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Research Shows Photodynamic Therapy May Be Helpful for the Skin

Posted: October 28, 2008

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The study represents the latest example of U-M's human appearance research program's unraveling of the mechanisms by which popular treatments improve the appearance of the skin, Orringer notes. The group has studied the treatment of sun-damaged skin with estrogen, the science behind wrinkle treatments, the effects of smoking on aging skin, and more.

Photodynamic therapy has been used as a treatment for precancerous lesions called actinic keratoses and for some types of skin cancer, but little scientific research has been conducted about its use in appearance-oriented dermatology. Future studies are needed to gauge whether the improvements shown in the forearm skin in this study can be replicated on facial skin.

Authors: In addition to Orringer, authors of the paper—all from the U-M Department of Dermatology—were senior author John J. Voorhees, MD, FRCP, Duncan and Ella Poth Distinguished Professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology; Craig Hammerberg, PhD, laboratory manager; Ted Hamilton, MS, senior research associate; Timothy M. Johnson, MD, professor and director of the Cutaneous Surgery and Oncology Unit and the Melanoma Clinic; Sewon Kang, MD, formerly a professor of dermatology at U-M; Dana L. Sachs, MD, associate professor; and Gary Fisher, PhD, Harry Helfman Professor of Molecular Dermatology.

Funding: The study was funded by the Human Appearance Research Program (HARP) of the U-M Department of Dermatology.

Journal reference: "Molecular Effects of Photodynamic Therapy for Photoaging," Archives of Dermatology, Vol. 144, No. 10, October 2008