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A Better B-12 – What’s in Your Shot

People love getting B-12 shots because they notice a difference in how they feel – increased energy, decreased anxiety, better sleep, etc. If you experience these benefits, does it really matter what kind of B-12 shot you are getting? The answer is yes!

The Types of B-12

Did you know that there are 3 forms of Vitamin B-12? Cobalamin, or B-12, comes as cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, and methylcobalamin. Many places that offer B-12 shots only offer a low potency cyanocobalamin shot, the most common commercially available form of B-12. It is the least expensive form, which is why it is most commonly used. However, both cyanocobalamin and hydroxylcobalamin are “in-active” forms of B-12. Methylcobalamin is the active form of B-12 and therefore it is better absorbed and retained in higher amounts within your tissues. We use only methylcobalamin and patients report noticing more energy and a better response to methylcobalamin than the other forms of vitamin B-12. This is just one reason we have the best B-12 in Phoenix!

It’s B-12 and its Complex

Another reason our B-12 shots are the best is that we use a super-concentrated form of methylcobalamin. All three forms of B-12 come in different concentrations. In a 1cc injection of B-12, most places use 1mg of cyanocobalamin, whereas we use 10mg of methylcobalamin. This high potency B-12 shot gives a bigger boost that lasts longer. In addition our Basic B-12 shot includes B-complex, so you are getting a full spectrum of B vitamins in addition to the super-potent B-12. When you compare a shot that has 1mg cyanocobalamin to 10 mg of active methylcobalamin shot, plus B Complex there is no doubt why patients are noticing a difference with our B-12 shots.

No matter what form of B-12 you are getting in your shot, the best way to absorb it is directly into your blood stream. B-12 injections are much better than oral tablets as the tablets rely on your body to break down and process the b vitamins before they are absorbed into your body. Oral B-vitamins are inefficient, which is evident in the fact that many people who regularly supplement with B vitamins still notice the benefits of B-12 shots.

Our high-potency B-12 shots are the best, but you can make them better! We have a selection of nutrients that we can add to our B-12 shots to customize them to your needs such as MIC (methionine, inositol, choline), a lipotropic nutrient combination that promotes your liver in processing fats, and Glutathione, a potent detoxifier.

No matter what your nutrient needs, we can help you customize your shot to your goals. For more information, call 480-659-1390 or click here to schedule your appointment today!

A Better B-12 – What’s in Your Shot2016-12-03T17:54:14+00:00

My First Peel – One Man’s Journey

I have to say, I was somewhat excited when I found I was going to get a chemical peel.  Adventures are few and far between when you sit behind a computer screen for most of the day, and for a man, I would say a chemical peel is like the modern day equivalent to fighting a dragon.  You really have no idea what to expect, but you imagine at some point it will burn.

I am generally pretty happy with my skin and wasn’t looking for many improvements.  I was more interested in what the process of getting a chemical peel is like.  So, while I will share my results, the scope of this article is more on the process and experience.

The Perfect Peel Facts

The peel that we used was The Perfect Peel by The Perfect Derma.  The Perfect Peel is a medium depth peel, which is defined as a peel that does controlled damage to the epidermis, and papillary dermis.  The epidermis is the top most layer of skin, and the dermis is below the epidermis.  The papillary dermis is the top most region of the dermis.

The controlled damage is caused by using a strong acid (trichloroacetic acid or TCA). The Perfect Peel also contains kojic acid, retinoic acid, salicylic acid, phenol, and vitamin C to support in reducing wrinkles, stimulating collagen production, and correcting pigment problems.  However, the real difference between The Perfect Peel and other peels is the addition of glutathione.

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is found in every cell of the human body, and is the only antioxidant that is intracellular (acts within the cell).  Glutathione’s role in a chemical peel is multi-faceted.  It neutralizes free radicals, assists in the creation of collagen and elastin, helps with inflammation, and corrects pigmentation issues. Glutathione is even used intravenously in Asia to reduce skin pigmentation issues, and help with skin lightening.

The big take-away from this is The Perfect Peel is a top of line peel, using the latest skincare ingredients.

The Perfect Peel Experience

While I was expecting dragons, I have the say the application portion of the peel was not at all unpleasant.  I washed my face, acetone was used to remove the oils on my face, and then the peel was scrubbed on (pretty vigorously) to my face and neck.  There was an initial stinging, but the pain went away very quickly, perhaps within 15-30 seconds.  The phenol in the chemical peel numbs the skin resulting is a painless peel, even though a strong acid is being applied to your face (PH of around 2).  It just feels like someone is scrubbing your face.

My face received about 3 passes of scrubbing, with care taken around the eyes and sensitive areas.  My neck received only one pass, and under my eyes one very light pass.  My eye lids received no treatment because it is a very sensitive area, and no treatment was required in my case (Thanks DEJ Eye Cream!!!).  The whole process did not take long at all, about 15 minutes.  My face was left with a slight orange color from the vitamin A or C, but it wasn’t too unappealing.  Sort of like a spray tan.  It actually looked good on me because i’m rather pale.

I was given instructions to not wash my face until the morning and received hydro-cortisone cream and chapstick, plus 2 towelette packets with a small amount of peel solution.  These are to be used on the morning of day 2 and 3.

My day by day experience.

Day 1: Face slightly orange, but not embarrassingly so.  Face also has a bouquet of chloraseptic.

Day 2: Face starting to tighten, and skin has a slight plasticy sheen.

Day 3: Peeling begins around my chin area (see pic).

Day 4: Peeling begins around my mid-face, but my forehead has still not peeled (see pic, notice shiney forehead).  Using scissors to trim away skin, as pulling is a no-no.

Day 5: Forehead starting to peel.  Face slightly itching, and corners of my mouth burned slightly from drying.  I am starting to understand the point of the chapstick I was given, perhaps too late.

Day 7.  Peel is complete.  Baby soft skin has emerged.  Time spent rubbing my own face increases.

Day 3 Peeling

Image taken 3 days after undergoing The Perfect Peel with cell phone camera.

Day 4 Peeling

Image taken 4 days after undergoing The Perfect Peel with cell phone camera.

The Perfect Peel Results

I wasn’t expecting dramatic results, as I didn’t have acne scaring, sun damage, hyper-pigmentation or fine lines and wrinkles.  If I did have one skin complaint it was that the pore sizes on my nose were larger than desired.  I took before and after pictures using a 3D camera, mainly because the software has a great feature where it shows the red pigmentation of the skin.

If you look at the red pigmentation images below you will notice a significant decrease in red spots and blemishes on my skin.  While this may not be noticeable in the normal pictures, the filter really shows some great results.  I noticed a much more even skin tone, and got compliments on my pores (I kid you not).  Mostly people thought the pores on my cheeks looked much better, and my forehead was more smooth and even.  I think my nose looked better as well.  My skin also felt great and still does.  I am currently 1 month out.  I am definitely glad I did the peel, and will certainly try it again in the future.  If you have any questions or comments about my experience, feel free to ask.  I have additional before and after pictures which I may upload at a later day.

Before The Perfect Peel

Image taken just prior to undergoing The Perfect Peel with Canfield Vectra H1 3D camera, and flattened to 2D.

After The Perfect Peel

Image taken one week after undergoing The Perfect Peel with Canfield Vectra H1 3D camera, and flattened to 2D.

Before The Perfect Peel (Reds)

Image taken just prior to undergoing The Perfect Peel with Canfield Vectra H1 3D camera, and flattened to 2D. Filter to highlight red pigmentation issues.

After The Perfect Peel (Reds)

Image taken one week after undergoing The Perfect Peel with Canfield Vectra H1 3D camera, and flattened to 2D. Filter to highlight red pigmentation issues.

My First Peel – One Man’s Journey2016-12-03T17:54:14+00:00

Tips For New Years Resolution Success

Another year, and another set of goals.  Don’t let this years personal list of improvements fall into the resolution abyss.  Here are some simple tips to keep you on track.

Be S.M.A.R.T. about it

When creating your list of resolutions, don’t just jot down some words on a napkin.  Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable and Attainable.  The R and T are for Relevant and Time-Related, but I feel like those are superfluous for the sake of having a better acronym.  SAM goals are where it’s at.

Buddy up

If it works for going to the gym, it will work for anything.  Get a buddy, a spouse, or even an adversary.  Make yourselves accountable to each other.  Catapult off each others successes, and pull each other up on failures.

Limit yourself

Your list of resolutions shouldn’t look like an ancient scroll.  Keep it short and simple, otherwise you will get lost in your own ambition.

What do you want?

Pick your goals based on what you really want.  What changes are most important to you, and will improve your life the most?  Don’t pick goals you think you should be doing, or goals that other people think you should be doing. Own your goals, own your life.

Words, Words, Words

Document your progress.  Keep a journal, blog, video log, spreadsheet, or whatever works for you.  It will help you stay on path. Keep track of your progress, which is critical for not getting discouraged.

Everyday is a great day to make a positive change, but the New Year is an amazing time to reflect on ourselves and steer our lives into the direction we want to be headed.  Happy Resolutioning!!!!

Tips For New Years Resolution Success2016-12-03T17:54:14+00:00

Cannulas – Development in Technique and Safety

SoftFil 27 Gauge Cannula

What is a Cannula?

A cannula is a flexible, blunt tipped instrument that is used for injecting, whereas a needle is a sharp tool, that pierces the skin (see image on left).  This begs the question, if a cannula is blunt, how exactly is it used for injecting?  With a cannula, you must first make a starter hole with a needle, and then the cannula is inserted into that hole.  You may be asking, why go through the trouble of first making a hole with a needle, and then using a cannula?  Why not simply use a needle?

The Advantages of a Cannula

Decreased Trauma

There are several advantages of using a blunt tipped cannula in aesthetic treatments.  Firstly, a cannula is typically much longer than a needle, and it is flexible.  This increased length and flexibility allows you to create a single injection point, and push the cannula the skin, reaching a much greater area than a needle can.  To cover that same area with a needle, it would require multiple injection points.  By having only one injection point, you are reducing trauma to the tissue, which can lead to decreased bruising, and reduced downtime.  This is especially true for sensitive areas, like under the eyes.

Reduced Risk of Complications

Needles are indiscriminate when it comes to your tissues.  Their sharp tips will pierce through anything, including veins.  However, because the tip of a cannula is blunt, you avoid damage to veins and arteries, by moving around them.  This decreased vascular damage can reduce bruising and the risk of complications.

Improved Results

Because cannulas are longer and more flexible than needles, they allow for broad, sweeping strokes, which can create a softer more natural look.  Much like giving a painter multiple brushes, cannulas allow injectors an additional tool.  This tool allows them  to add to their artistry and give patients their desired aesthetic appearance they are looking for.

Disadvantages of Cannulas

Training and Cost

Every box of filler comes with a needle that is intended to be used for injection of filler.  Adding cannulas to your treatment results in an increased cost to the practitioner, with a cost of about $5-7 per cannula. Also, because dermal fillers were approved only with the use of needles, needle injected training is the only training provided by the dermal filler companies, such as Allergan, and Galderma.  If a doctor is looking to learn more about using cannulas in their treatments, they will have to seek that training out, often at a cost to the doctor.  This additional training, cost, and new learning curve often discourages doctors from learning how to use cannulas in aesthetic treatments.

Conclusion

While cannulas shouldn’t completely replace needles in the injection of aesthetic dermal fillers, in order to best serve the beauty goals of our patients, aesthetic doctors should incorporate a wide range of tools in their practice.  Adding cannulas to your aesthetic arsenal can increase patients results, while reducing downtime and complications.

If you are interested in seeing how cannulas are used in aesthetic treatments, there is a video below from SoftFil.  At Elemental Aesthetics we have tried various brands of cannulas, and prefer the SoftFil cannula for injecting dermal fillers.

Cannulas – Development in Technique and Safety2016-12-03T17:54:14+00:00

Holiday Health Tips

How to Avoid Holiday Stuffing

The holiday season is fast approaching, and the first thing that comes to every ones mind is holiday weight gain, the seemingly unavoidable result of all of that holiday cheer.  But do not despair, all is not lost.  It is quite possible to have an amazing Thanksgiving, without the excess stuffing that often comes all with it.  Here are a few simple tips to keep you focused during these dietarily difficult times.

Start with Vegetables

This tip is great all year round, but does wonders when you are filling up your Thanksgiving plate.  Start adding your vegetables to your plate first.  Sure, the stuffing gets all of the holiday glory, but vegetables should always be your centerpiece of your food plate, with meat and starches rounding it out.  That brings us to tip 2!

Corn is NOT a Vegetable

I know its seems like one, and maybe it taste like one, but in your stomach, it acts like a grain.  Also, even though a potato is a vegetable, thanksgiving mashed potatoes may not be the best choice.  A roasted sweet potato is a much healthier choice.  Feel free to be sinful and and some butter.  Do try to add something green to your plate, brussel sprouts, string beans and brocolli are great holiday choices.   If you are horrified by the thought, try adding some bacon to the dish, or if even that doesn’t seem appealing, hold your nose, shove them in, and in time you will learn to love them.

Use a Smaller Plate

Don’t grab a gigantic plate and fill it until food is spilling onto the floor.  Grad a smaller plate, and try to let psychology do it’s thing.  You always go for seconds.

This is NOT a Professional Eating Challenge

You do not get a prize for eating so much that you almost pass out on your way to the couch. The food is not going anywhere.  There are ALWAYS leftovers.  Let them be leftovers.  Let your stomach live to fight another day.  Eat a reasonable portion, and celebrate the rest of the day in comfort, with your pants buckled.

Turkey is Your Friend

White meat, dark meat?  Who cares, it’s all good for you.  Don’t skimp, that’s why they sell 22lb turkeys.

It’s a Perfect Time for a Workout

Leverage those holiday carbs into some muscle building energy.  While I don’t recommend working directly after your Thanksgiving meal, Friday is the perfect time to use your stuffing fueled, glycogen filled muscles and lift some weights.  Use that extra energy to go big at the gym, and build some fat burning muscle.

These are just a few tips to keep you on the right track during the holidays.  Feel to let us know what you think, or add your own.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Holiday Health Tips2016-12-03T17:54:14+00:00