Why Is Everyone Buzzing About Polynucleotide, or ‘Salmon Sperm’ Injections?

Why Is Everyone Buzzing About Polynucleotide, or ‘Salmon Sperm’ Injections? featured image
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Polynucleotide injections are the hottest new trend in beauty, and the secret ingredient is salmon sperm. It’s like the salmon sperm facial Jennifer Aniston swears by, but this new treatment uses injections to give skin a boost. Unlike traditional fillers, these injections are all about rejuvenating the skin, and they’re making major waves abroad. They promise to help promote collagen, increase skin elasticity and reduce signs of aging. But what are polynucleotide injections, and why use salmon sperm? Here’s what to know about the odd-sounding trend.

  • Doris Day, MD is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York
  • Yannis Alexandrides, MD is a board-certified plastic surgeon based in London, and the founder of 111 Harley St. Clinic and 111SKIN

What Are Polynucleotide Injections?

Polynucleotide injections fall under the category of skin booster, like the wildly popular Profhilo, but uses polymerized polynucleotides instead of HA. “Polynucleotides are natural, derived from fragments of fish germ cells, usually salmon, and contain highly purified DNA molecules extracted from the fish gonads,” explains New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD. “They are biostimulatory, meaning they may help promote collagen and elastin production. They are also thought to help with skin hydration and are often used around the eyes to help address dark circles.” The treatment is available under brand names like Ameela, PhilArt, Rejuran, Nucleofill, VITARAN and PhilArt in Europe and Asia.

How Do Polynucleotide Injections Work?

Polynucleotides activate fibroblasts, osteoblasts and adipocytes—cells responsible for producing collagen and supporting connective tissues. According to Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, a plastic surgeon at 111 Harley Street Clinic in London, “They work very well in certain areas of the face, especially in the tear trough area under the eyes and can also be injected into the neck, hands and décolletage.” He explains that polynucleotides are distilled, purified and mixed into a water-based formula before being injected into the skin.

How Do They Differ from Traditional Fillers?

Polynucleotides are injected very superficially into the skin, unlike dermal fillers which are injected deeper to provide a volumizing effect. Traditional fillers, such as hyaluronic acid, are designed to add volume and create facial balance and symmetry. But Dr. Alexandrides points out that “Polynucleotide injections serve a different purpose than traditional fillers, as they are not meant to add volume. They are intended to promote collagen production and improve overall skin quality.”

Why Salmon Sperm?

Studies have shown that salmon DNA is an optimal source for polynucleotides. Dr. Alexandrides mentions that “It provides longer polynucleotide chains and the longer the chains, the longer the biostimulation of the tissue, which results in an increase in treatment longevity.”

Benefits of Polynucleotide Injections

Experts suggest that polynucleotide injections can decrease pigmentation, boost collagen and elasticity, reduce fine lines and fill in under-eye hollows. Dr. Alexandrides adds, “In some patients, hyaluronic acid filler injected in this area can create puffiness, as hyaluronic acid attracts water. Polynucleotides work with the body’s own DNA to help promote cellular regeneration, which can lead to a brighter under-eye area. This is because it increases cell turnover, reduces free radical damage and provides a higher hyaluronic acid synthesis.”

Risks and Considerations

While polynucleotide injections offer several benefits, there are also risks to consider. Dr. Day notes that “Most of the data I’ve seen is for use around atrophic, or indented, scars and the outcomes look suboptimal.” She adds that the effects typically last for about six months and she hasn’t incorporated polynucleotide injections into her practice, saying, “We have better options with longer-lasting and more reliable results.”

Dr. Alexandrides advises that while polynucleotide injections are generally safe, there are common risks associated with any injectable treatment, such as bruising, swelling, or infection. He recommends a series of two to three treatments for optimal results, with maintenance sessions every six to nine months.

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