Scientists have identified a gene that could provide a target for new cosmetic treatments designed to reduce the visible signs of ageing.
A team at Oregon State University found that loss of CTIP2 may be involved in some skin disorders.
They suggest that a greater understanding of the gene and its role may pave the way for new therapies for diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as treatments that prevent or reverse premature skin ageing.
Arup Indra, assistant professor of pharmacy at Oregon State University, commented: "We found that CTIP2 is a transcriptional factor that helps control different levels of skin development, including the final phase of a protective barrier formation.
"It also seems particularly important in lipid biosynthesis, which is relevant not only to certain skin diseases but also wrinkling and premature skin ageing."
The team's findings are published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and suggest that it may be possible to rejuvenate the skin by boosting the expression of the gene.
Skin rejuvenation differs from cosmetic surgery in that it aims to improve the condition of the skin as opposed to simply manipulating the skin in its existing condition.
Techniques include microdermabrasion, peels, mesotherapy and intense pulsed light (IPL).