Skin Facts by Andrea Shaw

Skin, the integumentary system, is the largest organ in the body, and it is simply amazing. It’s a strong barrier designed to protect us from outside elements. Skin layers, nerves, cellular functions, hair follicles, glands – all work together harmoniously to regulate and protect the body. Healthy skin is slightly moist, soft, smooth and somewhat acidic. Skin is the thickest on palms of hands and soles of the feet. It’s the thinnest on the eyelids. Our skin is a cell-making factory with miles of blood vessels, sweat glands, and nerves within a network of fibers. Skin on an average adult weighs 8-10 pounds and averages an area of about 22 square feet. It contains 1/2 to 2/3 of the blood in the body and 1/2 of the primary immune cells.

Each inch of skin contains approximately:

* Millions of cells (per inch)
* 12 feet of nerves (per inch)
* 650 sweet glands (per inch)
* 100 oil glands (per inch)
* 65 hairs (per inch)
* 1,300 nerve endings (per inch)
* 1,300 pressure receptors (per inch)
* 12 cold and hot receptors (per inch)

Skin is a protective barrier to outside elements and microorganisms. It has many defense mechanisms to protect the body from injury and invasion. Damage to our barrier layers is the cause of many skin problems, including sensitivities, aging, and dehydration. The skin’s most amazing feature is the ability to heal, thus protecting the body from infection and damage from injuries. Absorption of ingredients, water, and oxygen is necessary for our skin’s health. Skin absorbs oxygen and discharges carbon dioxide, and absorption occurs through the cells. Cells absorb topical products and creams through the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The ability of  ingredients to penetrate cells is determined by the size of the topical product’s molecule and the other characteristics of the product.

Skin is comprised of 2 parts, the dermis and the epidermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It is a thin, protective covering with many nerve endings. The epidermis is composed of 5 layers, called strata. The uppermost is stratum corneum – dead, scale-like cells which we continually shed,  the stratum lucidum which is found on the lips, palms and soles, and the underlying stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and the innermost layer, stratum germinativam. Keratinocytes and epithelial cells protect the dermis lipids, surround the cells in the epidermis, which protect cells from water loss and dehydration.


“The Dermapen is great! It didn’t hurt at all and I could go back to work without an embarrassing red face. My skin felt so soft and fresh the next day. I’m excited to now see my wrinkles start to fade away.”

Casey Stallone

“I had this treatment done last week and it was great!!  Very minimal pain and discomfort.  My skin felt incredible after, it looked and felt tighter and the tone was noticeably more even all over. I love how, depending on your skin concerns, you can put specific serums on and the dermapen penetrates the product into different layers of the epidermis and dermis getting the ultimate efficacy of the product. Loved it!! Can’t wait for my next treatment!”

Amelia Mietchen
Master Aesthetician / Admin
Utah Eye and Facial Plastic Surgery

Hyaluronic Acid has a tremendous ability to bind H2O by Andrea Shaw

Collagen and elastin fibrils intertwine throughout the reticular layer.  Both of these fibers are made of protein and are examples of connective tissue.  Collagen is not flexible and gives skin its firmness and an ability to stretch very much.

Next to H20, collagen is the most abundant substance in the skin.  There are about 16 different types of collagen.  The two types that are most important to the skin are type I, which makes up most of the fibrils in the reticular dermis, and type IV, which is present in the area between the dermis and the epidermis.  Collagen is manufactured by fibroblasts, specialized cells that produce these long molecules of amino acids.  Elastin is the fibrous structure that gives skin elasticity and the ability to “bounce back.”  The elastin and collagen fibrils are immersed in a jelly-like fluid (grand substance), which is made of glycosaminoglyans (GAGS).  GAGS are carb chains known as poly-saccharides.  One of these components is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid has a tremendous ability to bind H20, holding up to 1,000 times its own weight in H20.  This gives more structure  and stability to the dermis and cushions the fibrils and the high water content allos for better communication between cells.

We’ll have more on this later.

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A new company, Derma Pen, LLC is bringing a brand new technology in Collagen Induction Therapy to the U.S. this month. The device is the first of its kind automated electrical hand piece for offering collagen induction therapy and will provide a “delivery system” otherwise not available by laser resurfacing. It’s used as a popular treatment in Europe, Asia and Africa. This is an innovative product and is inexpensive but provides phenomenal results similar to laser resurfacing, fraxel or IPL but without the huge investment and because the consumable cost is low, the flexibility for treatment price points can be realized. The down time for the patient is almost non-existent and within 24 hours the patient’s skin has little to no redness or inflammation, whilst reducing pain and discomfort. Moreover because of the automatic vertical needling function of the devices “stamping” method, a delivery system for absorption of pre and post cocktails and creams has dramatic effects. It’s a great addition to any dermatologist office offering cosmetic services or medical spa.