Advice Column, beauty, Health

What to know about Covid 19 vaccines and skin reactions

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As we all know, our skin is our biggest organ, and our skin is affected by EVERYTHING in life – our lifestyle, what we eat, drink, medication, sun exposure and also when we are sick.

With this pandemic, a lot of focus has been on the vaccines, and obviously the main focus is to stop the spread of the virus. This, however, leaves a few questions regarding treatment before and after receiving your vaccine.  

Guidelines has been given to our industry, as well as to the aesthetic medical industry, on timeframes to make sure adverse reactions do not occur.

The main aim of this, is to prevent FURTHER inflammation as this is the main reason why we struggle with skin problems. Inflammation is the umbrella of all problematic skin conditions.

Ageing is caused by inflammation, pigmentation, acne, atopic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and skin sensitivity. These all caused by inflammation of some kind! Now, with the Covid 19 vaccine, we are introducing inflammation into the body therefore it could definitely affect our skins too!

It can make the skin super-sensitive, it can dry out the skin, cause severe dehydration, it may cause hyperpigmentation etc. We actually don’t know, but based on what we DO know about inflammation, it is necessary that we know how to treat skin in these times.

If you have received your vaccine, or are planning on getting your jab, please make sure to support your skin! This can be done in a number of ways.

Q:  What should we use on our skins to support our skin against inflammation of any kind?

A: We need to use medical grade skincare products and ingredients that are well tolerated by the skin, and specifically growth factors and antioxidants to fight against the inflammation that may be caused in the skin. Hydrating, barrier repair as well as sun protection! This doesn’t mean that you need to change your whole skincare routine or product range at home, you would need to only slot in a product like the AQ Active Serum once a day under your day moisturiser!

Q:  How long before receiving your vaccine should you introduce these ingredients into your skin care routine, if you are not already using them?

A:  This is quite an open-ended answer, as some medical specialists say 4 –6 weeks and other say 14 days. I think to be perfectly honest, we should rather be safe than sorry, and try to prepare the skin at least 4 weeks prior to getting your vaccine, as this is how long a regular, healthy cell turnover will take in your epidermis.

Q: What about recommendations for aesthetic treatments and medical aesthetic procedures?

A:  For superficial, mild and non-invasive treatments, 14 days before and 2-3 weeks after getting the vaccine… For your more advanced skin treatments such as micro needling, plasma pen, certain chemical peels, laser and medical aesthetic procedures such as botox, fillers and threads etc: 4 –6 weeks before and after getting your vaccine.

Q: What types of treatments are totally safe to have done?

A:  Focus on anti-inflammatory treatments like Growth Factor induced therapy that we refer to as GFIT treatments. This is where we use the AQ Skin Solution Recovery Serum with different modalities. In this case just an application with LED light for about 30 minutes or a light stamping with 0.5mm depth. Certain chemical peels that have anti-inflammatory properties. Calming, healing and antioxidant-type ingredients plus of course hydration and barrier protection.

Q:  How long after receiving the vaccine should you keep using these ingredients?

A:  I think it is hugely important to understand that all of us are different and all of us will react or respond in different ways, therefore I would suggest to keep on using these ingredients on your skin for an extended period of time.

Q: What do growth factors do in the skin?

A:  It is very important to use growth factors at a time like this because AQ growth factors allows your skin to heal itself! It will work differently on each person’s skin because it will assess what needs to be done. Some patients have more inflammation than others, or maybe the vascular system within the skin isn’t functioning properly or it’s affected their collagen production. The growth factors will regulate the cell functions and bring it back to its norm, therefore it will work on any and all skin conditions. It basically regulates the different processes within the skin so that the skin can heal itself correctly and be in its healthiest state.

Q:  What makes AQ Skin Solutions growth factors different to other growth factors on the market?

A: The Human Growth Factors found in AQ Skin Solutions is fibroblast-derived, and then cloned in the lab to react the same way your natural growth factors do. We have a Halal Certificate showing that no genetic material from the donor line is utilized within the formulation. Human growth factors will be easily recognised by the cells, meaning no side effects, no contra indications and it can be used on skin of all ages and all skin types. Other growth factor products are derived from plant extracts or some from bacteria. AQ is one of 5 Human growth factor products worldwide, the only HGF range available in Africa! We use between 150 and 200 different growth factor families within each formulation at optimal combinations and percentages to ensure sufficient communication to the cells.

Q: Medical-grade skincare is surprisingly affordable, isn’t it?

A: There is a misconception that medical-grade skincare is expensive, but the reality is that investing in it will likely save you money in the long run. While you may have to pay a little more upfront, using medical-grade skincare that is tailored specifically to your concerns means you’ll get the visible results you’ve been seeking. Also, because they are highly concentrated with active ingredients, you only need to use a small amount to get your results. Therefore, medical-grade skincare products may last up to 4 months so you could be replacing your skincare less often. You will be building up your skin health by using medical-grade skincare, that you will hopefully prevent future skin issues from occurring. Therefore, you won’t need to have aggressive (and often costly) treatments in order to resolve them.

By Amy Knoetze, founder of Pulse Dermatology & Laser and Director of AQ Skin Solutions South Africa

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