LEDs demonstrate "Botox alternative" for cosmetic dermatology

OCTOBER 28, 2008 -- High-intensity visible light from light emitting diodes (LEDs), applied daily for several weeks to facial wrinkles, resulted in "rejuvenated skin, reduced wrinkle levels, juvenile complexion and lasting resilience," according to researchers at the University of Ulm (Ulm, Germany). Their study indicates that the LED-based skin treatment is a potential alternative to Botox, Restylane, dermal fillers, collagen treatments, and cosmetic surgery for reducing deep wrinkles, crow's feet, fine lines, laugh lines, frown lines, and other types of wrinkles on the face and neck.

In the study, Andrei P. Sommer and Dan Zhu point out that high-intensity visible light has been used in medicine for more than 40 years to speed healing of wounds. That light actually penetrates the skin, causing changes in the sub-surface tissue. Until now, however, scientists have not known the physicochemical nature of those changes.

They report identifying how the visible light works -- by changing the molecular structure of a glue-like layer of water on elastin, the protein that provides elasticity in skin, blood vessels, heart and other body structures. Figuratively speaking, the light strips away those water molecules that are involved in the immobilization of elastin, gradually restoring its elastic function and thus reducing facial wrinkles.

"We are justified in believing that our approach can be easily converted to deep body rejuvenation programs," the researchers say.

The study is scheduled for publication in the November 5 issue of the American Chemical Society's Crystal Growth & Design.

More information:
The study, "From Microtornadoes to Facial Rejuvenation: Implication of Interfacial Water Layers"

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