- Lori is 42 and has an autoimmune disease
- She works in the media and is concerned about her aging skin and wrinkles
- She’s worked hard to improve her health naturally and doesn’t want to do anything that will trigger her autoimmunity.
Lori and I had been working together for months to get her health back on track due to her autoimmune condition. She asked me about how her condition might be affected by potential anti-aging therapies. I’m glad she asked because many doctors or aestheticians who provide anti-aging therapies don’t even think to ask a patient about other health issues.
Dr. Raheleh Sarbaziha (aka Dr. Rahi) is not one of those doctors. In her practice, she makes sure to take a full health history before she will recommend potential therapies for skin rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction.
Aging is a natural process and part of that is the degradation of collagen which shows up most visibly as wrinkled or sagging skin.
Better Skin Through Diet
Dr. Rahi believes that great skins starts within. You have to take care of the inside before you can expect great results from any external treatment.
Dr. Rahi recommends a mostly plant-based diet. She says it’s important to understand how to read a label and to eat whole food.
Supplements for Better Skin
Here are the top supplements Dr. Rahi recommends for healthy looking skin:
Since collagen is such an important part of healthy, young looking skin, collagen supplements can help.
This is one of her top recommendations because it improves the quality of skin but it’s also so important on a cellular level. Most of us are deficient in magnesium so supplementing is valuable inside and out. Magnesium Citrate is a good option.
This supplement helps decrease inflammation in the body and many skin disorders are a result of inflammation.
- Fish Oil or Omega-3
A good, clean fish oil can help with healthy looking skin. For anyone who is vega, a good Omega 3 is an option.
- Prenatal DHA
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is super important in collagen production and it also helps keep your immune balanced. You can take it as a supplement or get it through diet (but likely both).
Micro-needling is a process of making many micro-punctures in the skin using a special tool. This brings the blood to the surface which stimulates your immune system and regenerates collagen production. It’s considered a minimally invasive, very safe treatment that generates amazing results.
It can be uncomfortable or even painful depending on your pain tolerance and the quality of the numbing cream used. Dr. Rahi also says that patients may be more sensitive during menstruation or if you are tired or stressed.
There are a variety of options for increasing the efficacy of the treatment including coating the skin with hyaluronic acid (so that it is injected with each micro-puncture). Other options include adding vitamin C, B Complex or glutathione.
Another popular option is the PRP or Platelet-rich Plasma. This is extracted from your own blood using a centrifuge. Using PRP during microneedling increases collagen regeneration and gives the practitioner the option to localize treatment (for example on deep lines or scars).
PDO threads are small sutures that are injected under the skin to pull the skin back and make the skin appear tighter. The threads themselves degrade over time and are absorbed by the body. There are many different types of threads (smooth, twisted, and barbed) that serve different ‘lifting’ purposes. As a foreign object under the skin, they also trigger an immune response and stimulate collagen production.
This treatment is generally not recommended for those above the age of 65 if they have thinner skin.
Dr. Rahi says that it could trigger a response for anyone with an autoimmune disease but she’s never seen a negative reaction.
Radio frequency treatments trigger an immune response when the frequency is emitted through the skin and causes the dermal layer to heat up resulting in a burn, almost.
There are two options using radio frequency – a sort of probe onto the skin (kind of like getting an ultrasound) and in combination with microneedling (Morpheus8) .
This kind of treatment should be safe for those with autoimmunity because it is simply stimulating collagen production.
There is the potential for immune reactivity with fillers so be sure to select an informed technician or doctor.
Dr. Rahi also cautions against irreversible fillers, favoring dissolvable fillers instead. This option allows you to dissolve it if you don’t like it for any reason.
Common fillers contain Hyaluronic Acid and BDDE (butanediol diglycidyl ether) as a cross linking agent which can cause an immune reaction.
For anyone with autoimmunity, Dr. Rahi cautions against Volbella, Vollure, and Voluma. The safer options (according to Dr. Rahi) are Juvederm Ultra, Ultra XC and Restylanes.
Dr. Rahi says she hasn’t personally seen any autoimmune sort of reaction to Botox, Dysport or any other neurotoxin injectables. She has heard reports of people developing a resistance to specific neurotoxins like Botox after extended use (6-10 years).
In this episode, we outline many options for anti aging treatments but depending on your body and your immune system, some are more natural than others and therefore can be safer than others, especially for those who have autoimmunity and are more sensitive.
Lori and I discussed everything in detail and opted for microneedling with vitamins as well as doing the PRP injections with her own platelets. The great thing about these treatments is that there are no added toxins or chemicals but they do actually work! Lori found her skin to look much better and smoother after 6 months of treatments.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
For Lori we were able to find a way to help her age gracefully without triggering an autoimmune response. Could one of these options be what you or someone in your life is looking for?
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