Cosmetic Surgery Today

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Posts Tagged ‘dermatology news’

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Show Promise for Repairing Skin

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 21, 2010

Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.

The results of a recent study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the middle of August 2010, and until now, there ha s not been any treatment or chance of a cure for RDEB. The study is the first of its kind that shows how bone marrow stem cells can adapt to the skin tissues and upper gastrointestinal tract, and help to slow down the progression of the disease.

Dr. John E. Wagner of the University of Minnesota Medical School, and director or pediatric blood and marrow transplantation, as well as the clinical director of the Stem Cell Institute, states, “whether the stem cells from marrow could repair tissues other than itself has been quite controversial…but in 2007, we found a rare subpopulation of marrow stem cells that could repair the skin in laboratory models. This astounding finding compelled us to test these stem cells in humans. This has never been done before.” (Source:

The stem cells found in bone marrow are capable of traveling to the areas of injured skin, which in turn helps to trigger collagen production. Collagen production is necessary to strengthen the skin, and is particularly valuable for patients who have been diagnosed with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Patients who have this disease can now be cured with a bone marrow transplant and stem cell transfers.

Researchers concluded that further studies need to be done to test the efficacy of stem cell transfer and to assess the long-term risks involved with the treatment. Still, this recent discovery is showing very promising results.


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Oral and Topical Agents Can Prevent UV-Induced Skin Cancer

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 19, 2010

Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

Still, incidences of non-melanoma skin cancer continue to rise, and researchers are investigating the effects of certain foods, vitamins and medicines that may prevent skin cancer.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shared the results of some of the latest research initiatives that showcase the benefits of medicine and diet in preventing UV-induced skin cancer. According to dermatologist Craig A. Elmets, MD, FAAD, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology and Director of the Skin Diseases Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Based on the research conducted thus far, it appears that several different agents have the potential to be effective in providing enhanced sun protection and preventing non-melanoma skin cancers…while the way these agents work are different, we have seen encouraging results with both oral and topical agents, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), eflornithine and certain types of natural antioxidants.” (Source: Medical News Today)

Dr. Elmets explained that oral medication can be effective at preventing basal cell nevus syndrome, a genetic defect that triggers the development of basal cell carcinoma at a very early age. Other drugs can be injected into the skin to inhibit cancer cell formation. A number of antioxidants were also evaluated for their chemopreventive properties, and some were found to destroy free radicals and compounds in the body that damage the DNA. Several clinical studies suggest that polyphenols in grape seed extract and green tea can help to prevent the growth of certain types of skin tumors.

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“Tanorexia” Numbers On the Rise

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on June 2, 2010

In spite of increasing incidences of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, many people are still flocking to the nearest tanning booth to get that coveted summer glow.

The Loyola University Health System reports that the number of “tanorexia” patients – individuals who are literally addicted to tanning – is on the rise, and that the indoor tanning business is booming as a result.

Statistics show that approximately thirty million men and women in the United States visit tanning salons each year, even though the effects of tanning include wrinkles, sun damaged skin, age spots and an increased risk of getting skin cancer. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation is responsible for approximately 90 percent of skin cancers, and the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent in individuals who hit the tanning booth before the age of 35. (Source: Medical News Today)

Dermatologists at Loyola University have published a study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, indicating that tanning addictions are a “legitimate health problem.” Tanorexia, otherwise known as a tanning addiction, has its roots in the endorphin rush individuals get when they are exposed to UV rays. The diagnostic test for tanning dependence includes asking questions similar to those assessing for alcoholism. Those who are over-dependent on tanning may feel guilty after tanning, are annoyed when people mention their tanning habits, and have had difficulty cutting back on their tanning booth visits.

Dr. Richard Wagner, a UTMB dermatologist  appeared on ABC World News Tonight in 2005 and states, “Anecdotal observations about patients who seem ‘addicted to the sun’ have been discussed in dermatology for years…the sun helps release endorphins in the skin, and people may become addicted to the feeling they get after tanning.” (Source:

Many tanorexics also have body image issues, which may be triggering the addictive tanning cycle. Treatment options include psychological counseling and treatment for any underlying depression.

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Phase 2 Clinical Trials for VB-201 for Psoriasis Treatment Underway

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on January 18, 2010

Patients with psoriasis may soon have another option in dermatological care thanks to a new oral treatment that has been developed by VBL Therapeutics. The pharmaceutical company has announced the initiation of a Phase 2 efficacy and safety study for an orally-administered immune response modifier that promises to reduce inflammation in the body that triggers psoriasis.

The Phase 2 study will involve approximately 180 patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, and will run for 12 weeks.

According to Dror Harats, M.D., chief executive officer of VBL Therapeutics, “The availability of a new oral therapy that is convenient, safe and effective would be an important treatment advance for patients with psoriasis…building on the promising results observed preclinically and the success of four separate Phase 1 clinical studies, we are excited to advance VB-201 into Phase 2 development for psoriasis. We look forward to launching clinical trials in additional indications in the near-term, as well as entering Phase 2 clinical development with VB-111, our lead oncology drug candidate.”

Psoriasis affects thousands of men and women in the United States and is a chronic immune disease that can become a severe burden physically and emotionally. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 125 million people suffer from psoriasis worldwide, and more than seven million patients in the United States have been diagnosed with the chronic skin condition.

The oral medication currently under evaluation is designed to counterbalance the body’s inflammatory response and improve immune system functioning so that the effects of psoriasis on the skin decrease naturally. The primary goal is to treat inflammation that is causing the skin problems, thereby improving the overall health of the skin.

The estimated market for psoriasis treatments is currently valued at more than $2 billion and is projected to rise more than $3 billion by 2011, according to a report in

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Vashe Wound Therapy Helps Heal Chronic Wounds

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on November 22, 2009

Current post-operative care methods for skin grafts and burns involve the application of bandages, administration of vitamins and topical agents to the skin, and protection from sunlight. One company has developed a proprietary solution that may help to speed up the wound healing process while killing off infectious pathogens. PuriCore, a life sciences company that specializes in developing various types of skin solutions, has been performing randomized clinical trials with a product called Vashe Wound Therapy.

Vashe Wound Therapy is a medical device designed to support the wound healing process. The treatment has been used successfully and without any adverse side effects in more than 100,000 treatments, and is proving to an effective and economical alternative to common wound irrigation solutions.

The clinical trials were conducted by the Co-Director of the Arizona Burn Center of the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona and results show that the treatment is just as effective as the 5% Sulfamylon® solution, a synthetic agent that is commonly used for the post-operative care of grafts for burns. Infection rates for the Vashe Wound Therapy and the Sulfamylon® solution were equivalent, but Vashe Wound Therapy boasts a greater than 50% cost savings.

Dr. Foster points out that, “Vashe Wound Therapy is an exciting new alternative technology that demonstrates clinical efficacy for post-operative skin graft irrigation while offering significant overall cost savings…this trial also suggests that Vashe has further potential for pain improvement opportunities.”

PuriCore’s CEO Greg Bosch also indicates that the clinical results prove that Vashe Wound Therapy is very effective for wound care and offers an additional boost to the body’s own defense system, making it much easier for the body to heal after burns or different types of surgery. The treatment is biocompatible, non-mutagenic and non-cytotoxic, and offers a safe and effective alternative to many solutions used to treat infected wounds and post-operative surgical sites.

(Source: MedicalNewsToday)

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Blue or Red Cotton Can Protect Against UV Radiation

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 24, 2009

CB100678If you’re concerned about protecting yourself against skin cancer when spending time outdoors, choosing certain pieces of clothing may lower your risk of UV damage.

According to scientists in Spain, cotton that is dyed a deep blue or red offers more UV protection than yellow and other lighter colored shades. The results of the study will be published in the November issue of the ACS’s Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research journal.

The lead researcher of the study Ascension Riva says that there is little scientific information on how color interacts with other factors that determine how much ultraviolet light is blocked at any given time. However, researchers have been able to use computer models that relate the level of UV protection achieved with three fabric dyes that change the UPF of fabrics. Darker-colored fabrics, especially deep blue shades, have the ability to absorb more UV light, while lighter shades such as yellow offer the lowest rates of absorption.

Scientists conclude that this information can help clothing manufacturers make better decisions when they are designing sun-protective clothing. Currently, manufacturers use elements such as zinc oxide to enhance the fiber of the fabric and deflect both UVA and UVB rays.

These fibers can help to protect the skin from sun damage, which in turn slows down the aging process while reducing the risk of skin cancer. Sun protective clothing made with deep blue or red dyes may be the best option for anyone who wants to protect their skin. In addition to wearing sun protective clothing, experts say it’s still important to wear sunscreen underneath clothing, and to reapply it every four to five hours. Dermatologists also recommend applying sunscreen to the face at least every two hours if the individual is not wearing a hat or other protective gear.

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Boston University Reports Dermatologic Surgery on the Rise

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 20, 2009

MedicalResearchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the Laser and Skin Cancer Center of Indiana have been studying the number of dermatologic procedures performed and tracking patient demand since 2000, and a recent report published in Dermatologic Surgery has found that the “Baby Boomer” generation is leading demand for certain procedures over the past decade.

The report published in Dermatologic Surgery shows that the number of cosmetic and non-cosmetic surgical procedures performed by dermatologic surgeons has been rising rapidly in recent years. An estimated 3.4 million cosmetic and non-cosmetic surgical procedures were performed in 2001, and a total of 7.6 million procedures were performed in 2007. This translates to a 120 percent growth rate over those seven years, and the greatest increase in procedures in that period was for soft tissue augmentation, Botox injections, and non-ablative resurfacing procedures.

Experts say the increase in demand is not only the result of more consumers being able to pay for the often-pricey procedures, but because many dermatologists have started emphasizing the importance of skin cancer prevention, and are offering a wide range of anti-aging services for those who want to reverse or slow down the signs of aging.

Dermatologists can now treat a number of severe skin conditions, manage skin cancer lesions, and also help reduce the effects of photoaging. Dermatologists today are also expanding the types of services they can perform, with many offering minimally invasive procedures such as Botox, laser skin rejuvenation and other injectables. Compared to 2001, this is a significant shift in service options.

Advances in laser and light devices have also contributed to the increase of completed procedures, and more dermatologists are taking the time to complete the training programs for the latest devices. This has allowed more people in major cities and markets to try the newest procedures as soon as they hit the market.

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FDA Approves Emollient Foam for Atopic Dermatitis

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on July 25, 2009

Until now, people suffering from atopic dermatitis could do very little about the cracked, inflamed and dry skin associated with the disease. Dermatologists around the country have only been able to offer rich moisturizers and topical treatments to help keep the skin soft and moisturized. However, a recent product called HYLATOPIC has been designed specifically for patients with atopic dermatitis, and works at a deeper level by absorbing directly into the skin within seconds.

HYLATOPIC received FDA approval in 2009, and is an emollient foam designed to manage the burning, itching and pain associated with various types of dermatitis. The product has been developed by Onset  Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company that specializes in dermatology treatments, and is a non-steroidal prescription treatment that is now available in the United States.

The foam works by penetrating beneath the top layer of skin within seconds of application, and then creates a semi-permeable barrier that protects the skin against excessive water loss and irritants in the environment. For people suffering from atopic dermatitis, this means that the product acts as a shield against environmental toxins and also helps support the skin’s natural recovery process. With regular use, the patient can expect to achieve softer, healthier-looking skin.

Michael Heffernan, the President of Onset Therapeutics, explains: “It is well known that skin barrier dysfunction is a fundamental problem in atopic dermatitis patients. HYLATOPIC’s 3-step approach to hydrate, protect and restore the natural skin barrier, combined with the aesthetic and safety elements which drive compliance, assists in helping our physicians achieve the best therapeutic outcomes.”

HYLATOPIC can be used on any area of the body, and can be applied directly onto the skin using the fingertips. It does not leave any oil or residue behind, and can be applied under makeup and other skincare products.


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Berkeley Lab Researchers Claim a Protein Could Eliminate Wrinkles

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 23, 2009

lab1While many people are lining up for their latest Botox fix or injectables session, researchers say we could be saying bye-bye to Botox sooner than we think. A recent study shows that RHAMM protein, a protein that has been linked to the spread of several major human cancers, has the ability to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, and rejuvenate the skin.  RHAMM stands for Receptor for Hyaluronan Mediated Motility, a compound that is directly involved with signaling fat cells to repair wounds and injuries that result from skin cuts, or even a heart attack.

High concentrations of this compound in the blood can trigger rapid skin tissue repair and healing, which mean the skin could be restored after significant tissue damage from the sun and other environmental factors.

Mina Bissell, a cell biologist at the Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division, explains that, “This technique could be developed as a means of providing a non-surgical approach for normalizing skin appearance after reconstructive surgery, for wrinkle reduction, and for face lifts and figure enhancement. ” (Source: Press Release via Science Daily)

Researchers have found that blocking the expression of the RHAMM protein by deleting the gene itself can increase the production of healthy fats, and even reduce the risk of unhealthy visceral fat accumulation. The protein could also be administered directly into the skin; instead of injecting Botox and other neurotoxin compounds into the forehead or around the eyes, a surgeon would be able to use an RHAMM-based compound that would not cause muscle paralysis but could still yield beneficial results.

RHAMM treatments may be especially effective for those who have undergone significant cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, and need to speed up the healing process. Burn victims, individuals suffering from inflammatory diseases, and those who have large patches of injured skin after surgery can receive RHAMM treatments to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection and skin-related diseases during the recovery process.

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Curcumin May Help Fight the Signs of Aging

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on December 25, 2008

cuminEating antioxidant-rich foods and taking vitamin and mineral supplements may help ward off the signs of aging, but researchers have discovered that some spices have certain properties that can help reduce inflammation and also help keep wrinkles at bay.

Madalene Heng, M.D., the Professor of Medicine/Dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine recently reported on the health and skin benefits of curcumin, the key phytochemical found in the spice turmeric.

She says that the compounds can be used to treat inflammation and may even help with scar and wound repair.  These anti-inflammatory powers may help reduce fine lines and sun-damaged skin, and even reduce the appearance of fresh scars.

Curcumin is powerful enough to inhibit secretion of the post-injury compound known as phosphorylase kinase which is involved in the inflammatory response and creates certain types of skin growths and scars.

Dr. Heng explains that curcumin can be applied in a gel form directly onto the scars or damaged skin twice per day.  The skin will slowly begin to heal and reform, and the anti-inflammatory powers of the compound can help reduce soreness, redness and itchy skin.  However, one of the drawbacks of using this compound is the temporary yellow coloring that is often left behind; the spice also has a very strong odor which can be unpleasant for those who are sensitive to smell.

Curcumin is best used on top of the skin, and not ingested as a spice, because of the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize its anti-aging properties.

Consuming antioxidant-rich food is another viable strategy for keeping skin in good health.  Researchers continue to laud the benefits of foods such as ginger and tomatoes because they contain a significant amount of anti-inflammatory compounds and may ward off certain diseases.  Antioxidant-rich foods help to neutralize free radicals in the body so that the body can protect itself from toxins in the environment.

According to Dr. Baumann of the Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute, “Curcumin is excellent for wrinkles and can curb inflammation and the formation of free radicals. And supplements of curcumin can help a patient tolerate Retin A better through its anti-inflammatory effects. Supplementing curcumin with retinoids and green tea can only be beneficial in curbing the speed at which the skin ages.”


Posted in Antiaging, Cosmetic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery News, Cosmetic Surgery Trends, Dermatology | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »