Dermal Fillers

A new study gives hope to those who suffer from damaged skin due to age and sun exposure. Dermatologist Dana L. Sachs, MD, FAAD, associate professor at the University of Michigan, has recently completed research demonstrating how cross-linked hyaluronic acid (CL-HA), a dermal filler used by dermatologists, improves the skin’s appearance.

Whether skin aging occurs naturally or due to the effects of sun exposure, the wrinkles, lines, discoloration, and laxity is a direct result of the fragmentation and reduction of collagen, a major structural protein of the skin. Since the cells that produce collagen have also been damaged, they’re not producing the optimal amount of collagen either.

By injecting 11 participants with CL-HA in one forearm and with saline in the other, researchers were able to see increased collagen production in the areas where the CL-HA was injected. Dr. Sachs explained, “Samples of skin injected with NASHA demonstrated evidence of increased newly created type I collagen, especially in the areas surrounding the filler. In addition, fibroblasts were observed at four and 13 weeks following injection to be in a ‘stretched’ configuration that correlates with increased collagen production.”

This research is helpful because while dermatologists were aware that soft tissue fillers work by visual demonstration of immediate dermis improvements, the mechanics at a molecular level were never fully understood until now.