Susan Church first introduced Scar Relaxation to the world of permanent cosmetics at the inaugural SPCP (Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals) conference in 1991, after she discovered its benefits while working on several burn survivors in concert with Dr. Grossman. As you will see, this is a process that still presents huge developmental potential, even though our clinic has been utilizing these Scar Relaxation techniques since 1988.
We have lectured many times on this subject and have had articles and photos featured in several publications over the years. Some of this exposure includes: lecturing at the Phoenix Burn Foundation’s National Burn Congress, for the Alicia Roush Burn Foundation and for Surviving Burns Support Services, plus published articles for Burn Survivors Throughout The World, Inc. and The American Society of Esthetic Medicine Inc. You can also check out our chapter in the book, “Aesthetic Facial Restoration” by the world famous plastic surgeon and burn specialist Dr. Elliott H. Rose of Park Ave. in New York. This book was written for plastic surgeons to teach them to “utilize three-dimensional subtraction analysis to fashion vascularized bone grafts for microsurgical jaw and orbital rim reconstruction.”
Both Needling and Scar Relaxation are specific well-designed applications that help create supple skin texture for patients.
We consider both of these procedures to be held in the category of Corrective Pigment Camouflage, also known as C.P.C.
Needling, also known as ‘Skin Needling,’ is accomplished when the technician utilizes a certain technique while inserting the machine’s needle into the top layer of the epidermis. This method is best accomplished when it is used quite shallow in the skin.
Skin Needling (Melanocyte Restoration ) may reactivate the melanocytes in the skin. (See photos). We performed Skin Needling (Melanocyte Restoration) on an African-American client with hypo-pigmented skin and obtained beautiful results; the lighter spots re-pigmented where we performed the Melanocyte Restoration Skin Needling procedure to blend in with the rest of his skin. (See the end of this page for more information and photos on Skin Needling and Melanocyte Restoration.)
All photos are copyrighted
Patient prior to Melanocyte Restoration to reactivate the melanocytes in his skin.
Patient has hypo pigmented areas on his arms, chest and back.
Patient immediately following his Melanocyte Restoration procedure. We apply petroleum over the procedural area to protect the skin from free radicals. He noticed the pigment changing within the first few weeks after his initial needling application.
Patient 6 months following his Melanocyte Restoration procedure.
His skin tones now blend into each other more fluidly.
You do not notice the hypo pigmented areas as easily.
One year later his skin still looks good.
Scar Relaxation has a different purpose, as the technician needs to work deeper in the dermal layer to soften tough, fibrous bands of collagen, or scar tissue, to give the patient more flexibility and range in their movements. This procedure works well on all contractured tissue, with exceptional results on the hands. Because scar tissue is thick and extremely difficult to work with, a technician must penetrate their needle deeper into the skin to obtain lasting results for the client.
The technique for both Skin Needling and Scar Relaxation is the application of repetitive circular movements with the needle, called ‘obovoids.’
Skin Needling™ aka Collagen Rejuvenation Therapy™ (CRT™) is primarily used to ‘plump’ up areas of the skin, and relies on the body’s natural healing response of sending collagen to the site of an inflammatory tissue injury. For example, when Skin Needling™, Collagen Rejuvenation Therapy™ is performed on wrinkles, the brain reads the needles penetration as an injury to the skin, therefore releasing collagen to the “injury” site and diminishing the wrinkles by plumping them.
Client prior to any CRT™application to plump out her fine lines.
Client 8 weeks post her first CRT™ application.
Client states her naso- labial folds (vertical lines between the nose and mouth) and the lines around her mouth have plumped up considerably. She loves her look and is ready for more treatment applications to plump up other areas on her face.
Scar Relaxation and Skin Needling appointments are usually scheduled at 4-week intervals. Dramatic results can be realized after the first treatment of either treatment.
Our patients are excited with the results of their Corrective Pigment Camouflage procedures. Many times, Scar Relaxation applications eliminate the need for repeated, painful surgeries on burn areas and contractured tissue – something we take great pride in.
The following is an excerpt from an article in a Newsletter in 1996:
“In all post procedure phases of C.P.C. there is an inflammatory response of the skins tissue. The skins typical symptoms may range from mild redness, heat, swelling and discomfort to lymph drainage. All patients will experience a typical wheal and flare reaction (redness, histamine release and swelling) to the procedure area that is much like a bee sting or mosquito bite. Applications of C.P.C. will also cause increased blood flow to the immediate area. The procedure area will be a bit sore, swell slightly to moderately within the first 24 hours, may be very tender and be slightly pink to red.
Immediate after care instructions includes the use of either petrolatum or some type of an antibiotic ointment. If possible, cover the area to keep it exempt from free radicals and pollution for 12-24 hours. If the procedure area is swollen, you may use ice for the first 24-72 hours to help alleviate the pain and swelling. Using heat after this period will promote circulation and discharge of waste products. Injured tissue will heal much faster and scar less if the patient keeps the area moist. The patient should apply a thin coating of petrolatum over the procedure area while showering or bathing to protect it from moisture.
Patients should never use their fingers to apply ointments or petrolatum to the procedural area. All products should be applied with a cotton swab or tissue.
Technicians need to be cautious of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkening of the tissue) when applying C.P.C. Hyper-pigmentation occurs when the skin’s tissue is traumatized. Hyper-pigmentation occurs in Caucasian skin occasionally, although it will most likely occur on clients with heavy concentrations of melanin in their skin. Normal skin color should return in several months following the application of C.P.C. Bleaching agents such as Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid and/or Licorice applied 1-2 times a day may be used to lighten the skin if needed.”
For more photos and information please go to:
The following photos show the effects of Corrective Pigment Camouflage as demonstrated by Scar Relaxation and Needling:
Susan Church CCPC, CPDA
Director of Education
Education Advisor for the SPCP 2004-2005
Director of Clinical Research and Development
©IIPC – This article has been reprinted.
Follow up post:
Collagen Rejuvenation Therapy™ is now used instead of the term Skin Needling™