Helena Collier on Medical Aesthetic Treatments & Skin Preparation
The World Health Organization estimates that 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe patient care.
Although we certainly understand the importance of skin preparation when it comes to any aesthetic treatment, this extremely high number still shocked us.
This is exactly the reason why we revolutionised the way professionals can clean and care for their patients.
We wanted to dive into the importance of skin preparation further and were fortunate enough to have a great conversation with Helena Collier (MSc, BSc, PGDp, RGN, DNC, NIP). Helena Collier is a highly skilled and respected medical aesthetic practitioner, and is the founder and clinical director of the Skintalks clinic.
Read Helena’s detailed insights on the importance of skin preparation below.
Could you explain the importance of optimum skin preparation in Medical Aesthetic Practice?
There is a substantial body of evidence to support that most complications of an infectious nature begin at the time of injecting due to inadequate skin preparation. There is no doubt that improved infection control strategies are required to reduce the microbial burden on the skin at the time of injecting. The application of Clinisept+ Skin prior to injecting is a key strategy in achieving optimum skin preparation which ultimately enhances patient safety. Infection prevention and control is the responsibility of everyone involved in the delivery of aesthetic treatments. Antimicrobial skin cleansing and the execution of an aseptic technique when performing any procedure that breaks the skin plays a pivotal role in limiting the transfer of pathogens into the human body. The skin and mucous membranes are the body’s protective barrier, if the defence is breached by pathogens, they can reach subcutaneous tissue, muscle, bone and internal cavities. The injection of a dermal filler into soft tissue is one of the most sought after treatments, this procedure can incorporate multiple injection passes from skin to bone. There is a risk of an infectious complication arising from any procedure that breaches the skin, however, the injection of dermal filler poses a higher risk to patients if strict infection control measures are not adhered to. The failure to provide optimum microbial cleansing before, during and after the procedure could result in an early onset infection caused by the presence of micro-organisms on the skin at the time of injecting. Most late and delayed onset inflammatory and nodular complications have an infectious origin. It is widely accepted that biofilm infection is responsible for most delayed complications. Complications of an infectious nature could be significantly reduced by simply introducing Clinisept+skin into your daily practice.
Why is Clinsept+ Skin a game changer in skin preparation and Aesthetic Practice?
Over 100 years ago doctors claimed that Hypochlorous Acid (HOCL) was the most powerful antiseptic known to man and this statement remains true today. Before antibiotics were available, HOCL was used to clean and disinfect wounds from as early as the turn of last century. Despite medicine advancing exponentially throughout the decades, the field of skin disinfection has been slow to evolve. The introduction of Clinisept+ Skin, an advanced HOCL technology, is a major advance of this century and really does mark the beginning of a new era in skin preparation. It has been reported that the need for skin disinfection is as necessary as ever given the now universal understanding that even a single needle stick injury can allow the ingress of biofilm and lead to infection. Clinisept+ Skin has astounding capabilities, it rapidly destroys spores as well as all other bacterial, viral and fungi forms, it causes no irritation to the skin, the eyes or respiratory tract and accelerates wound healing. It has long been understood that the human immune system uses the same hypochlorous chemistry to fight infection, thus perfectly bio-compatible with the human body. Clinisept+ Skin is a game changer, it is the missing link in the chain of infection control and the missing piece of the puzzle in infection prevention.
Given the events in the past 18 months, do you feel that aesthetic practitioners should be taking a different approach to skin preparation?
This nineteenth century quote is thought provoking:
“Gentlemen, it is the microbes who will have the last word” Louis Pasteur
One small microbe is capable of destroying human life. Science is progressing in the fight against microbes but I am not convinced it is a war that we humans can win. Many theorise that when the world comes to an end, the only life left on the planet will be microbes. However, the development of Clinisept+ Skin has provided practitioners with a powerful weapon in the fight against microbes. The impetus for writing “Infection Control in Aesthetic Medicine and the Consequences of Inaction” (Collier H, 2018) and subsequently the ACE Group World infection Control Guidelines (2020) was in response to observing abysmal standards of infection control practice within Aesthetic clinics. It is crucial that practitioners understand that skin preparation is fundamental to patient health and safety and to achieving an optimum treatment outcome. Reducing the microbial burden at the time of injecting is a key strategy that must be adopted by all.
What’s your own professional protocol for skin preparation?
This is the evidence based guidance that I adhere to within my own clinic when carrying out an aesthetic procedure that breaches the skin:
- Environmental disinfection with a 70% alcohol based hard surface disinfectant
- Patients skin cleansed and all traces of makeup removed prior to any procedure that breaches the skin
- Patients hair covered (if appropriate to procedure)
- Skin disinfected with Clinisept+skin antimicrobial cleanser (before, during and after procedure)
- Practitioners hands washed with Hibiscrub® before and after every patient contact and before the application of gloves and on removal of gloves
- Sterile Nitrile Gloves donned for all procedures that breach the skin
- Aseptic technique executed for all procedures that breach the skin
- Wrist and hand jewellery removed, fingernails clean short and free from nail polish, hair tied back (if appropriate) and disposable single use apron adorned during aseptic technique
- Bare below the elbow rule must be adhered to when executing an aseptic technique
Do you have a favourite aesthetic treatment and why?
Botulinum toxin injections are by far the treatment that I perform most within my working day. I believe the skill, knowledge and expertise required to achieve the most optimum and natural treatment outcomes are very understated by practitioners. The results can be very unfavourable and at times almost bizarre when performed by less knowledgeable and less experienced practitioners. It never fails to amaze me and also concern me when I teach experienced practitioners and realise that they have no real understanding of the science of Botulinum toxin or the mechanism of action and the implications this can have on treatment outcome, efficacy and longevity. I enjoy the challenges of working with toxin, specifically when treating patients in the fifth decade and beyond. I consider this to be my strongest area of practice.
Are there any breakthrough aesthetic procedures or treatments that we should be looking out for as we head into 2022?
Botulinum toxin injections and dermal filler treatments continue to be the “bread and butter” for most aesthetic clinics. However, patients are now beginning to realise that skin health is key to being the best version of themselves as they journey through the ageing process. Micro needling, PRP, medical grade skin care, chemical peels, laser therapy are all good investments in caring for the skin. We now have injectable treatments such as Profhilo, a revolutionary beneath the skin hyaluronic acid hydrating treatment with a prolonged stimulating activity on dermal cells. Sunekos is also a popular skin health treatment that stimulates collagen and elastin to rebuild and restore skin health. Radio frequency and Ultrasound devices continue to evolve in offering skin tightening and lifting. Threads are still a favourable option for many wishing to avert surgical intervention. Plasma energy devices are coming to the forefront. I believe that regenerative medicine with stem cells in combination with anti-ageing genes will soon lead the way in anti-ageing medicine.
Choose Clinisept+ For Skin Preparation
Effective skin cleansing and microbial control is arguably the most important aspect of any medical or aesthetic procedure.
Clinisept+ delivers a unique approach to optimising skin hygiene using an advanced hypochlorous technology that is unmatched in efficacy and skin compatibility.
Clinisept+ is loved by professionals and leading clinics everywhere.