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Boosting collagen production for younger-looking skin

A new skin product called Rejuran, which contains PolyNucleotides, has delivered impressive results

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(Left): 3D structure of PolyNucleotides showing its scaffold- like structure under electron microscopy. (Right): Placement of PolyNucleotides into the skin.

IN RECENT years, bio-active molecules derived from multi-potential cells, such as stem cells or germ cells, extracted either from human or animal sources have been at the forefront of research and medical use.

Among the plethora of bio-active molecules, PolyNucleotides (PN) have recently been highly talked about. It is a ubiquitous molecule found in the germ cells of humans and animals. PN has a scaffold-like 3-dimensional structure that can be easily and more cheaply obtained from its sources, as compared to stem cells.

PN has near-miraculous tissue repair, anti-ischaemic and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Recent trials have shown promising results in treatments of severe burns, diabetes-impaired hard-to-heal wounds, chronic inflammatory diseases and many more.

Recent applications in Aesthetic Medicine and Plastic Surgery have also shown promising results in stimulation of fibroblast function (collagen production) along with synthesis of scaffolding proteins to keep collagen in place. These effects will subsequently result in significant improvement in skin texture and reduction in wrinkle depth.

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PN also triggers many other processes of renewal, restoration and growth, making the cells that they affect become more resilient to damage that can cause premature ageing of skin. PN imparts the skin with much enhanced healing time and protection from damage.

About PolyNucleotides

For those who are savvy in the latest aesthetic treatments, Rejuran has become a buzzword among fans of dewy skin and flawless complexions. Rejuran, or its name in full glory: Rejuran PolyNucleotide, is a brand name of an anti-ageing, micro-injectable containing ultra-purified salmon-germ-cell-derived PolyNucleotides.

Its biological effects include:

* Anti-inflammatory effects on sensitive, inflamed skin;

* Induction of growth factors for fibroblasts (collagen-making cells) to build collagen; and,

* Improves skin micro-circulation through increased vascular growth factors (VEGF).

With these effects, doctors can treat patients with reactive skin that often occurs post-acne, treat damaged skin and acne scars, and improve fine lines and skin that has become dehydrated and wrinkly. As PN has high affinity for water, skin hydration is much improved - resulting in better skin hydration and reduced wrinkles and large pores. It signals a paradigm shift in the way patients want to be treated aesthetically. Instead of getting themselves makeovers with Botox and fillers, many of them have, instead, requested for Rejuran. Think of the combined effects of the hydrating power of SkinBooster, wrinkle-busting Botox and stem-cell-growth-factor treatments all packed into one syringe.

Are PN injections safe?

Rejuran PolyNucleotide is proven to be safe for injections into the skin. The composition of Rejuran products is 2 per cent PolyNucleotide and 98 per cent highly purified water and pH-regulators. Unlike fillers, Rejuran injections do not cause unintended tissue necrosis (tissue death) or blindness.

Furthermore, Rejuran PolyNucleotide products are manufactured under extremely strict and sterile CGMP processes to ensure safety and purity of their products. It is manufactured in South Korea - the Korean FDA ensures the quality of drug products by carefully monitoring drug manufacturers' compliance with its Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations.

How can PN be delivered into the skin?

The best results can be seen when PN is injected, by hand, into the sub-dermal layers of the skin. This allows larger doses of PN to be deposited into areas of concern such as to treat acne-scarred tissues, damaged or aged skin. However, this method of injection will have transient, tiny bumps on the skin that will last for 2-3 days.

Some patients who are averse to pain may prefer an automated injector gun that delivers small but even doses of PN into the superficial layer of the skin. This method of delivery has very minimal discomfort and has less downtime - usually small, red spots that disappear within hours of injection. As an added benefit, the skin micro-needling also stimulates collagen production and repair. For the comfort of patients, application of a numbing cream for a good 30 minutes is done prior to the treatment. In most cases, the treatment time may range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the technique used and areas treated. As with most injectable treatments, their side effects will be:

* Tiny spots of induration (hardening) immediately after treatment - usually resolves within hours after treatment;

* Transient appearance of swelling at injection sites, which may resolve within two to three days;

* Mild bruising from injections that resolves within a few days.

Who will benefit most from PN treatment?

Treatment with PN is suitable for almost anyone of any age and gender, who may have the following skin issues or aesthetic requirements:

* Thin and damaged skin due to ageing, frequent sun-exposure, dehydration and poor skin-care;

* Fine lines on the face or on specific areas such as areas under the eyes;

* Moderate to severe acne resulting in fatigued, atrophic acne-scarred skin (done in conjunction with a laser to resurface the skin);

* Oily or dry skin with large, visible pores (re-balances oil-sebum level); and,

* Want to improve skin quality and skin hydration, in the absence of any skin problems.

What are the expected effects from PN treatment?

In my counselling of patients receiving this treatment, expectations need to be managed. Most patients expect immediate results and lasting dewy hydrating effects from a single session of this treatment - this is not always the case.

Patients receiving Rejuran PolyNucleotide treatments should understand the following:

* It is NOT meant for augmentation of the face (unlike fillers) - hence, there will not be any drastic, alteration to the appearance of the face.

* It is a healer of damaged skin - hence, it will take four to six weeks of healing processes to take effect.

For optimal repair and rejuvenation of the skin, a loading course of three to four treatments in three-week intervals, followed by three to six monthly maintenance treatments. This will impart a sustained and long-lasting healing effect.

Speak to your doctor about this treatment -- I would advise seeking treatment from trusted, experienced doctors who have been trained to inject Rejuran PolyNucleotide. Treatments involving injections require doctors to perform - hence Rejuran treatments should never be offered at beauty centres or at a spa.

Disclaimer: Dr Looi has written this article independently, without any association with or financial support from Rejuran or its manufacturer.

  • Dr Christopher Looi helms the mantle of Medical Director at Q Aesthetics Clinic. He is a double degree holder - his primary undergraduate degree being a Bachelor's Science Degree in Microbiology (Canada); and his medical degree from University College Dublin (Ireland).
    He is fully accredited for all lasers, energy-based devices, non-invasive and minimally invasive aesthetic treatments by the Aesthetic Dermatology Education Group (ADEG), sanctioned by Singapore Medical Council (SMC). He is an alumni of the prestigious Allergan Medical Institute (AMI). Dr Looi is also an active Executive Committee member in the Society of Aesthetic Medicine that represents aesthetic medicine practitioners in Singapore.

This series is produced on alternate Saturdays in collaboration with Q Aesthetics Clinic.