Use of growth hormone a growing trend

January 1, 2007

For dermatologic purposes, Dr. Gordon administers GH intramuscularly or subcutaneously when treating scars, wrinkles, wounds and similar defects.

Dr. Gordon says GH should not necessarily be looked upon as a wonder drug with "magical" powers, but more as a realization and recognition of its importance in healing our bodies from the inside out. GH seems to have endless benefits in dermatology and cosmetics.

As we age, our levels of GH decrease, and so does our tissues' ability to heal. Dr. Gordon tells Dermatology Times that in anti-aging medicine, the traditional dogma or philosophy has totally changed.

"Underlying ideal treatment with GH we must understand that the range of any hormone is shown in our laboratories as being age-related, which is flat out wrong.

"In the U.S., we recognize a drop in our hormone levels as we age and define these values as the norm for a given age group. Levels of GH in a person in their 20s are very much different than levels of GH of a person in their 50s or 60s. Our goal in GH replacement therapy is to bring back the levels to those of a 20 to 30 year old. The effectiveness of treatments is proven to be better and patients heal more rapidly," Dr. Gordon says.

Traditionally, the "normal" reference range of GH, as well as other hormones, is determined by sampling the levels of males and females in every decade of age, and seeing what the standard deviations are. This becomes the range for the given age bracket. Using this method, the "normal" range is extensive, and can be very low or very high. This, according to Dr. Gordon, can lead to delayed treatment because what are actually aberrant levels still fall within the broad range of "normal."

"The reason for this very large range is that everyone is included in the standardizations, as well as ill individuals, like those who have an impairment of the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. When the 'normal' reference range for GH was instituted, little was known about how subtle certain environment conditions could influence GH production and release. Recent science and published reports now document head trauma as having a significant effect on the production and release of all anterior pituitary hormones. Unfortunately, this information is slowly being assimilated by the medical community so that the philosophy on standardizing norms has not changed since. According to this standardization method, a patient with a GH level of two to three would be considered 'normal,' even though he is having symptoms. The problem today is that physicians are treating the numbers and not the patients," Dr. Gordon asserts.

Turning back the clock

Dr. Gordon notes that he has had patients whose scars disappeared following GH replacement therapy. Postoperative scarring, cuts and bruises heal more rapidly, in about half the time, and ecchymosis, edema and other postoperative issues do not develop. Keloids resolve or they do not even form in those patients who are prone to them. Also, striae gravidarum in Dr. Gordon's patients significantly lightened up and improved.

He explains that one of the main causes of rhytids is the lack of oil in the skin and that testosterone stimulates the pilosebaceous organ to increase the production of sebum. Replacing GH from the inside out remoisturizes the skin and, he says, has resulted in every single patient he has developing a beautiful glow and smoothness to their skin. Crow's feet disappear or diminish, and furrowing across the brow decreases significantly. Dr. Gordon admits that some patients may still need some Botox (Allergan Medical) for the glabellar crease or the nasolabial folds. He says that when one replaces the GH, one needs less testosterone because GH upregulates the receptors and helps with healing.

Dr. Gordon says that GH is a mitotic stimulator and insists that it does not increase the occurrence of cancer, as is popularly believed.