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Acne drug smooths wrinkles.

Acne drug smooths wrinkles

Within the past few years, scientists have been testing whether an acne treatment containing a vitamin A relative called tretinoin can reduce the wrinkles and discoloration characteristic of sun damage -- and thus slow the skin's aging process. Last week, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor announced the results from the first tightly controlled study of tretinoin's effects on skin aging. As described in the Jan. 22 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, neither patients nor researchers knew whether tretinoin-containing cream or one without the compound was being used. After 16 weeks of treatment, the 30 subjects treated with tretinoin showed "statistically significant" changes in cell growth of forearm skin, say the scientists. The photo on the left is of a cross-section of skin before treatment; that on the right was taken after therapy. The arrow points to a layer of material that, by increasing in thickness, is thought to help tighten and therefore smooth the skin. The underlying layer of epidermis cells also is thicker, apparently reducing wrinkles. In addition to fewer wrinkles and rosier skin, treated patients had freckle-fading and less of the atypical cell growth that might be related to skin cancer. An editorial accompanying the article, however, cautions that the small study is too limited in scope to determine long-range effects, and that staying out of the sun is still the best medicine.
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Title Annotation:tretinoin's effect on skin aging
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 30, 1988
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