It may seem counterintuitive, but exposing sun-damaged skin to more light may actually help it look younger. Specifically, a two-part laser procedure known as photodynamic therapy has been shown in a recent study to increase collagen and make other molecular improvements.
With photodynamic therapy, a topical photosensitizer called 5-aminolevulinic acid, or 5-ALA, is applied for three hours. Then, skin is treated with a pulsed dye laser.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System Department of Dermatology looked at before-and-after skin biopsies from 24 adults and found that photodynamic therapy increased two different kinds of collagen associated with an improved appearance.
This study focused on participants’ forearm skin, so researchers are hoping to replicate the results on facial skin in the near future.
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