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Photodynamic Therapy Can Improve Sun-Damaged Skin

Treatment can stimulate production of collagen

TUESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The appearance of sun-damaged skin may improve after treatment with photodynamic therapy, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Jeffrey S. Orringer, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, conducted a study of 25 adults aged 54 to 83 years who had clinically apparent photodamage to the skin on their forearms. The patients were treated with a three-hour application of 5-aminolevulinic acid and pulsed-dye laser treatment; biopsy specimens were taken at baseline and at various times following treatment.

The treatment resulted in a more than fivefold increase in proliferation of Ki67, a marker of epidermal proliferation, and a 1.4-fold increase in epidermal thickness, the research revealed. Procollagen I and III messenger RNA levels increased, the investigators found. Peak collagen production was found to correlate to cytokeratin 16 levels at acute time points, and in turn cytokeratin 16 levels correlated to baseline epidermal photodamage, the researchers note.

"Photodynamic therapy with the specific treatment regimen employed produces statistically significant quantitative cutaneous molecular changes that are associated with improved appearance of the skin," the authors write. "Baseline epidermal p53 [photodamage] immunostaining levels may be predictive of dermal responses to this therapy. Comparison with historical data using pulsed-dye laser therapy alone suggests that use of the photosensitizer may enhance dermal remodeling."

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