New findings point to the theory that there may be a way to cause an uptick in elastin production and finally provide the last puzzle piece doctors have been searching for in the quest for youthful skin. If fillers offer the potential to increase elastin in skin, what does this mean for the next wave of fillers, like Juvéderm Volbella and Volift, which are expected to become FDA-approved in the near future?
Boca Raton, FL, oculoplastic surgeon Steven Fagien, MD, suspects that diluting product and injecting with finer needles to direct the agent into the dermis (rather than below it) are key, but notes that it’s still unknown as to how long products need to be in the skin to sustain the upregulation (signaling of production) of elastin. “The future is all about filling agents that do good things for the skin short- and long-term to improve the quality of skin. Perhaps we will see injectable products that work to perverse or replenish what skin has lost, like elastin.”
According to Dr. Fagien, diluting the concentration of hyaluronic acid and making it appropriate to inject into the dermis gives an effect like that of collagen fillers. “When we did this, we saw something happening on a biological level to improve skin.” Dr. Fagien says that it wasn’t collagen that was being created, but actually an upregulation in elastin. “We didn’t see this effect when we used hyaluronic acid, collagen stimulators or even collagen in their traditional methods.”
While the longevity of results (research is still being done to explore how long injected hyaluronic acid produces elastin for) wasn’t effected, there was noticeable improvement in the elastin fibers and glycosaminoglycans (the glue that keeps collagen and elastin together). “For the first time, we refuted the collagen theory and understood that what’s missing in skin from time is elasticity. Replacing collagen gives skin bulk, but it doesn’t make it any more pliable or elastic,” says Dr. Fagien, adding that skin took on a firmer, softer and more elastic look and feel.
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