Taking the cue from infant skin

July 1, 2007

In a recent trial, the combination of a high molecular weight hyaluronan serum and a proprietary cream containing human growth factors and cytokines sped up healing after microlaser peels, says the study's lead researcher.

Key Points

Key to the mixture are Processed Skin Cell Proteins (PSP) obtained from cultured fetal skin cells through a proprietary process, says Michael H. Gold, M.D., lead study author and medical director at Gold Skin Care Center, Advanced Aesthetics Medi Spa, the Laser and Rejuvenation Center, and the Tennessee Clinical Research Center, and clinical assistant professor, division of dermatology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and School of Nursing, Nashville, Tenn.

"We know that fetuses and infants have so many potent growth factors" that their cuts heal very quickly without scarring, he says. From that concept, people have looked at combining a variety of growth factors derived from the fetus with interleukins and other cytokines, adds Dr. Gold, who has studied the mixture's impact on conditions, including lines and wrinkles and in conjunction with intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments.

Because there is evidence that hyaluronan and growth factors might act synergistically to speed wound healing, Dr. Gold and his colleagues recently investigated whether the combination of a 1 percent hyaluronan serum (800 to 1,000 kDa) in conjunction with the growth factor/cytokine mixture could improve post-procedural wound healing, he says.

The study included 30 female patients (age range: 35 to 65 years) with facial wrinkling; doctors divided the participants into two groups, Dr. Gold says. They asked one-half of the participants to apply the hyaluronan serum followed by the cream twice daily to their randomly assigned half-face one month before undergoing a microlaser peel. These patients applied a placebo formulation on their other half-face. The other patients applied only the skin cream on one side, placebo on the other.

After giving patients topical lidocaine 30 minutes before treatment, researchers performed microlaser peel (MicroLaserPeel Profile Contour 2,940 nm Er:YAG, Sciton) on both facial sides adjusted to remove up to 20 mm of epidermis (up to 15 millimicrons during first treatment) on all patients. Immediately after the procedure, researchers treated patients' placebo half-faces with petrolatum ointment and their active facial sides with the hyaluronan serum followed by the cream.

Patients discontinued the petrolatum ointment after three days, but continued applying the hyaluronan serum cream to the appropriate half-face for 27 days. Thereafter, physicians performed a second laser peel (adjusted to up to 20 millimicrons), followed by the same post-procedural care as previously.

HEALING IS FASTER

To evaluate results, researchers used clinical photos taken with the Omnia Imaging System (Canfield Scientific) under standardized conditions before microlaser peels, three days after and at the end of the study period.

From these photos, researchers assessed healing (erythema, edema, crusting and erosions, stinging and burning) and improvement in hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, texture and pore size using a 4- to 5-point visual scale.

Although Dr. Gold and his colleagues were just finishing their analysis at press time, he says, "We find that across the board, using this product is better" than going without. "Patients who use the product heal faster and experience less downtime."

While most patients who undergo microlaser peels require three or four days in this regard, Dr. Gold explains, "It should only be one or two days when one uses the Neocutis product, which is important from an aesthetic standpoint. Therefore, we believe this is a very useful product post-laser."

USE CONTINUES

Outside the study, he adds, patients continue using the hyaluronan serum and skin cream indefinitely rather than stopping after a month.