Stretch Marks Are Scars!

Stretch Marks Are Scars!

75% of all women have some sort of stretch mark problem in their lifetime—all hate it! Oddly enough, men seldom notice stretch marks on their lady friends—perhaps a throwback to the ‘Earth Mother” syndrome—viewed by the male as a natural part of the female during pregnancy. Yet the paparazzi here in Hollywood seem to take great delight in publishing photos of divas and pop princesses and their stretch marks, as if celebrities were supposed to be exempt!

Very simply, stretch marks or Striae as they are called medically are simply scars that appear in the Dermis rather than on the epidermis as conventional scarring from outside injury… Most people are led to believe that stretch marks are caused by stretching the skin beyond its tensile strength—either from weight gain, pregnancy or extreme muscle building.

While all these things DO play a role, there are hormonal aspects during puberty that can leave stretch marks on a very young girl’s breasts, even if she has no rapid weight gain or loss. I know of a grown man 36 yrs of age who has odd striae on his buttocks—he was never fat as a boy nor did he have rapid physical changes!

I believe there is an enzymatic power at play here, principally the enzyme collagenase that determines how much collagen fibers are in place to support tissue. If this enzyme is compromised by hormonal flux, it can destroy the very collagen fibers it is supposed to regulate. The skin then becomes ‘ruptured” or broken down and weakened at that point and appears on the surface as a silvery or reddened “scar”. The stretching of skin plays more of a role in where the marks occur and what direction they run in.

IS THERE A CURE?

I have always treated stretch marks like any other scar revision. Based upon a ‘remove” and “rebuild” concept, a great amount of stretch marks, whether they be new or older marks, can be alleviated nearly 80%.

The removal systems can be combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids blended with retinoids and applied to the area professionally. Home use of retinoids will advance the results and an occasional ‘Alkaline Wash” treatment can further plane down the stretch marks that have raised and reddened edges with deeper furrows in the centre.

A Body Enzyme series of treatments will help tighten the epidermis on older stretch marks. Skin that loses its elasticity over time creates a deeper stretch mark appearance as well. Firming the skin makes the marks appear less deep and rippled.

The ‘rebuild” portion of the treatments is vital. New collagen formation via the fibroblast cells will increase with retinoids, but amino acid creams with a full complement of ascorbic acid will help the fibroblast cell produce more fresh collagen fibers to the site of the stretch mark—so what is actually occurring is the removal of surface corneum and the rebuilding of deficit under-support fibers.

There has been a great deal of speculation about the 585-nm pulsed dye laser, radiofrequency and the newest modality, Fraxel (fractional laser resurface). I am a little skeptical over this one, it does not somehow make sense that scattered pulses of light zapping the skin and creating microscopic wounds to produce new collagen would actually be beneficial. It is like creating another scar to replace a scar.
Collagen fibers will ALWAYS rush to the surface during any form of injury or trauma.

The old fashioned CO2 laser, which virtually vaporized away the epidermis, was nothing more than a controlled scar machine. No wrinkles, but weird and plastic skin for life! Of course this is an extreme case and this laser is not popular much now, but the entire premise of actually removing Striae is based upon gently hydrolyzing the surface scar tissue whilst rebuilding the underlying dermis and epidermis for a stronger and more supportive skin.

Also, hyperpigmentation often accompanies stretch marks—this has to be dealt with professionally and at home using melanin inhibitors and nutritive, transepidermal crèmes.

IS PREVENTION POSSIBLE?

During pregnancy the glucocorticoid hormones prevent the fibroblast from forming collagen and elastin fibers (the two main products this ‘factory” makes). This creates a lack of supportive tissue and leaves the skin wide open for stretch marks. Body enzymes treatments performed professionally at least twice a month until just before delivery (will not harm fetus) is advised.

The application of a good, transepidermally formulated protein crème rich in ascorbic acid, Asiatic Acid, Vitamin E and panthenol three times daily, stroking the crème from below the belly upwards to under the breast bone will reduce stretch mark potential. I dubbed this type of formulation “Mums Crème” many years ago and am still surprised when a happy Mother informs me it actually works!

Acne

When I was a teenager I had the worst case of Acne Vulgaris imaginable. In those days (the 1950’s) there was a popular over-the-counter product called “Clearasil™”, a sort of pinkish beige tinted chalky crème allegedly supposed to dry out Acne and pimples.

However, I had other uses for the product. I loathed appearing at school bristling with pustules, so I covered my entire face with this salve, like a make-up base, to cover the offensive ‘Pizza Face’ look. Unfortunately, the product really did dry out the skin and would crack with facial movements; hence I never smiled at all, earning me the title ‘the death mask kid’

It all sounds funny now, but to a teenager suffering from peer groupism, an Acne condition is far from amusing. I recall in 1994 when I was appearing on the Dublin chat show ‘Kenny-Live’ (Ireland’s answer to Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo Rivera), my topic was Acne conditions.

The preceding evening, the newspapers headlined the story about a youth who committed suicide because of his severe Acne and lack of money to have it treated. There really is a hopeless unclean feeling when you are an Acne victim. You feel especially vulnerable to the opposite sex in those growing years, positive that every girl (or boy) recoils in disgust when you enter the room.

At 17 years of age I decided to do something about my condition, having run the gamut with my parents who trotted me to every dermatologist in town, with no success (the treatments in those days were archaic, as even in some cases now-a-days). I felt that using Ivory soap twice a day along with astringents was the wrong approach. Being a kitchen chemist in those early years, I knew about acids and alkalis.

A medical friend taught me about the pH of the skin and its slightly acid sebaceous oil and I know the bases of all bars of soap contain alkaloids. After all, the first soaps were made from ash and fats. So it occurred to me that the alkaloids in commercial bars of soap, no matter how pure or botanical the oils used in manufacturing were, would turn the acid oil in my skin into pre-deposited fats as well. In other words, it would create tiny plugs of soap or wax in my pores!

Reading up on Native American lore and methods of how the ancients used to clean their bodies, I discovered the powers of natural saponin obtained from certain tree barks. I actually stripped some of these barks from trees, soaked them in water and pounded the inside cellulose into a pulp. I then filtered this pulp into a bottle, added a little powdered ascorbic acid as a preservative and started using this odd smelling concoction to cleanse my face.

I also started whipping up odd masks made of oatmeal, tomatoes, okra and wheat germ. I made a crude crème with sodium alginate, olive oil and again, vitamin C. This seemed to hold water in my skin without being greasy like conventional moisture crèmes of the day. I also altered my diet and refused greasy chips, hamburgers and fatty foods. I increased water consumption instead of Coke or Pepsi and went on a workout program two hours a day. I was determined to be as beautiful and as popular as the blemish free boys in school.

As I looked in the mirror over the months of my 17th year, I could see changes happening. As they happened, the stress and fears of being ugly started to vanish, and my confidence soared. When I turned 18, girls straining cashmere sweaters with Jane Mansfield hair-do’s were approaching me in the halls. I was invited to parties, more because of my caustic wit than looks, but I was now unafraid to attend and did not sit in shadowy corners as I had before. I had come into the light at last! The biggest triumph was trying for and getting the romantic lead role in a play at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Journalists who have interviewed me over the years like to say I got into the skin business because of this situation and they are partially correct. This experience taught me that things can be changed, despite conventional medical opinions, if one only takes the time and effort to find a way. Years later as we learned more and more about the condition of Acne, the changes of my youth suddenly had reason behind them. As a scientist I always want to know why something works, not just that it does.

Acne: The Cause

‘There are as many varieties of Acne as there are stars in the sky’, and it takes specific training to recognize and diagnose each basic category or combination of categories. There have been many articles, which I am sure you have read or will read, that list the ‘types’ of Acne. As a therapist, knowing this list by heart will do you little good unless you take formal training. Sufficient to say it is more important to know the cause first.

Stress

Stress is the hands-down number one cause of Acne. There are other contributing factors as well, including picking and squeezing pimples, pressure or friction (head bands, caps etc), lifestyle, birth control pills, cosmetics, climate and diet, but stress is the Big Kahuna!

This is how it works. There is a gland at the top of the head called the Hypothalamus. Think of it as sort of a radio antenna that receives all signals of stress confronting the human body. The signal is relayed from this gland to the Pituitary (the master gland) located further down at the base of the skull.

The Pituitary gland, receiving this message of stress, picks up his telephone and repeats the message to Mr. and Mrs. Adrenal Glands, who in their excitement, wake up Tommy Testosterone. Now Tommy, although a male hormone, also has relatives living in all female bodies. All the Testosterone folks get together and shout at the Hair Follicle Family to not only increase the hair population but to pump more sebaceous oil onto the skin. This aggressive relay of messages is all due to stress, which falls in to several categories.

  1. Subliminal Stress (Adult Acne). Client does not know why they are stressed, but it subconsciously exists and requires psychiatric assistance as well as treatment of the skin.
  2. Hormonal Stress (passive). Women go through several hormonal changes in their lifetime. They can break out in Acne during any one of these times, or all of them. Many women, for instance, have peaches and crème complexion until they have their first baby “then Pizza Face Time!” Older ladies after going through menopause may suddenly develop acne after a lifetime of perfect skin. Men will have some hormonal changes as well, but usually just during puberty. Keep in mind that in some cases there may be a deeply hidden pathological reason for severe hormonal changes, which require the services of a competent endocrinologist before advanced skin treatment is undergone.
  3. Job Related Stress. This type of stress can create serious trauma to the adrenal glands. It can be caused by too great of a workload, feelings of inadequacy for the position held, conflicts with staff and management, and threats of layoffs or firing.
  4. Sexual Dysfunction. The stress of incompetency, “not being good enough” or actual rejection.
  5. Marital or Family Stress. The feeling of hopelessness, being trapped, misunderstood and unworthy. This is similar in many ways to sexual dysfunction.
  6. PC Skin. Stress or trauma caused from the positive charged electromagnetic waves coming off a computer for as much as eight hours a day. This condition usually results in rosacea like symptoms.
  7. Teenage Peer Pressure. Perhaps the worst stress of all as it occurs during the learning years and can set psychological patterns that may reappear later in life.

When appropriate Acne treatment is applied, the client suffering from any or all the above stress patterns can actually see a change. As the Acne condition improves, there is an immediate alleviation of stress, which accelerates with each progressive change for the better. This was the phenomenon I experienced as a kid. I now know that besides the positive mental influence, there is a body chemistry action behind it as well. When stress is removed, the glandular systems quiet down and return to normal, thus assisting the therapist with an internal aid while he/she performs the topical treatments.

Appropriate Treatments

There are many articles about Acne and recommended treatments. Some of them contain cut-away skin section drawings depicting the various types of Acne, which to me suggests the therapist must have X-ray eyes in order to identity a certain condition. Other articles include long lists of cosmetic ingredients we must avoid like the plague. I read one such article recently written by an American aesthetician that divided ‘bad’ ingredients into three categories: bad, not so bad and mildly bad. Several ingredients (I think lanolin was one) were listed in two and three categories, which is very confusing to therapists.

Actually whether an ingredient is bad depends on two things: pH of ingredient (too alkaline being ‘bad’) and the viscosity or molecular structure of the ingredient, which determines whether or not it is fractionated enough to be water soluble and work WITH the skin secretions rather than trying to replace them. There are thousands of little openings in the skin with secretive functions. Anything heavier than these secretions is too heavy and will plug or clog the pores. Mineral oil is an outstanding example of a ‘bad’ ingredient, but we have one petrolatum formula that when applied to a hardened cystic-type pustule, will actually hydrolyze away the infection inside the pustule within 24 hours. This application works on the principle of creating pseudo-heat within the pustule, plus the power of a very effective bacticept that destroys gran positive/negative bacteria.

So it really is a matter of opinion and experience regarding good and bad ingredients. The important thing is that the skin must be decongested first, the acid mantle restored to normal, and the flow of sebaceous oil regulated. Basically we are talking about remove and restore.

Removal Methods

The macrophagic action of enzymes and the fact that they are nature’s biological catalysts for all the skin’s interactions make enzyme treatments possibly the most superior dead skin cell removal system for acne skins.

Several types of glycolic acid can actually irritate and ultimately re-inflame Acne skins due to the ‘stripping’ action of skin fluids (alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) work off these fluids). However a well blended, multiple alpha hydroxy formula in a low strength makes a wonderful removal system if applied to the skin as an ‘occlusion’ masque under strips of cling film (Glad Wrap). This approach really breaks up those annoying hard-to-get-out milia and allows the therapist to perform extractions with minimal scar causing pressure. AHAs are NOT for home use on acne clients despite the current popularity of AHA products.

Playing Piano on the pH Scale

This is my descriptive way of naming treatments that rapidly change the pH of the skin to very low (acid) or very high (alkaline). These types of treatments are like fighting fire with fire and can be very effective when used in conjunction with enzyme treatments. An acid formula will ‘harden’ the dead and dying corneum very quickly and the brittle cells then sort of “pop off”. An alkaline solution will ‘soften’ the corneum and any keratinized proteins on the skin as well as hair. This is very good for folliculitis conditions. Both styles of therapy must be carefully monitored, require advanced training, and of course, the client’s normal pH must be restored at the conclusion of these types of treatment each time they are performed.

Benzoyl Peroxide

This is the latest in our treatment repertoire although benzoyl peroxide lotions and ointments have been around a long time, even sold over-the-counter in many countries. I was a little reluctant to start working with benzoyl peroxide, mainly because everybody else in the United States was selling Acne ranges that depended on this ingredient yet we were getting wonderful results without benzoyl peroxide products. However, the speed of getting Acne conditions under control is sometimes a very necessary factor in removing stress from the client to obtain maximum healing.

Benzoyl peroxide products have to be in a gel base or water soluble gel/crème base to be really effective. Peroxide releases powerful oxygen into the skin, which kills bacteria. The benzoyl part of the molecule pulls the peroxide down into the pore or follicle where the Corynebacterium (C acnes) are located, killing them off very quickly.

Post Treatment

The daily progressive care by the client at home is vital and home prescriptives are usually modified versions of the professional treatments. Diet is essential and although chocolate and greasy foods are not the primary cause of Acne, they do add to the situation. Many Acne sufferers also suffer from candida and have very alkaline systems. Certain vitamins and supplements should be recommended as well (vitamin C, zinc, etc) but again, advanced training is essential in order for the therapist to property prescribe the correct supplements and dosages.

The ethnic arena is another market for Acne treatments but is approached somewhat differently due to the various biochemical differences in black, Asian, Hispanic, or Aborigine skins. In addition, hyperpigmentation usually accompanies acne situations in ethnic skin due to the plethora of melanocyte activity, which reaches the peripheral epithelium cells and even down the side of hair follicles. Melanin is a defense mechanism and is easily aroused in ethnic skin when the client squeezes or pinches pimples. Pigmentation treatments, such as the Melanoplex system developed in the United States, needs to be performed on ethnic clients along with the aforementioned Acne treatments.

There are many approaches to Acne treatment, and of course some physicians feel that drug treatment is the only cure while cosmetic treatment only cleans the skin. My experience has been that the cells of the skin respond to the chemistry that they recognize, indeed the very chemistry they are made of.

If a cell is receiving positive electromagnetic charges from the brain, the sodium surrounding the cell (also a positive ion) will be pulled into the cell itself and vital potassium inside the cell (negative ion) will be pulled out. The cell then goes into trauma and inflammation starts running amok. Infection enters the picture and the trauma spreads. You then have a diseased cell.

On the other hand, if the electromagnetic charge from the brain is changed to a negative charge, the cell becomes re-polarized, trauma disappears and the cell starts functioning normally. This is just a small example of simple body physics, and in fact we have been using electromagnetic machines for years to assist in reversing acne. The chemistry is already in the body waiting to be used , we just have to imitate that chemistry and work with it.

Scar Revision

Many teenagers have superficial Acne scars that appear purplish or red. This is a good age to undergo scar revision while the skin is in the growing mode. Unlike ‘ice pick scars’ that require more intense methods of skin planing such as dermabrasion, laser treatment, or the Mon’s Tissue Transplant method, teenage acne scars are often removed easily with enzyme treatments.

This type of treatment allows the newer, underlying skin cells to rebuild the surface appearance. Again, advanced training is required and these types of treatment may take from six weeks to as long as eight months to show significant results. There will, however always be results.

Written By Danné Montague-King

Vitamin C – The Continued Mystique of Vitamin C

All right, I can already hear the groans from my readers, “Is he going to yammer on about vitamin C again?” And with about 50 articles I have written on the subject since the 1970s, I assumed that I had about covered all there was to know about this remarkable vitamin and its legendary anti-aging powers.

However, when I read in a local newspaper that American chat show queen Oprah Winfrey may be attributing her new, firmer looking skin to vitamin C therapy with no follow up description of how this might have occurred, I realized that many therapists, nay, even doctors out there do not really understand the mechanisms of the vitamin beyond its anti-oxidant properties.

Furthermore, I was a recent guest speaker at the impressive Dusseldorf German Congress and touched upon the subject from the lectern – only to be confronted by a Teutonic wave of keen interest. And lastly, there has been some new support from the university research sector plus some very impressive clinical studies from our own people in treating hyperpigmentation with vitamin C.

But let’s review some basic facts, no matter how redundant, followed by recent discoveries.

OLD NEWS: Vitamin C is an antioxidant – thus shielding the skin from free-radical aging (along with vitamins E, D and A).

NEW NEWS: Combined with oliometric proanthacyanidines (whew!) such as grape pip extract and reduced forms of dihydrolipoic acid, the free radical shield of ‘C’ is so powerful as to be considered prosthetic against photo ageing and carcinogenesis by many research dermatologists.

OLD NEWS: Vitamin C promotes collagen proliferation in the skin – thus firming the skin progressively.

NEW NEWS : Vitamin C indeed does ‘kick-start’ the amino acid chain in the fibroblast cells to manufacture new collagen fibres, and the skin can regain improved tensor and firmness. But further studies have shown recently that citric acid (not to be confused with ascorbic acid, but also contains ‘C’) improves glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in the skin tissues by increasing the skins’ thickness. Studies conducted by Dr. Leyden of Pittsburgh University and others have shown that citric acid increased GAGs. Both hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate were increased in the dermis or test-treated skin as well.

My opinion has been that this action increases dermal hydration and thus skin thickness. I was directed into this line of thinking a few years ago by Florence Barrett, a well-known educator and cosmetic ingredients consultant in Auckland, New Zealand. With renewed support from new collagen fibres holding up old, frayed sagging fibres and increased dermal thickness due to dermal hydration it is small wonder the surgeon’s knife is gathering cobwebs lately, and frantic scrambles for new lasers are predominant in the plastic surgery field.

Many physicians have become interested in professional vitamin C therapy however, because the best procedures are not just a ‘slap it on, take it off’ beauty therapy procedure.

Pigmentation Treatments

Years ago, in the southern states of the United States, black mothers and grandmothers would rub fresh lemon juice over the skins of their daughters in an effort to whiten the skin (this was before African-Americans overcame the prejudice that whiter was better). The girls’ skin indeed brightened in tone, but not beyond their natural pigmentation. There was no real ‘bleaching’ effect, which suggests to me that vitamin C, at least in part, is a prohibitor of excess melanin in addition to adjusting the pH of black skins that have suffered from the too alkaline and ashy effects of soaps made in those days from lye.

I have always used a lot of vitamin C in crèmes and serums to help brighten ethnic and hyper pigmented skin – but recent, more aggressive treatments have come to light and have been reported to me in detail.

Susan Williams of Hoylake Clinic, England has tendered several case histories where she employed the use of powerful vitamin C serums on several clients with great success. Well-known African educator and research therapist Tracy Nathan of Johannesburg has reported nearly miraculous removal of melasmas using vitamin C serum along with natural (not AHA) exfolliants and galvanic current, a modality that is re-emerging as a valuable tool in aesthetic therapy.

Elizabeth Stenvik of Norway, affectionately known as ‘Hexa’ by her clients (meaning witch in Norwegian, but in this case a good witch) has reported several impressive pigmentation triumphs utilizing vitamin C in what is known as the biggest clinic in Northern Europe. She has worked with Dr. Frank Abyholm, a medical professor and plastic surgeon in Oslo with this medium and reports many successes.

Formulation

The most confusing thing to therapists who are confronted with this growing phenomenon is what type of vitamin C to use and in what form? A flood of products from the United States and elsewhere are hitting the market with a fury.

A recent television expose named several major companies (all of whom claim to be the original pioneers of vitamin C in a very short time) as having accepted money to push vitamin C products like crazy. The payee was a group representing some citrus fruit growers in the United States.

But the real pioneer is Grays Anatomy British Edition, where the necessity for vitamin C to be present in collagen formation was clearly outlined over 70 years ago. In the 1960s a few of us were lucky enough to be mentored by some brilliant medical chemists and the Grays reference was brought to our attention. In those days we did not think to make a big marketing campaign out of what was a natural requirement of the skin in order to slow down aging.

It was the delivery system of vitamin C that occupied most of our time – and there were many trials and errors until we found a way to deliver ‘C’ transepidermally with a transdermal systemic action to the lower stratum. Thus were born transdermal crèmes, etc. And yet the few us working with this still did not single out this vitamin as a big selling tool (idealistic fools that we were). It was save the world’s skin and share knowledge in those days. But now, in a different, competitive time we ancients can at least share the knowledge and experience against something as elemental as vitamin C becoming too commercially weakened and misunderstood (although the best of us have gone on to that big laboratory in the sky – such as Dr. Franklin Homer, Linus Pauling and Dr. C. Johnson of the United States).

A transdermal crème is the best delivery system for vitamin C because it stays in the skin for many hours during the day. However serums containing vitamin C are better for specific areas such as under the eyes and work best in pigmentation treatments owing to their thin viscosity, water being the wetting agent that delivers the vitamin into the skin. However serums must be sealed in with lipid bearing products after application or the entire formulation will evaporate quickly.

The Most Effective ‘C’

There is, and will continue to be, a lot of controversy about the best ‘C’s’ and the most stable. It is true that L-Ascorbic acid in its simplest form will denature very quickly, not only when taken orally but in products. Yet plain ascorbic acid is probably the most powerful energy and anti-oxidant for the skin. Fortunately the weaker, but more stable ascorbic acids such as ascorbyl magnesium phosphate and ascorbyl palmitate can be combined with plain ascorbic acid thus lengthening its life span and capacity. In addition we have learned to surround these ‘C’s’ with a calcium ion, rather like a protective fence, -which further insures their life span.

But make no mistake about it – despite claims of superior stabilization all vitamin C products will lose strength over a period of at least six months (if kept in cool places away from direct sunlight.) This does not mean that a year-old vitamin C crème is no good after a year (if formulated properly). It will still work but will not be as strong as on the first day of manufacturing.

Besides, all it takes is about three percent strength to affect the skin and its attending cells anyway. And speaking of percents; walk, no run, away from C products claiming 50-100 percent vitamin C content. Tests have shown that five percent is about all we can pack into a serum before it turns dark brown in colour or crystallizes. On the other side of the coin if you buy a serum that does not change colour at all over the months, it probably has so little vitamin C in it in the first place as to be nearly useless.

Unfortunately the stabilized ‘C’s’ are frightfully expensive in their raw material form – almost as if the suppliers know the popularity may wax and wane as a good many things in beauty therapy do, and are trying to make as much money while the sun shines as possible. But however much those of us who innovate treatments complain about prices, vitamin C is an integral part of the fight against aging and is here to stay.

Should Clients also take Vitamin C Orally?

Yes. At least 1000IU in the morning with breakfast and 1000 at night with dinner (I take 4000 a day plus grape pip extracts). But even orally taken, only about 10 percent of the vitamin C reaches the skin. The rest has to be taken topically.

Written By Danné Montague-King

The DMK Concept – 50 Years Of REMOVE, REBUILD, PROTECT, MAINTAIN

The DMK concept is uniquely based on fifty years of Remove, Rebuild, Protect and Maintain. All treatments are designed to correspond with the body’s chemistry; the body reacts in a positive manner ONLY to the chemistry it recognizes.

Using a comprehensive 4-step program of Remove, Rebuild, Protect and Maintain, TOTAL SKIN REVISION is the banner of the DMK Concept.

REMOVE

The word “peel” is a popular word indication a removal of layer of layers of skin – rather like peeling an onion. The epidermis however is not like an onion at all. Viewed under a microscope, a section of the human epidermis can be seen a series of hills and valleys – new cells and old cells always shifting, always changing. To view the epidermis as a torte-like layer that can be ‘peeled’ off is scientifically incorrect.

The DMK method of removal is based on HYDROLYZATION. This means to change dead cell material (keratin) into a weak acid and flush it from the underlying structure of new, younger skin cells.

The HYDROLYZATION process also can remove impurities from the skin and other debris that can slow down or stop the proliferation of new skin cells to the surface. It is this feature that begins the “skin tightening” process of DMK treatments.

All cuticle kurass (Dead Skin Cell Build-Up) leading to the appearance of dry skin, fine lines and skin discoloration, is progressively removed by an exclusive series of enzyme treatments.

This process is unequalled Internationally and considered twenty years ahead of its time by leading experts in the field of Enzymology such as Doctor Humbart Santillo, author of FOOD ENZYMES, The Missing Link to Radiant Health – a best-selling guide to how enzymes work in the body.

The DMK enzyme treatments tighten the tone of the skin and assist the fragile underlying neck and facial muscles to strengthen and firm progressively. Other parts of the body such as breasts, buttocks and the backs of the hands are effectively tightened as well with consistent treatment.

Deeper, more dramatic removal and toning is achieved by the Globally Renowned DMK PRO ALPHA series, the first in Europe and Asia to make use of an exclusive blend of plant and fruit sugar acids.

Pro Alpha is not a “Quick Fix” peel, but rather a system of highly professional applied treatments that quickly remove dead skin cells and instigate rapid collagen development in the skin.

One to six pro alpha treatments are medically considered to have a similar effect to laser treatments or deep medical peels without the risk of trauma, long convalescence of possible contraindications sometimes associated with these procedures. In addition, there is no loss of melanin (skin color) or sharp lines of demarcation around the face with the Pro Alpha treatments.

There are other hydrolyzation formulas that may be applied to your skin from time to time, along with your DMK enzyme treatments. This may depend upon racial, environmental or other skin characteristics.

We must strongly point out that REMOVE is only step one in a successful total skin revision system. REBUILD is where the real results lay!

REBUILD

DMK is the first skin treatment concept to understand the importance of offering the cells of the skin the chemistry they recognize – which enables living cells to stay alive as long as possible.

The DMK system has three-enzyme formulas for the face and a separate one for the body. The enzymes in each of these sophisticated formulas’s act as hormone-like messengers, stimulating optimal skin functioning by:

  • Increasing oxygenation for tissue regeneration and repair
  • Increasing cellular activity, improving skin functioning
  • Opening the vascular system for superior skin nourishment
  • Encouraging the formation of new collagen and elastin for tighter, firmer skin
  • Removing toxins, debris and gases from skin cells leaving a cleaner, clearer complexion
  • Improving lymphatic drainage to eliminate waste build up
  • Releasing anti-oxidants to fight and combat free radical damage that causes premature aging
  • Optimal skin functioning is the key to rebuilding youthful healthy skin!

The DMK Trans-epidermal crèmes are water soluble and store deep in the voids of the skin for hours offering all of the vitamin, minerals, proteins and other essential amino acids required to keep skin cells healthy at their maximum level.

No other crèmes “tighten” the appearance of the skin like the DMK formulas. Imitating Nature for Natural Results is the DMK motto. And though often imitated many times in the last few years, no other skin care range has quite matched the rejuvenating effects of the DMK rebuilding system.

We have become aware that there are many skin crèmes and lotions offering similar ingredients, but the “delivery” system into the voids of the skin is the real key to influencing living skin cells. DMK botanic formula’s work with the skin rather than merely on it.
In this, the DMK CONCEPT excels!

The acid mantle is nature’s only true, natural moisturizer. The acid mantle is a blend of sudoriferous fluids (secretions from the sweat glands) and sebaceous secretion (oil from the sebaceous glands).

The DMK METHOD instantly restores this precious acid mantle with two carefully formulated products that “mock” these secretions with natural, fractionated oils and herbal water that penetrates softly into the epidermis, providing immediate natural skin tone and moisturize all day long.

PROTECT

In an environment that is becoming increasingly polluted with free radical promoting chemicals, sun radiation and fluorocarbons, the DMK CONCEPT is unparalleled in providing protection with powerful, super antioxidants known as proanthacyanides, also trade named pycnogenols.

These powerful protectors from the absorbable Vitamin C family, grape seed extracts, peanuts, mushrooms and other botanical have been a main key to the DMK cell protection system for nearly thirty years – although these ingredients are recently becoming common in skin care products.

DANNE MONTAGUE-KING is the “Linus Pauling” of skin care, recognizing the powers of Vitamin-C back in the 1960’s as one of the most important collagen enhancing, anti-oxidants in the development of healthy skin.

His many lectures and articles printed around the world have illuminated the minds of professional therapists everywhere and have lead to great changes in the way that aestheticians look at the treatment of the skin and body.

The DMK Sunblock is one of our proudest offerings to the public and skin professionals. Non-oily and transdermal, the DMK Sunblock offers sun radiation protection for several hours, depending on your tolerance to sun, without feeling greasy or heavy.
The DMK Sun Block is designed to be worn over any of the other DMK crèmes of products or under heavy make-up, without interfering with the benefits and nutrients of any DMK products your Para Medical Dermal technician may prescribe.

Protection Against Ageing

Excess glucose, or sugars in the skin can act similar to excess glucose can surround a healthy skin cell and attack the protein bonds that build a skin cell with sticky, crystallized organisms, causing the protein bonds to break down and push the cell into trauma.

This action leads to “cross linkage” or severe, deep wrinkles usually seen in the cheeks, forehead or around the mouth of mature men and women. This action can be prevented if caught early, and slowed down if the symptoms are already present.

The DMK CONCEPT offers a new breakthrough called “AMINODINE” spray. In Europe, the DMK therapists call this spray “The Gold Water” because its powers are observed almost overnight, particularly on persons who are smokers or who work in a smoker’s environment. AMINODINE SPRAY is recommended for nighttime use applied under the DMK Nite Firming Crème, our flagship “Super Antioxidant” crème. This provides you with a double power packed home treatment to help offset the ravages of glycosylation.

MAINTAIN

The DMK CONCEPT is based on professional treatments, but optimal results can only be achieved when combined with home maintenance. Professional treatments are progressive and can be significantly enhanced or alternatively negated by the client’s home skin care regimen between treatments.

Therefore, there is a full range of home prescriptives in the DANNE MONTAGUE-KING range. We call them home prescriptives because we do not encourage the therapist to try to sell any product. Instead, the therapist is taught to prescribe the appropriate products based on the treatments being performed and the client’s current skin condition.

Formulations

Dr. King’s formulations and blends merely try to match the body’s chemistry as closely as possible in order to provide an ideal environment for healthy skin. All DMK ingredients are of pharmaceutical grade and contain only pure botanical plant based ingredients.

Plant ingredients have a similar chemical make to that of our own cells. That is our cells respond positively to things they recognize therefore DMK tries to replicate the body’s chemistry as closely as possible in order to get a positive response hence one of his methods is imitating nature for natural results.

DMK formulations do not contain any waxes, fats, carbo waxes, mineral oils, lanolin or synthetics. There are no skin shockers, puffers or irritants that cause temporary erythema, and most importantly, these formulations are not tested on animals. They are formulations that work with, rather than acting on, the skin.

All DMK crèmes and serums have a Transdermal Delivery System to target specific areas in the skin cells providing a healthier environment, keeping living cells at optimal levels for longer life.

Written By Danné Montague-King

The DMK Concept: Skin Revision Techniques

For thirty years we have been practicing skin and body revision in nearly  every country of the world with three research centers: Johannesburg, Singapore and Los Angeles. These centers are in operation full time in  order to update our physicians and therapists on the latest techniques of applied chemistry and treatment protocol.

Constant education is the key to the success of our method, known as the  Danné Method of Natural Pharmacology. As a scientific journalist and practitioner advocate, it has been my duty and goal to keep as many professionals (and ultimately the general public) informed as much as possible about what works and what does not work in regard to skin treatment, skin care, plastic surgery and the so-called “Miracle Breakthrough Products” flooding the common market daily.

Before a professional practitioner can assess whether or not a skin treatment product or range is workable and will achieve the results needed for the client, he or she must consider the following rule of thumb or “Concept.”

Our research over the years has shown that if any products or treatment range do not fit the following four categories in tandem, or in the order presented, there is little chance of success in alleviating the patient’s skin disorders or revising their appearance from an aged look to a youthful look. The Danné Method, employed in all of our international  clinics from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is based on the following concept and is consistent and ethnically correct from country to country. We observe all of the biological differences from race to race and the various ecological and climate aspects of each region.

The DMK Concept of Skin Revision

REMOVE

We have never relied on the conventional popularity of so-called “peeling” techniques. The human skin is not really like an onion as so often
depicted in advertisements selling peels. Under microscopic view, human skin is actually a series of hill and valleys, old cells, new cells always changing and always inter-connected. Thus skin cannot be peeled or removed by “layer,” revealing new skin underneath. Skin,as most professionals know, is in sections – the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous section, each having many complicated mechanisms but each section synergistically connected to the next.

When we remove the excessive cuticle build-up known as dry or wrinkled skin, we must also remove gases, impurities and other effluvia from the newer cells in the epidermis that would shorten their life span. In addition, this type of removal helps to regulate the secretive glands, the immune system of the skin (Langerhans cells) and melanogenesis (color and tone of skin).

We accomplish this through a process we call hydrolyzation – or turning dead keratin or dead protein into a weak acid and flushing it out of the tissues. This removal system, using a sophisticated and exclusive group of enzymes and co-enzymes is the first step to any full skin revision results. It is nearly infallible with results observed from the very first treatment – yet there are no known contraindications and no age limits as to clients who are candidates.

The DMK enzyme removal system also progressively tightens loose skin, helps build sagging muscle on the face and body and opens the door to further collagen enhancing treatments in the “Rebuild” category of the concept.

Other removal systems in the concept may include, ‘playing the piano on the pH scale.’ In other words, we have formulas that can dramatically lower the pH of the skin so cell material is removed either hygroscopically with our unique approach to alpha hydroxy acids, or
through hardening of the superficial corneum at such a rate it becomes brittle and detaches from the underlying newer cells of the skin. Or we can jump to the other end of the pH scale – the alkaline side with a compound that desquamates or softens all hair on the skin, pustules,
folliculitis, congested follicle and hyper pigmentation – all in four minutes flat.

REBUILD

If removal is like ‘cleaning the house,’ then rebuilding is like ‘repairing the house.’ Most signs of aging or disorders start in the underlying tissues – however the surface dead cell structure may appear to be aged, lightly wrinkled, dry skin. This dead excess corneum is actually
not dry skin at all. In fact dry skin is a misnomer, it is actually just dead skin and once hydrolyzed away, the newer, still alive cells can then
be kept alive a bit longer – this would be referred to as “anti-aging.”

In order to keep these cells alive, we must provide them with the chemistry they recognize and need as food, i.e.; products containing amino acids, other proteins as building blocks and certain vitamins. In order to maintain moisture balance, secretions from the sebaceous glands and the suderiferous glands (oil and water) need to be imitated. This would take two products – a highly fractionated, antioxidant oil and a polarized water containing herbs and minerals that mock the suderiferous secretion. This is the only way to truly “moisturize” the skin.

Then a transdermal crème must be applied over this moist, acid mantle created by the two above-mentioned products. The crème would be a protein, amino acid and vitamin crème, which would deliver the nutrients to the skin systematically all day long.

This in turn would feed other cell structures that are important to the re-building process. Namely, the collagen fibers. Collagen fibers look a
bit like little wires or cables that branch freely throughout the connective tissues, keeping the skin firm and tight. When these fibers
break and fray, they sag and the skin also sags. Injured areas may heal very slowly due to this depletion of collagen.

However, there are hardworking amino acids that actually make baby collagen (called tropocollagen) inside the fibroblast cells – rather like
workers at a factory. The boss of this factory and of the amino acid workers is vitamin C.

It is clear that the role of vitamin C is two-fold; as both a free radical scavenger and as a precursor to new collagen production in aging skin.

There are many controversies about vitamin C and which is the best and which is the most powerful – or stabilized. The word stabilized is often used wrong in advertising. Stabilized ingredients do not necessarily always mean the ingredient is better than an unstable ingredient. It means that it will not de-nature as quickly as a product as an unstable ingredient, which can be far more powerful and effective.

I have had to wrestle with a great many highly effective ingredients in my time – trying to keep them in-solution in a product or active for any
length of time. But thirty years ago, when we first started to work with vitamin C after observing its important role in the body from reading Grey’s Anatomy 35th British Edition, and the works of Linus Pauling, we never thought to make a big marketing scheme just based on vitamin C products, which is currently the popular misleading trend.

We have included vitamin C therapy in all phases of our products since 1969. We use other vitamins as well, each coordinated to its specific role in the skin – such as vitamin E as the first line of free radical defense, vitamin A as a lock and key cell growth enhancer, etc.

PROTECT

Once the skin is rebuilt back to its normal status quo, it is vital to protect the result indefinitely. Protection from the sun is vital. Solar
radiation is responsible for 90 percent of all aging and is also a free radical. There is no compromise. Newly revised skin will quickly revert
back to aging or troubled skin if exposed to the sun excessively (beyond 10 a.m. and before 4 p.m. in most countries).

MAINTAIN

Maintain and Protect go hand in hand. The physician or advanced therapist who performs DMK procedures will never sell a DMK product for home use. They will prescribe the proper home prescriptives according to the condition, not the type of skin the patient or client has.

All DMK Home Prescriptives are modified versions of the professional treatments and must be used on a daily basis for progressive results. Any other product used in combination with DMK formulas, no matter how innocuous, will abort and negate effects of the treatment – wasting the practitioner’s time and the client’s money.

Written By Danné Montague-King

SCAR TISSUE: The Therapists Dilemma!

As we progress toward the twenty-first century, more and more is expected of the Beauty Therapist. A good part of this expectation from the public is the fact that advertisements such as A Power Peeling@ and Anon-surgical face lifting@ has lead the public to believe that a modern therapist can do practically anything!

The good news is, quite a lot can be done as compared to the pampering, cleansing facials of yesteryear. Those of you who have read me over the years have become a little more aware of what sound science has done for the Aesthetic field. Many of you that have taken courses from our international training centres have participated in treatments whose results, based on a non-medical approach, have astounded many plastic surgeons. Recently one of our therapists in New Zealand was showing a local Doctor her “before and after” book. The Doctor looked at one particularly astounding photo of an old woman of 80 who appeared a youthful 60 after three months of enzyme lifting treatments! His immediate comment was “This is impossible!” The therapist became very indignant at this scepticism and said “I can call this lady right now to come over here to your office so you can look at her!”

But in addition to anti-aging skin or acne disorders, there is one more problem every therapist has to face at least one time in his or her career and that is SCAR TISSUE.

To add to your arsenal of expertise when confronted by scars, my best advice is that you diagnose the type of scar and let the client know their medical and non medical treatment options. To properly diagnose a scar, become familiar with the appearance of the scar and the category it falls under.

MEDICAL CATEGORY

Scars, whether they’re caused by accidents or surgery Bare unpredictable. The way a scar develops depends as much on how the client’s bodies heal as it does on the original injury or the surgeons skills. Here are the variables that affect the severity of scarring.

  1. The size and depth of the wound
  2. The blood supply to the area
  3. The thickness and colour of the skin (including ethnic aspects)
  4. The direction of the scar on the skin. (Across or with the grain of the skin)

TYPES OF SCARS FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS

KELOID SCARS

Keloids are thick, puckered, itchy clusters of scars that grow beyond the edges of the wound or incision. They are often red or darker than the surrounding skin. Keloids appear when the body continues to produce collagen long after the initial wound healing has taken place.
Keloids can appear anywhere on the body but are more common over the breastbone, earlobes and shoulders. Black persons, who heal very rapidly, and have a much thicker skin than Caucasians are the most Keloid prone. The tendency to Keloid however, lessens with age.

PHYSICIANS TREATMENT

Injections of steroid material directly into the scar tissue reduces redness, itching and sometimes shrinks the scar. Also, scar tissue can be cut out and the wound closed with one or two layers of stitches. Skin grafts are occasionally used if another Keloid develops after the revision surgery but the donor site for the graft risks Keloids as well.

No matter what approach is taken, Keloids have a stubborn tendency to recur, sometimes even larger than before. In these cases the surgeon may combine the scar removal with direct steroid application during surgery or radiation therapy. Pressure garments worn over the area for a long as a year are commonly prescribed by the physician in sever, recurring Keloids.

HYPERTROPHIC SCARS

These scars are often confused with Keloids since both appear to be thick, red or dark brown and raised. The difference is; hypertrophic scars remain within the boundaries of the original incision or wound. They often improve on their own in a year or two.

PHYSICIANS TREATMENT

Surgical removal of the excess scar tissue will involve repositioning the scar so that it re-heals in a less visible manner.. Steroid injections at the time of surgery and at intervals for up to two years help to prevent the thick scar from reforming.

CONTRACTURES

Burns or injuries resulting in the loss of a large area of skin may form a scar that pulls the edges of the skin together by a process called contraction. This contraction could affect the muscles and tendons restricting normal movement.

PHYSICIANS TREATMENT

Correcting a contracture usually involves cutting out the scar and replacing it with a skin graft or flap. Z-Plasty may be used in some cases. Z-Plasty is a surgical technique used to reposition a scar so that it more closely conforms to natural lines and creases of the skin where it will be less noticeable. This procedure also frees up the tension on the skin and relieves the lack of movement in the area.

In Z-Plasty, the old scar is removed and new incisions are made on each side, creating small triangular flaps of skin. These flaps are then rearranged to cover the wound at a different angle, giving the scar a “Z” pattern. The wound is then closed with very fine stitches.

In Flap Surgery, skin, along with underlying fat, blood vessels and sometimes muscle, is moved from a healthy part of the body to the injured site. In some flap surgery the blood supply remains attached to one end of the donor site; in others, the blood vessels in the flap are reattached to the new site using micro vascular surgery.

In the case of highly visible facial scars, most that are not hypertrophic can simply be cut out after the initial wound is healed and re-stitched with fine stitches resulting in a finer, smaller scar that fades with time. If the scar lies along natural creases or lines in the face, Z plasty is often employed in the scar revision surgery.

Many physicians follow up these revision techniques with dermabrasion to smooth the skin, especially in the case of Keloids or hypertrophic scars but I have never seen a case where dermabrasion completely removed a scar.

NON-MEDICAL TREATMENTS THE THERAPIST CAN PERFORM

Scar tissue is still skin tissue although it has become scar tissue because the injury has caused the desmosomes to release new cells to surface much faster than the client’s natural new cell proliferation (which is why we must never use cosmetic products claiming to “accelerate new skin cells”!).
Scar tissue, like normal skin can be softened, partially removed and de-pigmented to a large degree. Keep in mind however that the following techniques take times, very much like the time it takes a jeweller to tap away at a rough diamond to bring out a clean face that will give the diamond it’s sparkle.

MICRODERMABRASIAN

This is one of the main reasons to purchase a microdermbrador. Over time, continuous treatments do result in a planing down of hypertrophic scar tissue. But this is only opening the door to further treatment. Microdermabradors are very limited as to their use and are not considered: stand alone” treatment devices. The skin tissue under a scar many times needs to be re-built. Machines cannot do this, only the proper chemistry can!

LIGHT TREATMENT

There is a new craze out that claims that certain wave lengths of light can not only remove signs of ageing but can also remove scars. The information included in advertising this craze is full of pseudo-scientific terminology and impressive graphics, but everything is anecdotal with no real research or data available that makes sense.

One could argue that laser skin revision (laser also being a form of light) can assist in scar revision but that is medical and still in the clinical trials stage to be depended upon 100% of the time (but looks very promising).

ELECTROMAGNETIC ENERGY TREATMENTS

The incredible repolarising powers of pulsing electromagnetic waves can be programmed like a computer for very quick post surgical wound healing. This can be performed by a therapist immediately after the physician has completed scar revision procedures. Better yet, electromagnetic waves appear to regulate normal cell proliferation which is vital to keloid revision. I have seen unbelievable examples of what this approach to harnessing one of the four forces of nature can do if presented correctly to the tissues of the body.

ALKALIZING THE TISSUES

There are water soluble compounds available that raise the pH of the skin to around 12 on the pH scale. Alkalizing the skin correctly softens the tissue via cell desquamation, many times creating a mild irritation that forms a light scab. When the scab falls off, the scar appears flatter.

ENZYME SKIN TIGHTENING TREATMENTS

Scars on aging skin tend to look deeper or more predominant as the skin loosens with age, Particularly in the case of “ice pick” acne scars. Tightening the skin with enzyme treatments gives a temporary but progressive “lift” to the tissues which also smoothes out the appearance of scars as the skin becomes firmer. This would be like smoothing out wrinkles on a bed spread by pulling the corners tight.

ACIDIC OILS

There are some oils on the market from both the marine world and the botanical world that actually soften and flatten scars and reduce dark pigmentation. No one is really 100% sure why these types of oils work (I have my theories of course) but many wonderful results have been observed over the years, principally with the Rosa Mesquita Oil from Chile and many of it’s cousins.

These oils have to be applied at least three times a day directly on the scar tissue and they must be fractionated enough to enter the tissues.

Most of the work I have personally been involved with the past few decades regarding scar revision have involved all of the above methods, often used in tandem on each client. The main thing the therapist must remember with scar revision treatments is PATIENCE.

Skin can be mouldable like living plastic, it can be made to respond with chemistry, electromagnetic therapy and surgery. But commitment from the client that scar revision may be a long term project plus patience from the therapist to follow through are the two most essential components for success.

Written By Danné Montague-King

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