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New Drug Delivery System

   What you may not know is that the skin is a very effective barrier. It functions to protect you from the outside world while keeping your bodily fluids inside. Many billions of dollars have been spent developing methods to deliver drug strew intact skin. Recently a whole family of devices have been developed at poke holes through this protective barrier to stimulate the bodies own collagen production. This treats conditions like photoaging (sun damage), acne scarring, fine lines, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. We have been using devices such as micro-needles, lasers, and micro-dermabrasion to increase collagen production mechanically by injuring the deeper layers. For quite awhile basic nutrients and vitamins have been applied to the recently injured skin thinking that this may get into the deeper active layers of the skin and have more and affect. It has been found out that the lines of communication to the deep "active" layers of the skin stay open from 20 to 45 minutes after these treatments. The use of platelet rich plasma after micro-needling such as the Dermapen procedure has shown some promising results.

I just returned from a cosmetic meeting in Vegas which featured experts from plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, dermatology, and oculoplastic surgery. While new surgical procedures are always exciting to see the most talked about hot topic was the delivery of drugs through the skin after fractional treatments. Netherly needles were used but also ablative lasers such as the Smartxide Dot CO2 fractional laser. The areas that were being treated included hypertrophic scars, hypopigmentation, alopecia, stretch marks, and precancerous and cancerous lesions of the skin. The agents that were being used range from triamcinolone (a potent injectable steroid) and 5-FU ( and anti-cancer medication) for hypertrophic scars, retinoic acid and poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra)for stretch marks, and finally bimatoprost (Latisse) 4 hypopigmentation and alopecia. Studies performed with scars on wounded warriors have yielded tremendous results which have been incorporated in trials with berm patients. Young women suffering from hormonally affected stretch marks can get significant improvement using some of these techniques in a relatively short time. I believe the use of transdermal drugs delivery systems after fractional injuries it's in it's infancy.

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