Dr. Edwards: This is Dr. Chad Edwards and you’re listening to Podcast number 47 of Against the Grain.
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Welcome to against the grain pod-cast with Dr. Chad Edwards where he challenges the status quo when it comes to medicine, we get into hot topics in the medical field with real stories from real patients to help you on your way to a healthy life style. Get ready because we’re about to go Against the Grain.
Marshall: What’s up? This is the super tall Marshall Morris and today I’m joined by Dr. Chad Edwards who served in the US army, he’s a board certified physician and he’s the author of a book here “Revolutionize Your Health with Customised Supplements” and he also started revolutionhealth.org. It’s incredible what this man has done but today we are talking about a couple of really awesome things. Dr. Edwards, thanks so much for joining us.
Dr. Edwards: Thanks for having me, it’s always good to be here, excited to be here.
Marshall: You’re excited to be here. What hot topic are we getting into today?
Dr. Edwards: So today we’re just getting should right into it, this may be a little of a shorter pod-cast because I just want to get to the bullet and talk about this. We’re talking about Tulsa prolotherapy for the skin. It’s a procedure that we do in the office called SkinPen. I get really passionate about prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is so good for ligaments and tendons. Ligaments and tendons, if you go back and listen to our other podcasts on prolotherapy, ligaments and tendons are composed of collagen. Collagen is a very strong protein. It’s got this alpha-helix structure to it.
As we age we have some degradation in our ability to make new collagen and things like that. The collagen that’s in ligaments and tendons is type 1 collagen – you got several different types. Its type 1 collagen, it’s the same kind of collagen that is in your skin, also as what in your bones. The things that help one kind of collagen in one place also help the collagen in another place. It doesn’t mean that if I fix your knee I’m also fixing your skin with Tulsa prolotherapy injection.
We do prolotherapy, we also do platelets rich plasma or PRP basically the same concept as Tulsa prolotherapy just using a slightly different solution. We had some people that came in and we were using PRP and orthopaedics application trying to help those ligaments and tendons and the guys that repped for the company that made the stuff – we were using Harvest at the time- were and the ones that were doing that they were like, “You do a lot of these, have you thought about doing aesthetics?” and I was “No, it’s not really my thing, I agree with it and from an anti-aging perspective if we look better we tend to feel better and so I have no issues with that but it’s really not my wheel house.
They were like, “You already have all the equipment, you’ve already got all the stuff, a lot of your patients would really probably like this and would really benefit from it.” Using, at the time what was called a “vampire facial”, and basically you would take the PRP, the platelets rich plasma therapy rub it over the face and then use this roller that has little needles in it and it would needle it into the skin and so you’re driving this PRP into the skin. Or you would roll over first and then put the PRP on and the PRP would go down these channels that you made with the needles and enhance the growth of collagen.
He was talking about this “vampire facial” for tightening up the face and I started thinking. If you damage your knee- you have a ligament that’s damaged- I’ve said for years that when you inject these ligaments as you produce new collagen, that collagen has immature shrinks. It tightens things up. It’s the same concept I’ve been talking about with prolotherapy when it came to knee pain and osteoarthritis and these kind of things. Using these repeated procedures to try and tighten up these ligaments and tendons. Then this guy says “You should consider this for the skin,” and I was like well, it’s the same kind of collagen, same kind of process.
As we age we have a degradation in the collagen content in our skin which results in these fine lines and wrinkles. Actually, some of these wrinkles and some of these fine lines are actually scars. When you flatten out those wrinkles you can see some of that scaring. With prolotherapy we’re growing new collagen and we’re tightening things up and you could almost thing about that as like a poor man’s face lift where you can actually tighten up the skin. If you’re jowls, the things on your cheeks as you age, if they drag on the floor you’re not going to bring them back up to the– you’re not going to turn that around and look like a 20 year old skin, it’s just not going to happen.
But if you can reduce fine lines and wrinkles through a Tulsa prolotherapy type approach, then why wouldn’t we do that? It just makes sense, so I thought “I’m interested in this”. It seemed a little bit salesy to me, we’re going to do a Med Spa and we’re going to open that and at the time it was kind of like nah but my staff beat me up about it at the time. They were like “Were going to do this.” This was a couple of years ago. We got to do this, we got to do this. Then I saw this is something that my nurses can do and they can learn how to do it and do it really well so it doesn’t involve me.
So I can still be doing prolotherapy and functional medicine. When a patient comes–it’s almost like when the patient comes in they can just lay down on the table, I’ll do their prolotherapy, somebody will rub their back, they’ll get the manicure and the pedicure and then they will get the SkinPen. It’s like we’re doing the whole thing, top to bottom, and you get your colonoscopy and EGD at the same time. I’m just kidding about that. But we can offer more services, we can help patients inside and out so that they look, feel and perform better and that’s been my focus from day one. Look, feel and perform at your best in an optimal level.
We are all going to age, we want to perform, look, feel and perform our best as long as possible. When it comes to the appearance, SkinPen is an outstanding application to help enhance someone’s appearance as long as possible. What are some things that SkinPen would be good for? I’m asking my own questions, are you OK with that?
Marshall: I’m enjoying, I’m being entertained right now. The listeners can’t see it but you’re killing it right now. You got the whole look going on, you got the under-armor shirt on, you got the headphones and the podcast, you look pretty legit right now and I just want to interject that and kind of paint the visual for all the listeners that have been tuning in for 47 episodes now. I feel they haven’t been rewarded with that kind of imagery yet so I just want to make sure I got that out there.
Dr. Edwards: I’m speechless. But what you’re saying, I think a wise man once called this “Edutainment”
Marshall: Edutainment. It’s a cross between entertaining education so we call it edutainment.
Dr. Edwards: Is that a Clayism?
Marshall: That’s a Clayism, that’s a coined term.
Dr. Edwards: That’s good, we’ll give Clay the credit for that. If any of our listeners are listening and you’ve got these fine lines and wrinkles. So you got these crossfit around the eyes, you got some across the top of the lips, maybe your cheeks, any of those kind of things. If you’ve got any of these wrinkles, and certainly those laugh lines and the wrinkles on your forehead and those kind of things. As we age they become more prominent. That can become, especially for women, it becomes a little bit more important and they don’t want those kind of things.
SkinPen is great for that. If you’re younger SkinPen can help delay the onset of those things. So you can actually use this pro-actively and in fact I think Kim Kardashian actually had, if it wasn’t SkinPen, it was one very similar to it, trying to maintain the health and appearance of her skin so that as she ages and the paparazzi continues to follow her around her skin would look–I mean who wouldn’t want to be 70 and look like they were 40?
SkinPen is one of those things that can absolutely pro-actively help maintain the appearance of your skin over a longer period of time and it can help tighten up your skin, keep that skin nice and tight, avoid those fine lines and wrinkles and those kind of things. Age spots- and there’s a lot of information out there about people that see other people and they see these dark discolorations with this age spots, that actually has more of an impact in appearing older than fine lines and wrinkles. So age spots are one of those things that’s part of an aging process as well.
The SkinPen is also very, very beneficial at reducing some of those age spots. My words ring hollow, unless you see a picture, and a picture is worth a thousand words and we are in the process of putting some of this stuff back up on the website, hopefully it will be there by the time this gets out. But seeing some of these before and after pictures and what people look like before they did SkinPen and after SkinPen, speaks volumes about what this stuff can do. It’s just absolutely amazing because when you stimulate that inflammatory response and you stimulate the growth of new collagen, what can happen in the skin is just nothing short of miraculous.
Acne and acne scars, we’ve had some people that have had– as a youth, they had these big cystic kind of acne that causes all these scars and things like and we’ve had dramatic results. Again, the before and after pictures speak absolute volumes about how bad it was before, I mean you look at them and you are just like, “Oh man, I feel sorry for that person,” and then you see them afterwards and you’re like, “Looks pretty normal”, I mean it’s just amazing.
Marshal: I want to cover everything that we’ve covered up to this point that it helps fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, acne, acne scars, what else does it help?
Dr. Edwards: So one of the last ones would be stretch marks and this isn’t just on your face, this can be anywhere. It can be on your face, it can be on your neck, it can be on the upper chest area, it can be on your abdomen, on your legs, you can do it really anywhere you have skin, you can do SkinPen. It’s really cool about how well it works and where you can apply the procedure. Stretch marks and of course the most common one that we see in the clinic is women after having children and stretch marks on their abdomen.
We can’t necessarily make that stuff go completely away but we can often dramatically reduce, and again some of the before and after’s are just shocking. We’ve got pictures of those as well. It’s amazing what this can do. I actually had a patient that came in that had injected steroids into her skin and some people will do this for like an acne kind of thing, it reduces the inflammation. So she injected steroids into her face and the steroids have an effect called lipolysis. They actually break down fat, so she injected this right into her cheeks, she got it just a little bit too deep and it went into the fatty tissue and it actually caused a crater in her face. You could see that crater from across the room.
It was noticeable. We tried several different things and we just weren’t getting good results. I sent her to a plastic surgeon colleague and he said, “Well we could do fillers” and patient didn’t want to do that at the time so he is like, “Try this, try this, try this”, and finally we just said, “You know we are just going to do a SkinPen on it and we’ll see what we get”. We did two rounds of SkinPen and it was gone, gone. She had tried laser, she had tried multiple different kinds of injections and two rounds of a SkinPen and it was gone, absolutely it’s literally the most stunning benefit that I’ve seen from SkinPen because it’s a crater that you could see across the room on her cheek and after two rounds of SkinPen that was gone. I was absolutely blown away from that.
Marshal: What would be an alternative to SkinPen or maybe not an alternative or what does– would you say would be mainstream that people would do to solve the same type of issues.
Dr. Edwards: Probably things like, I mean– some people would consider microdermabrasion, there’s lasers, different kinds of lasers, but the problem with some of those lasers is they’re good for some skin types and not good for others and you got different effects, and all kinds of things like that. Some of them are getting better but SkinPen is good for anyone’s skin type. It doesn’t differentiate one type versus another. It’s good for everyone on their skin type.
Marshal: So let me ask you this, why is SkinPen have an advantage over some of these other things?
Dr. Edwards: It is a very simple procedure that we do in the clinic, minimally invasive and after the break if you want we can kind of talk through that whole process about what happens.
Marshal: Let’s do it, lets take a quick break and we’ll be right back
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Marshal: Ok we are back and we are talking about SkinPen and during the break I’ve just become rationally that much more excited about SkinPen because you’re telling me about some of these benefits, why don’t you share that with some of the listeners here?
Dr. Edwards: Yes, so you know I was talking with one of my friends that owns a medical spa in Clarksville, and I used to live in Clarksville, so Clarksville Tennessee. He owns a med spa there and we’re talking the other day and he said, “You should really start doing SkinPen because it’s just amazing, some of the stuff that that thing will do” and I said, “Actually we already do it”, and he was just like, “Are you not blown away by that?”, and I was like, “Yes, absolutely”, and it’s just an amazing procedure this, it’s like Tulsa prolotherapy.
It’s so simple yet so effective and so the procedure itself– so basically if you wanted to address one of these skin issues, you got some skin lesions, you got maybe some minor scarring, maybe some fine lines and wrinkles, those dark spots, the stretch marks, the acne scars, that you know maybe it’s just one, maybe it’s multiple, any of those kinds of things you just want to tighten up your skin. SkinPen is also a great exfoliator because exfoliating is removing the dead layer, the outer layer of skin, and you’re removing that old stuff and just giving the skin a revitalized appearance.
It’s one of the best exfoliators you’re going to find. It’s like way better than microdermabrasion as far as giving this kind of exfoliating new look or feel to your face. So basically we bring the patient in and the first thing these– basically SkinPen is using little needles and I think there’s 12 of these, 32 gauge needles in a cartridge that rapidly go up and down and it pierces your face and we can adjust the depth of those needles according to where we on the face. Some areas need a low penetration, some need deeper penetration to achieve the desired effect.
So we’re going to put an anesthetic cream and kind of rub it over wherever we’re going to be treating this, we’re going to rub it over all of that. The anesthetic cream, it varies from patient to patient how well it works. I had the procedure done on myself and I was like, “That crap hurts”. It wasn’t cool to me. Most women will come in and they’ll be like, “I hardly feel it”, some women will say well, “Yes, it’s uncomfortable” but they’ll do deal with it. There’s just a couple areas on the face that is just really sensitive. But I did not enjoy it myself and most women just look at me and they laugh and they’re like, “You never had kids either,” so you know it’s just one of those, “Okay fine”.
So they will numb up the face with that numbing cream and we’ve got some consent forms and you’ll do all that, and you’ll get before pictures so we can see what your face looks like before, because sometimes people will have the procedure and at the end of it they’ll say, “I don’t really notice any difference” and if there’s not a picture to show them before and after, there’s nothing to compare it to, but when– every now and then we’ll get patient that says, “I don’t really notice any difference” and you show them there before pictures and they’re like, “Oh my goodness”. It’s kind of like losing weight, you might lose weight over several weeks and not really notice and then you go back and look at a picture from a month ago and you’re like, “Holy crap, who is that?
Dr. Edwards: Because you don’t see those small changes when they occur gradually over time. So we’ll get the before and after pictures and then we will take you back into our aesthetics procedure room and lay you down, assuming we’re doing your face, or face and neck, or whatever, and we’ll wash all that stuff off, get a nice cleansing face wash so that we’re not putting the anesthetic with the needles into your skin, make sure everything is appropriately removed and then we’ll start another procedure and everybody does it a little bit different.
I usually start– when I do it I start on the forehead and then I go around the sides and get around the eyes. I actually had a woman that was scheduled for a blepharoplasty. So blepharoplasty is where your eyelids– as we age and the skin gets looser, she had that I droop where the skin is hanging down over your eye, she was having to hold her eyes open so much because her eyelids were drooping down. So she was going to have a procedure that would actually trim that stuff off. She came in and got SkinPen and I don’t remember if it was one or two procedures but she cancelled her blepharoplasty because she no longer needed it. It tightened her eyelids up so much that she no longer needed surgery and can see without that eyelid dropping down into her visual field with just one or two rounds of SkinPen.
It’s shocking what this thing can do. So we’ll go as deep as we can but the deeper we go the more uncomfortable it is and certainly if we go the full depth on the forehead and on the nose and things like that, you’re going to feel it. So we just go as deep as we can, I like to be fairly aggressive with the procedure because patients I believe are paying for results. I want them to get the best result they can absolutely get because the discomfort from the procedure is temporary, the results are long lasting. So some people are a little more gentle, everyone is a little bit different but I want results. That’s what I’m going after. So I tend to be fairly aggressive.
You can have a little bit, it’s called pen-point bleeding from those needles and that lets us know that we’re getting a good, an appropriate amount of depth with the procedure itself, so we’ll treat whatever areas we need to be treating, let you wash your face again, then you need to avoid sun exposure for a couple of days because your skin is sensitive in that period of time and make sure your SPF, your sunscreen, not for the first 24 hours but after that, you know, for a few days, until the inflammation decreases.
You will have some redness, usually the next day it looks like you got snow skiing and got a sun burn on your face but this is not damaging in the way that UV light can be damaging to you skin. So pro inflammatory so you might see a little bit of swelling and those kind of things but usually you can go to work the next day. If you do it on a Friday, you got the weekend, you’ll be fine to go to work. There is very little, if any, recovery with this and like I said, it’s good for all skin types. It’s a fantastic procedure, tolerate it really well, minimally invasive, excellent for a lot of these things.
Marshall: It’s a Tulsa prolotherapy for your face.
Dr. Edwards: That’s right. We’re through the body’s own inflammatory process naturally growing new collagen that tightens or shrinks, which tightens, as it matures. So we are in a very, very natural way enhancing the tightness and the appearance of the skin.
Marshal: So if you or somebody that is looking to address the fine lines or the wrinkles or the age spots, acne scars, a whole number of different things on your face, rather than doing a more invasive, more aggressive type procedure, consider SkinPen.
Dr. Edwards: Absolutely.
Marshal: How can they learn more about it? What can they do? What would you suggest that somebody that is like “Hey, that’s me, I need to look into that”.
Dr. Edwards: So, first you can go on our website- revolutionhealth.org and there’s information, I don’t think there’s a ton of information on there, I got to write the content and I’m sitting here doing a podcast instead of doing the content. But there’s the SkinPen procedure, they’ve got a website and there’s all kinds of information out there. Just google around, look at reviews, do your homework, absolutely look that way but ultimately, schedule a consultation, come see us, let us take a look at your skin, there are a lot of things that we can do to help you with your skin.
SkinPen, we’ve got some amazing true pharmaceutical grade skin care products that have equally shocking results and when you use those two in conjunction it’s just a home run with how much better your skin can look and feel and perform, It’s amazing.
Marshal: As part of that optimal health.
Dr. Edwards: That’s right. I think one of the best things for how does this stuff work is other people’s words. So when we’ve done prolotherapy, what have they said? I’ve got a couple of their testimonial reviews here- Anne said, “I had a concern with a lupus rash on my cheek, I was totally satisfied with the results of SkinPen. The rash is almost entirely gone.” That was after one treatment. Monica said, “I came in two weeks ago and I already see improvement, the lines on my face, neck and forehead are not as deep or noticeable. My skin felt healthier and looked more radiant. I’m going to continue treatment.” So that’s what a couple of people said and, like I said, the one patient was scheduled for blepharoplasty and canceled that procedure.
We’ve just seen so much benefit with– I’ve talked about that one patient with the crater in her face and resolved, completely resolved with two rounds. We’ve just seen some shocking and amazing results. The average– just like with prolotherapy, the average patient, we recommend 3 treatments usually about a month apart and protecting the skin well in between and then we’ll often do a second round of 3, depending on the severity of what you got going on with your skin. You may need that second round, some of the bigger scars or the bigger wrinkles and things like that some of those bigger scars, you may need more procedures. There’s no harm in having it done indifinetely, it’s just the cost of doing this. You want to balance all of that but get SkinPen and maintain your healthy youthful appearance as long as possible.
Marshal: Boom! So for other podcast episodes where you want to learn more about the skin, UV exposures, sunscreen. I know that we have a number of other episodes further back and Dr. Edwards, thank you so much for talking to us about SkinPen.
Dr. Edwards: Absolutely, and we have one coming up in June on SPF. I know that one is already scheduled.
Marshal: I’m fired up.
Automated voice: Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards. Check out next week when we’ll be going Against the Grain.