Posts Tagged ‘Stretch Marks’

Stretch Marks, Wrinkled Skin, Scars, Cellulite Now Treatable

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

For the last decade fads and bogus claims have promised to remove or reduce stretch marks, wrinkled skin, scars, and cellulite without actual proof. These money-making schemes have brought riches to some entrepreneurs and little pleasure to patients who have opted to have a variety of creams, potions, and treatments applied to their faces, bodies, and especially thighs. At last the wait may now be over as effective treatments have been elucidated to improve and in some cases resolve these age-old cosmetic concerns.
Pioneering research from the University of Michigan Department Of Dermatology has revealed some of the answers to questions of how to regenerate skin. While more research needs to be done, their work conclusively demonstrates that old or damaged skin has frayed collagen fibers which do not stimulate fibroblasts (the cells that produce collagen) to do their jobs efficiently. In fact, just the opposite. The frayed fibers somehow induce the fibroblasts to curl up and produce collagenase which further dissolves the good collagen that exists. The therapeutic pearl of their work demonstrates that fibroblasts can be made to stretch out and again produce normal collagen, even if they are old in age or worn out by injury. The only caveat is that the fibroblasts must still be present in the affected tissue.
First described in Europe and now elucidated at the U of Michigan, injected hyaluronic acid (aka Restylane and Juvaderm) has been repeatedly shown to stretch fibroblasts and thereby induce them to produce new collagen. Therefore, the rejuvenating effects of injected hyaluronic acid fillers are not only due to their volume but also to new collagen production.
Saline was also tested for its stretching abilities at the U of Michigan and it was found to be less effective than hyaluronic acid. Nevertheless, work by Dr Mitchell Goldman and repeated by me at MetropolitanMD, has repeatedly demonstrated scar remodeling when used to stretch scars in which there has been a loss of tissue volume.
And for the coup de gras, further work showed that injury to the epidermis, the outer 1 millimeter of skin, sends a message to the dermis, the bulk of the skin, to stimulate fibroblasts to make new collagen. Now we understand a mechanism for the healing effects of ablative fractional laser therapy.
Here is the skinny: Stretch marks, wrinkled skin, scars, and cellulite are now treatable using a combination of salt water injections, hyaluronic acid injections and fractional laser resurfacing. The bad news: as this information hits the mass media medispa charlatans and entrepreneurial physicians will advertise their ability to use these new applications of available technology and because of the nature of their business the public will again be abused.