The SkinTones™ System
Anaplastology is the art and science of replacing a missing body part. The SkinTones System, developed by A Step Ahead Prosthetics, uses a unique silicone skin that covers a prosthesis, unifying form and function to create a limb that looks natural and perfectly matches skin tones. The SkinTones System also helps restore a normal look to body parts, such as the face or breast, that have been damaged by surgery or radiation therapy.
The SkinTones System works for many different applications, from cosmesis for limb replacement or other injuries to body parts. It is designed to work with all levels of upper and lower extremity limb loss as well as breast replacement and maxillofacial areas including ears and nose. The SkinTones System’s durability, longevity, custom fit, and toning all make it the most advanced skin system for patients. No matter what the application, The SkinTones System realistically replaces what is no longer there. Erik Schaffer, C.P., President of A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Orthotics, developed The SkinTones System during his nearly two decades of experience in the field of prosthetics. He oversees a team of artisans, craftsmen, and silicone/urethane engineers with a combined experience of more than 50 years in the art and science of anaplastology.
The premise behind The SkinTones System is simple: Every individual is unique; therefore, every prosthesis is customized to each patient’s unique anatomy, appearance, and lifestyle. Just as we build prosthetics customized to an individual’s functional needs, we also provide cosmesis customized to his/her cosmetic needs. The coloration process involves determining the patient’s exact skin tone and then creating a silicone skin with the same tone to allow the prosthesis to visually blend into his/her body. Our artisans color and tone the silicone with a special process known as intrinsic coloration. This process involves applying the color on the inside of the skin in layers, producing a three dimensional replication of human skin with or without human hair. The result is a prosthesis that mimics real human skin, with actual depth, tone, and detail to match each person’s individual flesh tones.
Each of our silicone skin coverings is customized to fit intimately over even the most advanced prosthetic components including myoelectrics, energy storage feet, and microprocessor knees. This exact fit allows the patient to maintain a high level of function while significantly enhancing the appearance of his or her cosmesis. In addition, due to the intimate fit of The SkinTones System, the patient can develop improved proprioception by sensing the vibrations from the skin to the residual limb. The durability of the skin also aids in protecting the prosthetic components and increasing their lifespan.
Patients who are missing a body part experience significant physical and often emotional trauma. The missing part may be a hand, arm, leg, breast, or facial area such as an ear or nose. Prosthetics and reconstructive surgery are the first steps to alleviating such trauma. A Step Ahead Prosthetics provides further relief with options and hope that a cosmetic prosthesis can offer. The unique silicone is custom formulated for A Step Ahead Prosthetics to be nearly impermeable. The SkinTones System has exceptional stain and tear resistance. Newsprint and most inks can be safely washed off the skin without compromising its structural integrity or color. In contrast, PVC and latex, which are widely used by other prosthetists, are easily damaged because they are porous, acting like a sponge when exposed to stain-producing products.