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Why some treatments rescue aging skin
Date:5/28/2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Fine wrinkles, deeper creases, saggy areas around the mouth and neck the sights in the mirror that make baby boomers wince are not inevitable. They result from a structural breakdown inside the skin that some existing treatments effectively counteract by stimulating the growth of new, youthful collagen, University of Michigan scientists say.

The researchers report an emerging picture of collagen collapse and possible renewal, based on more than a decade of studies, in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology.

The article draws on dozens of studies since the early 1990s, conducted primarily by U-M dermatologists, to explain why three types of available skin treatments are effective: topical retinoic acid, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and injections of cross-linked hyaluronic acid.

These treatments all improve the skins appearance and its ability to resist bruises and tears by stimulating new collagen. Collagen is a key supporting substance, plentiful in young skin, thats produced in the sub-surface layer of skin known as the dermis. The U-M findings show that the breakdown of the dermis firm, youthful structure is a very important factor in skin aging a much more straightforward thing to fix than genetic factors that others theorize may be involved.

Fibroblasts are not genetically shot, says John J. Voorhees, M.D., F.R.C.P., chair of the Department of Dermatology at the U-M Medical School and the articles senior author. Fibroblast cells in the skin are the key producers of collagen.

We have shown that if you make more collagen go in, it provides an environment in which fibroblasts recover and make more collagen.

Voorhees and co-authors Gary J. Fisher, Ph.D., U-M professor of dermatology, and James Varani, Ph.D., U-M professor of microbiology and immunology and of pathology, hope the findings will help people make intelligent decisions amid the hype of the multi-billion-dollar a
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Contact: Anne Rueter
arueter@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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