Researchers have conducted a detailed study into a skin filler commonly used during cosmetic surgery and found that it could boost the manufacture of an important skin protein.
Hyaluronic acid is often used to treat acne scars and as a filler for age lines and wrinkles but, despite being approved for a number of years, researchers had never before understood its biochemical effects on the skin.
They now believe that the naturally-occurring chemical stimulates the production of collagen, the skin's major structural protein, and may also help to restore the structure of skin which has been damaged by the sun.
The researchers looked at skin samples taken from volunteers at intervals of four and 13 weeks after they received injections of hyaluronic acid.
They found that the chemical induced new collagen production by stretching skin cells called fibroblasts, which secrete the proteins.
"Overall, our findings indicate that [hyaluronic acid] injections induce robust collagen production through several potential mechanisms, including the mechanical stretching of fibroblasts, stimulation of growth factors and inhibition of collagen breakdown," the authors wrote.
The research was conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School and is published in the Archives of Dermatology.
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