growth factors. Using microneedling or injection techniques, the activated platelets are delivered into the targeted skin layers to treat fine lines, damaged skin, pigment irregularities, and even thinning hair.

Exosomes:
Exosomes are micro packets of growth factors, cytokines, enzymes, and miRNAs (microRNAs). These tiny extracellular vesicles, secreted by cells throughout our bodies, hold the key to a revolutionary approach to healing and rejuvenation. In an innovative process, they are harvested from specific donors and have the ability to communicate and transfer biological stimulation signals to the cells, reprogramming aging cells to produce new proteins like collagen and elastin. By adding exosomes to the microneedling process, a significant boost to cellular regeneration occurs, once again creating meaningful improvement in skin appearance through the rejuvenation process.

These advanced treatments are customized to address each patient’s needs and are part of a comprehensive evaluation that our skin care specialists and I provide. Generally, there is little to no downtime, and results can often be seen within the first few weeks. For best outcomes, treatment consists of a series of sessions as the regenerative process does take time to evolve, and each session builds on the progress and stimulation of the previous session.

To learn more about regenerative aesthetics, the exciting field of the future, contact us at Contemporary Plastic Surgery.

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