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Examining topical growth factors

Dr. GoldmanA new study suggests a topical human fibroblast growth factor skincare product and a human mesenchymal stem cell growth factor product work similarly to reduce facial wrinkles, and both are safe and well tolerated.

Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, split-face study on 20 adults with moderate-to-severe facial rhytids. Patients were randomized to treat one side of their faces with NuGene Universal Serum, a mesenchymal stem cell growth factor topical by NuGene, and the other side with TNS Essential Serum, a human fibroblast-conditioned growth factor formulation by SkinMedica (Allergan).

Researchers instructed patients to apply the topicals twice daily for three months and not to use other products, other than a gentle cleanser and physical sunblock. Using baseline and followup photography with a 3-dimensional imaging system, researchers followed patients at one, two and three months.

They found facial wrinkling improved significantly, compared to baseline, and results were similar for both products, with improvements beginning at month two and persisting to the study’s end. The study’s blinded investigator reported wrinkles, skin texture and firmness improved from 29% to 41% at three months. Patients reported degrees of improvements ranging from 38% to 54%.

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These findings add to a growing body of literature demonstrating the clinical efficacy of topical growth factors, but gaps in knowledge remain, the authors write.

Study author Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., volunteer clinical professor of dermatology at University of California, San Diego, and medical director of West Dermatology, in San Diego, says dermatologists might not know that NuGene is another growth factor-based skincare treatment which, like SkinMedica, is safe and effective. He says he recommends both in practice.

“In addition to advising patients to use these products every day, we especially encourage their use after any laser procedure to speed up new collagen formation and help up-regulate fibroblastic function,” Dr. Goldman says.

Disclosure: Dr. Goldman is a consultant for Nuderm and SkinMedica. Nuderm funded the study.

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