Join Clinical Trials for Wrinkles
Skin wrinkles naturally occur as part of the aging process, however, they tend to be most prominent on areas of skin that have received increased sun exposure over time. Such areas include the face, neck, hands, and forearms. They can also be caused by smoking, repetitive facial expressions, and malnutrition.
Due to their prominence in some of the body’s most outwardly-visible areas, many individuals seek out ways to decrease the appearance of their wrinkles, or even eliminate them altogether. Today there are a number of therapies available for such purposes, including medications, skin resurfacing procedures, injections, and surgery.
As graceful aging gains popularity and more people turn to medicinal or surgical interventions to slow the progression of their wrinkles, researchers are hard at work refining existing treatments and drugs, as well as searching for new and better methods of improving the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
What Will A Clinical Trial For Wrinkles Be Like?
The types of procedures used in wrinkle-related clinical trials will ultimately depend on the specific nature of the study and what type of treatment is being studied. Provided below is a list of common procedures, tests, and assessments that may be incorporated into such clinical trials:
- Detailed physical examination
- Photographs of your wrinkles to document before-and-after progress of treatment
- Topical prescription medications that contain derivatives of vitamin A
- Non-prescription anti-wrinkle creams
- Surgical procedures such as a face-lift, in which the excess skin and fat in the lower face is removed and the underlying muscles and connective tissues are tightened.
- Skin resurfacing techniques such as the following:
- Dermabrasion: a procedure by which the top layer of skin is “sanded-down” by a brush that rotates rapidly, causing a new top layer of skin to re-grow.
- Microdermabrasion: a procedure similar to dermabrasion, but involves the use of vacuum suction and targeted blasting with aluminum oxide crystals.
- Laser and radiofrequency treatments: these methods also remove the top layer of skin, but also heat the underlying skin in order to promote the growth of collagen.
- Chemical peels: a procedure by which a mild acid is applied to affected areas. The acid burns the outer layer of the skin, which is eventually replaced by a new layer.
- Botox (botulinum toxin type A): this procedure involves the use of injecting tiny amounts of botulism toxin into specific muscles, which prevents the muscles from contracting. This leads to flatter and smoother-appearing skin.
- Soft tissue fillers: these techniques involve the injection of fat, collagen and mild acids into deep wrinkles, which plumps the skin and gives it more volume.
- You may be asked to complete a questionnaire to determine how much of an impact your wrinkles have on your emotional-well being, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
- Dietary interventions
- Smoking cessation interventions
- Vitamin supplements
Typical Wrinkle-Related Clinical Trial Protocol:
Specific examples of clinical trials for wrinkles might include the following:
- A randomized clinical trial in which smokers with significant neck wrinkles are randomized to receive a newly-developed biological drug or a placebo, to determine if the new drug is able to decrease the appearance of neck wrinkles in smokers when used daily for a three month period. In such a study, before and after photos would be taken and evaluated by study physicians to objectively document the efficacy of the drug.
- A clinical trial to determine if using a vitamin A-derived facial cream following dermabrasion is more effective at improving the look of wrinkles than simple dermabrasion alone in women over the age of 50 with moderate to severe facial wrinkles.
- A study to determine the safety and efficacy of using Botox to treat facial-expression related wrinkles around the corners of the mouth and eyes.
- A study designed to evaluate the utility of a newly-developed tool for grading and rating the appearance of wrinkles and uneven skin color.
A brief word about randomized trials and placebos:
Many clinical trials involve the comparison of an investigational treatment to a “standard” treatment. Some studies determine which therapy a patient receives through a process known as randomization, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive either the investigational treatment or the standard treatment.
On occasion, a trial will investigate the use of a standard treatment plus a new drug compared to standard treatment plus a placebo. Placebos are inactive or “sham” treatments that are identical in appearance to the active treatment but have no therapeutic value.
Placebos are necessary to help determine if adverse effects that occur during the clinical trial are the result of the investigational treatment or due to some other factor. They also allow researchers to measure the effects of the active treatment and observe what would have happened without it.
In rare instances where no standard therapy exists, or when a new drug or therapy is being investigated, the investigational treatment might be compared to a placebo alone. In these types of trials, those patients who are randomized to the placebo group do not receive an active treatment.
It is important to know that placebo-only trials are only conducted when scientifically necessary and when patients have been adequately informed that they may end up receiving the placebo rather than the active treatment.
It is very important to note, however, that no one should ever participate in such a placebo trial when there is a widely available and highly effective standard treatment already in existence for their particular disease or condition.
Trial Eligibility and Medical Information Needed:
The type of clinical trial you may be eligible for often depends on many factors. Therefore, it is important to know as many details as possible with regard to your specific circumstances when searching for clinical trials. Examples of information you may want to have on hand include the following:
- Your prior and current diagnoses of any other health conditions or diseases
- Your current medications (including vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements)
Suggested Search Terms:
“wrinkle treatment,” “wrinkle prevention,” “wrinkle surgery,” “skin resurfacing,” “wrinkles vitamins,” “wrinkles sun exposure,” “wrinkles smoking,” “eye wrinkles,” “face wrinkles,” and “neck wrinkles.”
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