The gradual loss of epidermis and dermis—skin atrophy—is clinically important because aging skin is more fragile and heals slower than young skin and is also prone to ulceration. No-one knows why skin atrophy occurs, but it is becoming more common as people live longer, and there is no effective treatment for it. One characteristic of atrophic skin is that, compared to normal skin, it contains less hyaluronate—a large carbohydrate component of the extracellular matrix, the material that surrounds cells. Results of a new study in PLoS Medicine provide the first indications that application of hyaluronate to atrophic skin might be useful therapeutically and suggest that clinical investigation is warranted.
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Citation: Kaya G, Tran CT, Sorg O, Hotz R, Grand D. et al. (2006) Hyaluronate fragments reverse skin atrophy by a CD44-dependent mechanism. PLoS Med 3(12): e493.
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- Caption: Restoration of skin thickness by HAFi. Atrophic skin in an elderly indivudual before (left) and after 1 month of topical application of a 1% HAFi solution (right). (Photographer: José Fraga)
University Hospital of Geneva
Department of Dermatology
Geneva, 1211 Switzerland
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PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org
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