Study backs laser treatment for sun-damaged skin

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A procedure using a topical solution made by DUSA Pharmaceuticals Inc and laser treatment stimulates collagen production and helps rejuvenate sun-damaged skin, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

Their study confirmed the value of a procedure already being performed by some doctors to improve the appearance of skin with wrinkles, fine lines and “sun spots”, and helps explain how it works.

University of Michigan researchers tested photodynamic therapy that combines DUSA’s Levulan, a clear solution dabbed onto the skin to increase its sensitivity to light, and so-called pulsed dye laser treatment using brief flashes of a single wavelength of light.

In a group of 15 women and 10 men aged 54 to 83 with sun-damaged skin, the researchers found that the therapy increased production of collagen — a protein that helps provide skin its texture and elasticity — and promoted the thickening of the top layer of the skin.

“We do believe that the treatment would, in fact, improve the appearance of patients’ skin,” Dr. Jeffrey Orringer, director of the University of Michigan’s Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center, said in a telephone interview.

“It lends molecular or scientific credibility to a procedure that’s being done out there, and it’s also the first step in understanding how to make this treatment more effective,” Orringer said.

No industry money was used to fund the study published in the journal Archives of Dermatology, Orringer said.

The researchers performed the procedure on sun-damaged forearm skin of the 25 volunteers and took tissue samples to examine the changes in the skin.  Continued…

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