Historically, the primary solution for aging skin has been to lift it and trim it during facelift surgery. As technologies have continued to advance, though, more people are recognizing the value of nonsurgical modalities like laser skin resurfacing and light treatments. As devices have been developed and improved over time, studies have continued to follow advancements. A recent research project has identified more than the value of the average laser treatment; it has uncovered details about how lasers rejuvenate the skin.
The study was conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. What they discovered is that laser treatments affect the same molecular pathway as retinoic acid, better known as Retin-A. This topical prescription has been used for years to treat sunspots and acne and has more recently become known as a powerful wrinkle-fighter. The way that retinoic acid works is by sensing loose RNA molecules in the skin and stimulating a regenerative process. Apparently, laser treatments do the same.
RNA is a chemical that is involved in wound healing. Loose pieces of RNA are called self-noncoding double-stranded RNA, or dsRNA for easier verbiage. It is the loose RNA molecules that trigger wound healing. This chemical is released by the damaged cells themselves, revealing the skin’s natural healing capabilities. Seeing that laser treatments and other modalities cause controlled damage to skin cells, researchers wanted to gain a better understanding of the effects of these protocols.
The study included skin biopsies from 17 participants who were patients undergoing laser skin rejuvenation at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Biopsies were taken before treatment and one week following laser sessions. Researchers noted that the genes involved in sensing loose RNA (dsRNA) and also those involved in the natural production of retinoic acid in the skin were expressed at higher levels in response to the laser treatment that had been conducted.
While Retin-A rejuvenates the skin through topical application of retinoic acid, laser treatments stimulate the body’s natural wound healing response involving the production of this acid. According to the researchers in the study mentioned here, a combination of the two may be a powerful duo for fighting the signs of aging.
Are the signs of many summers in the sun visible on your face, neck, chest, or arms? There is no time like the present to address them with laser treatments. For more information on our services, call 201.836.9696.