A treatment tool and tissue collection system, for removal of outer layers of skin to provide a revitalized, fresh skin surface, and a method of using same, comprising a abrasive tipped tool mounted on the end or within the end of a hollow tube, said tube being connected to a source of vacuum. The vacuum aids in maintaining intimate contact between the abrasive tip and the skin during the treatment process and transports the removed tissue to a collection container. The abrasive surface within the tube is a motor driven abrasive pad. Contact between the pad and the abrasive disk is brought about or increased by application of a vacuum through the tube to the skin surface.
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This application is a National Stage Application filed under 35 USC §371 claiming benefit of PCT/US00/42049 filed Nov. 9, 2000, which was designated as a CIP of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/440,020 filed Nov. 12, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,739 issued Jun. 5, 2001.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention provides a treatment tool and tissue collection system for remove of outer layers of skin to provide a revitalized, fresh skin surface. This objective is to remove dead and old skin cells without damaging the remaining skin surface and without the use of powdered abrasive materials because these materials may result in undesirable side effects.DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
Dermabrasion, also referred to as microdermabrasion, is a process for removal of dead cells from the outermost layer of the skin, referred to as the epidermis, clean out blocked pores, and enhance skin tone. Additionally, the margins of acne scars and other traumatic scars can be erased and aging spots and sun damaged skin can be polish off. Still further, charred tissue, following a burn injury must be removed to enhance healing of the underlying tissue. This must be accomplished without injuring the lower two layers, namely, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer or lower dermis. Typically, the skin surface is treated a minimum of 5 times spaced 7 to 10 days apart. This is then followed by periodic maintenance sessions. The benefits are:
- 1. poor, dull skin is enhanced by a gentle resurfacing of the superficial skin layers,
- 2. expression lines typically seen on the forehead and around the mouth are softened,
- 3. fine, crepey lines on the cheeks, generally caused by aging and sun damage are reduced,
- 4. pigment changes and skin discoloration are reduced,
- 5. enlarged pores are reduced and clogged pores typical in acne conditions are exfoliated and cleaned out, and
- 6. margins of superficial acne marks, stretch marks, burn scars and surgical scars can be smoothed.
Use of abrasion techniques can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians who used alabaster and pumice to remove blemishes and rough spots and to make the skin smooth and soft. More recently, abrasive tipped devices or rotating brushes and cylinders coated with abrasive particles, such as diamond dust, have been used to remove skin layers (U.S. Pat. No. 2,712,823; U.S. Pat. No. 2,867,214; U.S. Pat. No. 2,881,763; U.S. Pat. No. 2,921,585). U.S. Pat. No. 5,800,446 describes a stick, glove finger tip or glove palm coated with an abrasive material which is rubbed over the skin surface to provide a polishing action. U.S. Pat. No. 3,964,212 directed to a pneumatic grinding machine for flat surfaces, incorporates a rotating grinding tool enclosed in a housing with air flowing over the surface to collect dust created by the grinding operation. U.S. Pat. No. 4,378,804 is directed to a skin abrasion device which uses flowing water to rotate an abrasive brush and create a vacuum to remove loosened skin particles. The rotating brush is usually used in conjunction with a liquid detergent or medicinal compound applied to the skin surface being scrubbed. Chemicals, ultrasonic oscillating tips (U.S. Pat. No. 5,012,797) and lasers have also been used for a more aggressive abrasion. U.S. Pat. No. 5,037,431 describes the use of a pressurized jet of a liquid, such as water or sterile saline, to fragment and remove diseased tissue without harming surrounding healthy tissue. This device operates in conjunction with vacuum aspiration to remove the liquid and fragmented tissue.
The present trend is to abrade the skin surface using powdered aluminum oxide or a liquid topical composition containing suspended aluminum oxide (U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,747). U.S. Pat. No. 5,037,432 provides for the pressurized delivery, using compressed air, of a powdered, abrasive substance and the removal of the abrasive substance and loosened skin tissue using a vacuum. The abrasive substance is typically microcrystals of quartz, metal, or aluminum oxide. The powdered abrasive is blown through a wand which has a hole in the skin contact end to provide access of the abrasive to the skin surface being treated. An alternative is to cause the aluminum oxide powders to flow by applying a vacuum to the exhaust side of a container holding the abrasive powder and entraining the powder in a flowing gas stream. The powder is then drawn by the vacuum through a treatment tool, across the skin surface to abrade or rub off the epidermis and then recovered along with the skin particles in a collection chamber (U.S. Pat. No. 5,100,412; U.S. Pat. No. 5,207,234; U.S. Pat. No. 5,810,842). This process is similar to “bead-blasting”. A potential disadvantage of all of these techniques is that particles can be lodged in the skin and a substantial amount of aluminum oxide and cells, which have to be properly disposed of, may be left behind on or in the skin.
While no toxic effects have been shown from aluminum oxide left on or in the skin, this material has been shown to cause inflammatory changes to the lungs in workers who have inhaled aluminum oxide. ( Schwarz, Y, et al., “Evaluation of Workers Exposed to Dust Containing Hard Metals and Aluminum Oxide” Am J of Ind Med, 34(20; 177-82) 1999 Aug.). Also, the eyes must be protected from the highly abrasive dust, which can injure the cornea. Therefore, it is recommended that workers using these devices wear breathing masks and glasses to provide protection from ophthalmic and respiratory damage. Similar protection is suggested for patients being treated. It is also possible that particles of the abrasive material can be left imbedded in the skin surface resulting in long term irritation and provide a situs for bacterial infections.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The device for microdermabrasion comprises a hollow tube with and abrasive material permanent attached to a skin contacting end. The abrasive coated tip is moved over the skin surface while a vacuum is applied through the tube to the skin surface to remove cells abraded from the skin surface. The vacuum also causes the skin to be held in intimate contact with the abrasive tip during the treatment procedure.
The invention provides the capability to perform microdermabrasion without the potential health risks or hazards of using a flowing, powdered metallic substance such as aluminum oxide. This is generally accomplished by the use of a tube having a treatment tip with an abrasive material permanently attached thereto. The term “tube” or “tubular” used herein refers to an elongated hollow structure of any cross section, which includes, but is not limited to, a round, oval, square or rectangle cross section. The abrasive coated end piece, which may also have various different shaped cross sections, may be secured to the treatment tip or be removable and interchangeable. The abrasive tip is rubbed over the skin surface being treated. The tube and related instrumentation also provides a vacuum collection and an optional filter system for collection of the skin cells removed by the procedure, the skin cells being aspirated through a hole or holes in the central portion of the abrasive tip. The vacuum also aids in making an intimate contact between the skin and the abrasive coated tip.
A lower hollow extension 34 extending from the filter assembly 18 fits into a matching hole on the main housing. 10. The filter assembly 18 is easily removable so that it can be replaced after each patient and disposed of. The filtration pad 28 inside the filter housing 18 catches the debris but allows air to easily flow through the pad. The lower hollow extension 34 allows air pulled through the filter assembly 18 to be drawn into the vacuum pump 24.
The dimensions and materials used to construct the wand assembly 20 are not critical. However, a preferred treatment tip 22 is formed from a 12 mm OD stainless steel tube with a 6 mm ID and a diamond coated end. The stainless steel/diamond tool can be steam or chemical sterilized between uses without damage. A first alternative would be to have a single use or single patient tube, which is made of plastic, the end being coated with aluminum oxide, or similar abrasive materials. The abrasive can also be adhered with an adhesive. A further alternative would be a tube, which could be stainless steel, plastic or other stiff tubular material, with a suitable removable and replaceable tip or a tip with an abrasive end surface formed by a machining process.
The end of the tube can also be made abrasive by machining the surface as shown in
Besides providing different means of abrasion on the end of the treatment tip 22, the contour or shape of the tip can be varied.
The device uses a vacuum pump 24 which generates a constant level of vacuum, which is controlled (lessened) by the venting of air into the system by the valve 16 mounted in the housing 10. As an alternative, the full vacuum can be applied to the wand assembly 20. The level of vacuum can then be decreased by air vented into the system through vent hole 50 by adjusting flow control valve 52 mounted on the wand 22 or treatment tube 20, as shown in
While the treatment tube can be used alone to abrade the skin and the vacuum system can be configured to primarily pick up the loosened skin cells, it has been found that applying the vacuum through the hole 38 in the end of the treatment tip 40 provides an unexpected advantage. The skin being treated is pulled against the abrasive tip, thus increasing the effectiveness of the tissue abrasion and removal process. Sealing off ambient air raises the level of vacuum and makes the abrasion more aggressive. The concave tip as shown in
As a further variation, the treatment tip 22 can have an enlarged abrasive coated end 56, 58 which is flat and slopped or sloped and concave such as shown in
To use devices embodying the invention the vacuum is applied, through the treatment tool, to the area of the skin to be treated while the abrasive surface, which surrounds the applied vacuum, is moved over the skin surface to be treated. The abrasive tip is typically moved over the skin surface in a circular motion. However, a combination of vertical and horizontal movements of the tip, with or without the circular movements, may also be used to assure that the skin area is uniformly treated. Also, if a particular skin blemish or abnormality is to be treated. The tip motion can be restricted to that particular portion of the skin.
The further embodiment shown in
Presently, devices to remove this dead and charred tissue are called diamond fraises. Fraises are cylinders coated with diamond abrasive which are rotated with an electric motor. These are essentially high-speed, hand-held grinders. The procedure is messy even though there are guards which are suppose to reduce the spray generated. Besides the mess and potential medical risk to medical practitioners performing the abrasion, it is very difficult to uniformly remove the desired tissue.
An additional use of this embodiment is to reduce major scars. These scars can be caused by severe acne, where the skin is heavily indented, or in the case of trauma, the scar may protrude above the skin surface.
A device which can uniformly remove both the charred material resulting from bums and reduce trauma scaring is shown in
The hand piece 150 is constructed as shown in
As indicated above, the console 110 houses the vacuum pump 111, the vacuum gauge 112 and the control valve 113. The adjustable vacuum is used to provide a negative pressure between the skin surface 131 and the abrasive 130 on the rotating disc 132. The vacuum also sweeps away the debris and irrigation fluid. The fluid and debris is separated from the air by a filter in the collection system 118. Irrigation fluid, contained in a sterile reservoir 119, is supplied to the abrading surface by the tube 138.
To operate the system, the vacuum is set to a low pressure (for example 10 in-hg) and the motor speed is set to the desired speed (for example 15,000 RPM). The open end of the hand piece 150 is placed against the skin surface 131. The vacuum causes the skin to bulge slightly and be sucked into the open tip 152 of the hand piece 150, bringing it into contact with the abrasive surface. The reduced (negative) pressure also causes the irrigation fluid to flow into the hand piece, thus lubricating and cooling the surface to be abraded. The on-off button 117 is depressed starting the motor. The hand piece is then moved along the surface, abrading and removing the tissue that comes into contact with the abrasive surface. The debris flows through the vacuum tubing 139 and into the collection chamber/filter 118.
As indicated above, the abrasive surface can be provided in many ways, such as by a diamond coating, machined surface, or even a raise surface such as in a common cheese grater.
Also, the size can be varied from a large abrasive surface for burns to a pencil point abrader for small surgical scars.
While the invention has been shown and described with reference to different embodiments thereof, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations in form, detail, compositions and operation may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the accompanying claims.
For example, the vacuum does not have to be provided by a vacuum pump with controller housing but can be provided by a centrally located vacuum system such as may be available in a hospital or medical facility. However, to prevent contamination of the vacuum system the filter assembly should be provided to collect the tissue removed. The abrasive tip has been described as formed by adhering or attaching an abrasive material thereto or machining the surface of the tip to create a roughened surface. However, one skilled in the art will recognize that there are numerous chemical and mechanical processes to create a roughened surface on the end of the treatment tip sufficient for performing the process described herein.
1. A microdermabrasion device for removing portions of the outer layers of a skin surface comprising:
- a source of a vacuum, and
- a tube with an abrasive treatment tip therein for dislodging cells from the skin surface being treated, the tube being attached to the source of vacuum so that a lumen through the tube has a reduced pressure therein which is less than the ambient pressure surrounding the tube, the tube having a first end, said first end having an opening therein for applying the reduced pressure within the tube to the skin surface, said vacuum causing the skin surface being treated to have an increased area of contact with the abrasive tip, the vacuum also functioning to collect tissue or cells removed from the skin surface being treated wherein the abrasive treatment tip is a rotatable an abrasive pad located within and the tube adjacent to the opening of the first end configured to rotate at least 360° within the tube, and
- a collection filter disposed between the treatment tip and the source of vacuum so that all particulate matter entering the at least one opening in the tube is collected therein.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the source of vacuum is a vacuum pump enclosed within a housing, the housing have having means thereon for monitoring and controlling the level of vacuum delivered.
3. The device of claim 1 further including means for varying the level of reduced pressure applied through the treatment tip.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein the means for varying the level of reduced pressure applied through the treatment tip is a valve mechanism mounted in the treatment tube.
5. The device of claim 3 wherein the means for varying the level of reduced pressure applied through the treatment tip is a valve mechanism in operative connection to the source of vacuum.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein the abrasive tip has diamond, aluminum oxide, silicone carbide, silicon oxide or metal nitride particles attached thereto.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein the abrasive tip has a mechanically or chemically created roughened surface.
8. The device of claim 1 further including a collection filter disposed between the treatment tip and the source of vacuum so that all particulate matter entering the at least one opening in the tube is collected therein.
9. A microdermabrasion device for performing micro-abrasion of a skin surface comprising a tubular device with a lumen there through, the tubular device having a first end with a rotatable abrasive tip having an abrasive surface, the abrasive tip mounted on a multiple RPM drive to provide rotary motion, the first end having an opening therein, the rotatable tip positioned inside the lumen and adjacent the opening, and means on a second end thereof for attachment to a source of a vacuum to apply a negative pressure to a surface to be treated, said vacuum causing increased contacted contact between the skin surface and the abrasive surface, and a collection filter disposed between the first end and the source of vacuum so that all particulate matter entering the opening in the tube is collected therein.
10. The tubular device of claim 9 wherein the abrasive surface on the tip comprises crystalline diamond pieces permanently secured to said tip.
11. The tubular device of claim 9 wherein the abrasive surface on the tip comprises crystalline aluminum oxide pieces permanently secured to said tip.
12. A method of treating the skin surface of a patient to remove surface cells and reduce undesirable skin blemishes comprising:
- providing a microdermabrasion device comprising a tubular treatment tool with a rotatable abrasive skin contacting surface within an open distal end of a lumen of the treatment tool,
- providing a multiple RPM rotational drive,
- providing a pressure through the lumen within the tubular treatment tool, the pressure being less than ambient pressure surrounding the treatment tube,
- bringing the rotatable abrasive skin contacting surface into contact with the skin surface to be treated while said lesser pressure is delivered to the skin surface through the lumen and moving the abrasive skin contacting surface across the skin surface wherein while the rotatable abrasive skin contacting surface is a motor driven abrasive disk located within the lumen of the treatment tool and adjacent the open distal end is rotated by the rotational drive, said vacuum providing increased contact between the skin surface and the abrasive disk.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein the abrasive skin contacting surface has an abrasive crystalline material adhered thereto.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein the abrasive skin contacting surface is formed by a machining process.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the abrasive crystalline material is diamond crystals.
16. The microdermabrasion device of claim 1 further including a delivery conduit mounted on the tube for providing chemicals to enhance abrasion and liquids to reduce friction, or irrigate or cool the skin surface and remove material loosened from the skin surface.
17. The microdermabrasion device of claim 9 further including a delivery tube mounted on the tubular device for providing chemicals to enhance abrasion and liquids to reduce friction, or irrigate or cool the skin surface and remove material loosened from the skin surface.
18. The method of claim 12 further including providing through the tubular treatment tool and to the skin surface chemicals to enhance abrasion and liquids to reduce friction, or irrigate or cool the skin surface and remove material loosened from the skin surface while the abrasive skin contacting surface is moved across the skin surface being treated.
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Filed: Nov 9, 2000
Date of Patent: Nov 22, 2011
Assignee: Altair Instruments, Inc. (Camarillo, CA)
Inventor: Stephen H. Waldron (Camarillo, CA)
Primary Examiner: Elizabeth Houston
Assistant Examiner: Jonathan W Miles
Attorney: Koppel, Patrick, Heybl & Philpott
Application Number: 11/027,590
International Classification: A61B 17/50 (20060101);