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So excited to share PRP facial and aging gracefully with you in my interview with Dr. Summer Beattie!  I get so many questions on what are the options when it comes to aging naturally and gracefully and what is actually safe if wanting to use aesthetic interventions.  I wanted to talk with an expert on this topic.  You can find so many answers online, but I really wanted to speak with a professional who practices a more holistic, natural approach to aging well, using the most cutting edge modalities to treat skin.  This led me to interview Dr. Summer Beattie!

Dr. Summer Beattie is a Naturopathic Physician. Born and raised in Alaska, she completed her undergraduate Bachelor degree in Exercise Science at La Sierra University in California, and in 2004 received her graduate degree as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Seattle’s Bastyr University. She spent nearly eight years in primary care and served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians before accepting a position at a varicose vein surgery center in Alaska.  

Throughout her career, she also always worked concurrently in deluxe spas and medical aesthetic clinics. These experiences affirmed for Dr. Beattie that she was the most skilled at serving her patients in a specialty care setting. Upon returning to Washington, Dr. Beattie pursued training with physicians and organizations setting the standard of care in Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Beattie founded One Living as a platform for collaborative practitioners to share their expertise in an intimate andhands-on setting. The focus of classes has been on teaching physicians how to best use Regenerative Injection Therapies for orthopaedic, aesthetic, sexual health and wellness needs. Some of Dr. Beattie’s favorite injection modalities include the use of neural therapy, prolotherapy, prolozone, PRP, peptide and biologics.

Other key tools of her practice include IV therapy, hormone optimization and photodynamic therapies. She is passionate about giving patients foundational resources and support for overall health and not simply offering procedures. The robustness of the healing that a Regenerative Injection Therapy can give is directly related to the overall vitality of the patient. Dr. Beattie has built into her protocols strong naturopathic principles and collaboration with other providers in order to ensure best patient outcomes.

In my interview with Dr. Summer Beattie we discuss several different options for aesthetic procedures, one the biggest I wanted to touch on was PRP.

Interview with Dr. Summer Beattie:

 

Dr. Summer Beattie.

 

 

What is PRP?

PRP stands for platelet rich plasma.  It's where you take a small blood sample from a patient and spin it down in a really sophisticated machine.  It separates the red blood cells and leaves the plasma.  Which is the yellow, whitish clear fluid of the blood.  Then you spin that again and that separates out the platelets.  The platelets house growth factors and cytokines.  You are essentially harnessing the regenerating healing power of the platelets and injecting them back into tissues to signal the body to do it's own healing. You're using your own blood, so people have a very low chance of allergic reaction, since it's mostly just your own blood.  It's one of the safest and natural procedures for aging.  You inject the spinned blood back into facial tissues- fat pads specifically where you would lose volume from aging or wherever you might want on your face. Initially, you will notice a difference in volume right away after injection but in a couple days, you might think, nothing happened?  However, PRP is working!  It's stimulating your body to create cell signaling and stimulating the body to do it's own healing over the next 3 months.  The body is laying down new capillary beds, sending in new nutrient supply, and building new tissue.  The changes are subtle and happen over a 3 month time.   It's never going to make you look like someone you're not, since it's just stimulating your own genetic potential.  That's not the goal.  The goal of PRP is regenerative and restorative therapy.  It brings back youthfulness and vitality. 

In one study, participants noticed improved facial appearance overall after just one PRP treatment. (1)

Does it minimize fine lines and wrinkles?

Fine lines and wrinkles are easier to prevent than they are to treat.  But yes you can use PRP to correct some of the fine lines and wrinkles.  Injecting the PRP for the deep lines and wrinkles can help soften them.  It will take more time to see results for the deeper fine lines and wrinkles.  You will need more treatments the more advanced in age you are.  PRP is great for preventative care for fine lines and wrinkles.  A lot of women in their 30's will come in and do a treatment once a year just to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.  Post menopausal women who are wanting to avoid using Botox or fillers will use a combination of the microneedling and PRP to help see results. 

How often should you get treatments?

A series of 3 treatments a month, to 6 weeks apart and then going onto maintenance once a year.  When you cross into corrective treatments as skin has aged, your treatments are only as good as your overall health is good.  Your body doesn't have the vitality to maintain the results as well if you're not healthy.  She recommends making sure you are in optimal health to see optimal results on your skin.

Do You Like Microneedling?

Yes!  I've seen it improve a lot of hyperpigmentation, and sun damage.  Least invasive way to significantly makes changes, but it does require consistency.  Not a fan of microneedling at home unless you use a really high quality tool and really shallow needle.  0.25 for depth of needle at home.  A lot of damage is done with being too aggressive with microneedling. Using a microneedling tool creates channels in the skin, helps to tighten skin, and can help fade hyperpigmentation and scarring. I use a combination of PRP and microneedling for even greater skincare results.  When you use it with PRP it can give you quicker results.  PRP is dripped onto the skin while your skin is being microneedled which helps to drive the PRP deeper into the skin. Stem cell counts drop off dramatically as we age, so when someone does microneedling in their 20's and 30's they have a lot more stem cells at work, compared to someone advanced in age.  Your body turns over cells quicker as well when you're younger so you notice a much quicker response compared to when you're older. (5)

How long to see PRP results? 

3 months to see maximum benefit from one treatment.  2 week post treatment mark, people will get compliments like, “Oh you must have gotten a good nights sleep!”  You're getting all the good new blood flow to the skin. 

Is PRP painful?

It can be. Dr. Summer Beattie uses a buffer to help.  The anticoagulant used to draw up the blood can be stingy.  But it's usually pretty tolerable for most people.  There is a topical numbing cream applied as well, while it might be uncomfortable for many people, it's not unbearable. 

How much is PRP?

It depends on practitioners and clinic.  There is a lot of PRP on the market that don't use a high quality machine.  Dr. Summer Beattie's session start at $1,600 when doing injections and $800 when microneedling with PRP.  

Do you recommend certain areas get injected with PRP?

I always have the patient tell me what their concerns are and then come up with a treatment plan.  There is a global facial treatment plan that you can use where you inject the face where most women show signs aging.  

Where should you start?

It depends on the results you want and your age. When people are just starting, she says start with microneedling.  Make sure with microneedling you're very careful on freshly microneedled skin, because any product can seep into the skin through those freshly made channels you've made in your skin. For someone in their 30's looking for preventative care you could start with microneedling and address some hyperpigmentation, skin tightening, and then get PRP under the eyes to target some fat loss.   For someone advanced in age with mature skin PRP can still give results, it just make take many, many treatments and even then it's not going to erase wrinkles and fine lines. PRP over and over again can soften the frown lines.  Deeper lines can often make us look like we don't have a personality that is ours.  So softening can help.  Have you ever seen someone scowling at you, when really it was just their frown lines creating that look, and not really their personality.

PRP for a breast lift?

You can use PRP to help give more of a fullness to the breast that gives the appearance of being lifted.  

IPL and BBL Lasers?

IPL for hyperpigmentation- does a great job of lifting pigment. BBL is more effective than IPL, a little stronger overall.  They're a very similar technology.  Can help with hyperpigmentation and helps slow the process of aging too.  BBL an d IPL can be great for mature skin at helping with hyperpigmentation, just may require more treatments compared to a younger person.

What is your take on fillers?

People used to do ok with botox or fillers, however, our population has increasingly become chronically ill.  If you have an autoimmune condition, I recommend people avoid botox or fillers.  Some people may still want to get Botox or fillers, but just know there are always risks involved.  For some the risks don't outweigh the benefit. If you are wanting to get Botox make sure and see a skilled injector, because Botox can migrate.  I had a patient who had immediate Mast Cell activation from a Botox injection.  It was the straw that broke the camel's back.  Practitioners aren't screening patients to see what pre-existing conditions they have and if they are a good candidate for Botox.

Hyaluronic acid is the most common type of filler.  Not a lot of good information on how they are manufactured and what else goes into them, even for a practitioner it's hard to have really good data on what exactly you're injecting into the skin. Hyaluronic acid can also migrate as well.  If you have an autoimmune, or chronic infectious condition, you can have more of an adverse reaction to them.  Hyaluronic acid filler can be removed with hylarondase, but most fillers once they're in, they're in and you can't remove them easily. (3)  To remove them you would need to do surgery.  Often they can form granulomas which are like a cyst.  You really want to be cautious.  You just don't know how your body is necessarily going to respond.  Know the risks and make an informed decision.  

Botox?

Botox injections use a toxin called onobotulinumtoxinA to temporarily prevent a muscle from moving. This toxin is produced by the microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.

Botox is never correcting anything, it is neutralizing muscle movement, so it softens the lines, because you can't move the muscle.  Long term it's not good, because it actually causes atrophy, tissue loss.  Not something people should be using for years and years.  People become addicted to it.  

Lifestyle factors for skin health?

Stress ages us more than anything else!  Clean up your diet, and home, that does so much more for your skin.  Start with the foundations first.  You're going to have much more long term results if you do implement a skin modality.  A lot of anti-aging can happen with our lifestyle.

  • Get really good sleep
  • Drink really clean water
  • Turn off wifi at night
  • Eating a clean diet can go a long way  
  • Being on a really good skincare routine at home can be so helpful.  It doesn't need to be a long list of products, but a simple routine.  Not using things too harsh on the skin.  
  • Regular facials for women as they age can also really help with aging overall.  
  • If you still need more help, see a professional for more targeted help.  
  • Food intolerances cause skin aging as well. Know what's causing your body inflammation.

*Skin is the living the organ and a representative of what's going on inside of us.  We need to shift the idea of what real beauty is.  No women should feel like they need to change anything.  Many wrinkles are earned and should be celebrated!  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Talk about children's behavior or attitude being beautiful, not necessarily their appearance. 

How do you find someone skilled in PRP?

Dr. Charles Runels is the pioneer in the field.  Anyone who has gone with his training, is well qualified.  Always a good idea, to ask the practitioner where they got their training from.  Ask them what PRP system they're using.  Anything comparable to Apex kits are really good as well.  Some are better suited for orthopedics compared to aesthetics.  They are trying to set a universal standard for PRP practitioners but there is not one that everyone has to adhere to yet.  Connections from your provider, people they know, like and trust, can help you find a good PRP pracititioner. 

 

*Check out Dr. Summer Beattie at One Living Clinic here and at Immanence Health here.

 

If you liked this post, check out these past posts:

 

Resources:

  1. PubMed.gov. (2019) Feb 18. Platelet rich plasma for photodamaged skin: A pilot study. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29855132/
  2. MayoClinic.org. Botox Injections Overview. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/botox/about/pac-20384658
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. (2020) Jan. 7. Derma Fillers, The good, the bad and the dangerous. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dermal-fillers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-dangerous-201907152561
  4. Dr. Summer Beattie. (2021) Mar. 18. Personal Interview.  Naturopathic Physician. 
  5. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016) Jul-Aug. Indian Dermatology Online Journal. Microneedling: Advances and Widening Horizons. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976400/