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Archive for February, 2021

Dangers of the Hyaluron Pen


February 21st, 2021 | General Info

Dangers of the Hyaluron Pen

What is a Hyaluron Pen?

A hyaluron pen is a device that inserts hyaluronic acid filler into the skin using pressure. They are being sold and used by several manufactures, spas, and estheticians. These are also known as hyapens, fog injection devices, SERA pens. and nebulizer injector guns.

These pens are medical devices first designed to help administer insulin and use pressure technology to insert agents into the skin. They are heavily marketed as needle-free and painless. Consumers are being told that the pens can help create volume for lips, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, frown lines, and forehead wrinkles.

Is the Hyaluron Pen Safe?

The Hyaluron Pen is not entirely safe. As with any device, it carries potential risks. Potential side effects of the Hyaluron Pen include:

  • Hematomas
  • Abscesses
  • Inflammatory skin reactions
  • Staining of the skin
  • Damage to skin, eyes, or blood vessels.

Consumers are being told there is no risk of vascular (blood vessel) occlusion but the hyaluron pen can occasionally cause damage to the blood vessels. If this should occur at home or in a spa, who is going to manage this? Does the aesthetician know what to do to minimize the magnitude of the injury? Does the aesthetician have the correct medication available in the spa to quickly address the issue?

Safety Advisories

In September of 2019, Health Canada issued a recall and safety alert regarding Hyaluron pens and does not authorize the sale of any needle-free dermal filler devices in Canada. Heath Canada states it is illegal to advertise, import, or sell these devices. Despite this, many spas continue to offer it. If you are aware of a violation, you can report it here.

In February of 2021, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association has issued a Patient Safety Alert regarding the Hyaluron Pen and its dangers to kids. Members have observed social media postings with videos of kids self-administering these pens. This is potentially very dangerous and if you have a hyaluron pen in the home, please keep it away from your kids.

What Does It Mean to be Board Certified?


February 7th, 2021 | General Info

The simplest way to understand what is meant by being Board Certified is this: when a physician passes his or her qualifying examinations to become a dermatologist, the certifying body grants the physician the right to say he or she is a bona fide certified dermatologist and is Board certified.

For dermatologists, being Board certified is most appropriate when referring to the situation where the American Board of Dermatology grants their approval and the dermatologist can add to their credentials the designation DABD (Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology). Hence, the dermatologist is Board Certified.

In Canada, the equivalent certifying body is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. When a dermatologist becomes certified in Canada, he can use the designation FRCPC (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada). As you can see, there is no actual board in Canada but we commonly use this term as it widely understood.

Dr. Nakatsui’s designation is Thomas Nakatsui, MD FRCPC FAAD DABD. What does all of that mean? Well, MD refers to his medical degree, FRCPC refers to his Canadian qualifications, and DABD refers to his American Board certification. So what is FAAD?

FAAD means Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. The AAD does not grant certification but you can only join once you have received your DABD or FRCPC. The difference with FAAD is that there is no requirement for maintenance of competency so once you have it, you don’t lose it. FRCPC and DABD designations can be lost and require maintenance of competency to maintain. For the DABD, this usually means rewriting an exam every 10 years. So you can have your FAAD but no longer be board certified.

What Does it Mean to Be Double Board Certified?

So what does it mean when someone says they are double board certified? Being certified in both Canada and the USA is not precisely the same as being double board certified. Usually when doctors speak of being double board certified, it means they have embarked on training in two different areas of medicine that are governed by different boards. For example, one of our dermatologists, Dr. Schloss, has received certification in both Pathology and Dermatology and thus is double board certified. If he was certified in both of these areas in both Canada and the USA, he would not claim he was quadruple board certified.

Hopefully, this explains what it means to be board certified (and double board certified), and explains what all those designations mean.