Auto-immune Issues and Cosmetic Medicine: Can You Have Both?

Do you have an Auto-Immune disorder and are you concerned about cosmetic medicine?  Everyone has a right to feel and look great. While you can definitely do both without aesthetic medicine, for many people cosmetic enhancement is the cherry on top of the sundae that makes them feel super confident and awesome.

But what if your desire to look the best you can puts your health at risk?

Many medical treatments intended for cosmetic purposes involve injection of foreign substances into the face, neck and hair. For patients with normally functioning immune systems, this is rarely a problem. Whether the substances are synthetic or derived from natural sources such as animal proteins, their bodies quickly react in an appropriate way to allow healing to take place.

However, if you have auto-immune issues, you will want to consider carefully the risks vs. benefits of cosmetic enhancement.

What is Auto-Immune Disease, and How Can It Affect Your Cosmetic Skin Treatment Results?

An auto-immune condition is one in which the body’s immune system becomes hyper vigilant and starts mistaking healthy tissues and cells for foreign ones. This causes the body to, in essence, attack itself. Depending on the type of auto-immune disease, this may result in damage to any of a number of tissues and organs, including muscles, kidneys, intestines, heart, joints, nerves, and endocrine organs.

The concern with auto-immune patients is that injection of foreign bodies into their systems can increase the risk of the body attacking itself at the site of injection. This can potentially lead to a much greater likelihood of side effects and complications from the procedure, such as bruising, swelling, mild to severe allergic reactions, reddening or discoloration of skin, and/or burning sensations.

Another concern is that many auto-immune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, attack the connective tissues. Cosmetic treatments can sometimes cause damage to these tissues, which in an individual suffering from auto-immune illness is already compromised.

Finally, any penetration of the skin risks introducing bacteria or other pathogenic organisms into the body—a definite concern in any patient whose immune system is not in perfect health.

Can Auto-Immune Patients Risk Aesthetic Procedures?

Some cosmetic doctors will not treat patients with auto-immune issues. Others do so routinely, so it is up to you as the patient to be an informed consumer. If you have an auto-immune disorder and are interested in having an aesthetic procedure done, it is a good idea to first have a well check with a physician you trust, and discuss the pros and cons with him or her before scheduling any procedure.

One alternative to conventional cosmetic treatments that may be more suitable for many patients with immune system issues is PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy. Instead of synthetic or sources, PRP uses cells from your own blood to rejuvenate your skin. This more natural approach creates a much gentler experience for your body which may be far better tolerated by immune compromised individuals. It has also been documented to be an exceedingly safe form of dermal rejuvenation, facial resurfacing and collagen induction.

If you would like to know more about PRP treatment (including our new Puff Buster Dark Circle therapy to get rid of dark circles under your eyes) and how it may affect your auto-immune issues, call our Los Gatos clinic at (408) 761-6781, or contact us here.