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5% Topical Alpha Lipoic Acid clinically proven to improve scars

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Short summary - In my research Dr Perricone cites 5% Topical Alpha Lipoic Acid as having improved scars in -

In an open clinical study in the USA, a cream containing 5% lipoic acid did show favourable effect on skin scar formation. (Perricone NV: Topical 5% Alpha Lipoic Acid Cream in the Treatment of Rhtids. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, May/June, p. 218-222, 2000).

See here -

In it (See bold section for summary) -

The dramatic reduction in facial lines caused by the topical application of alpha lipoic acid was unexpected. Some improvement had been seen in the past with the topical application of ascorbyl palmitate, an ester of vitamin C. It is believed, however, that this effect was due to increased collagen production by saturation of fibroblasts with ascorbate. Cellular membrane repair has been attributed to antioxidant administration to tissue.30 Precancerous lesions, such as actinic keratoses, have been eliminated with the use of the antioxidant mesonordihydroguaiaretic acid in a double-blind, vehicle-controlled multicenter study.31 If cytologic atypia can be reversed by the use of topical antioxidants, then it is reasonable to hypothesize that cellular repair of aging skin can also be achieved. Alpha lipoic acid, because of its role in oxidative metabolism, may also impact on cell repair through it effects on mitochondrial energy production. Its antioxidant potential is magnified by solubility in both lipid and aqueous portions of the cell. It is known that dihydrolipoic acid can affect other antioxidants, such as ascorbate, vitamin E, and glutathione, aiding the cell in repair.26 In 1990, it was shown that cellular reactive oxygen intermediates can affect fibroblast proliferation and collagen gene expression.32 Many genes have been shown to be modulated by transcription factor NFκB, and thus alteration of the redox status of the cell by lipoate could facilitate cellular repair.22 Activation of transcription factor AP-1 is also altered by oxidative stress, and it is now known that AP-1 activation is biphasic. This biphasic response is seen at the 2 maxima of AP-1 activation, under extreme oxidative stress and in a powerful reducing environment.33 Thus, alpha lipoic acid may activate AP-1, resulting in the activation of matrix metalloproteinases that can remodel damaged collagen within the dermis. It has been reported that lipoate-through its modification of NFκB activity-has therapeutic roles in diverse pathologic processes. Therapeutic benefits from alpha lipoic acid are reported in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and neurologic conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson disease.22

The apparent improvement in atrophic and hypertrophic scars in the study was unexpected. The activation of transcription factor AP-1, through production of collagenases, could remodel the damaged collagen, resulting in the clinical improvement of scars. A larger study (unpublished results) confirms the efficacy of topical alpha lipoic acid for the treatment of mildly hypertrophic and atrophic scars.

Dr Perricone only sells 3% Alpha Lipoic Acid in the product Face Firming Activator, however a swedish product known as Shi'Jano has a product with 5% Alpha Lipoic Acid. This product is known as Shijano Day & Nght Cream original 50ml.

Here is their research on the product which made it to the British Dermatology Journal of Medicine -

Topical alpha lipoic acid has been gaining ground in anti aging face creams after a Swedish study found that after 12 weeks use of it, average decrease in skin roughness was 50.8%.

In the study, the researchers concluded that "it is indicated that 12 weeks of treatment with a cream containing 5% LA improves clinical characteristics related to photoageing of facial skin", in which LA is shortened symbol for Alpha Lipoic Acid.

The research was actually done on a Swedish cream that is available on the market with the brand name "Jabu´she" in some countries and "Shi'Jano" in others.

According to the cream manufacturer's website, the cream's effectiveness vs. placebo was apparent even after four weeks of use:

Fine wrinkles: 15,5 % improvement vs. 0,4% for placebo.

Deep wrinkles: 13,5 % improvement vs. 2,1 % for placebo.

Skin tightness: 13,3 % improvement vs. - 0,6 % for placebo.

Skin tone: 35 % improvement vs. 5,5 % for placebo.

Bags under eyes: 12,3 % improvement vs. - 2,3 % for placebo.

Pore size: 23,4 % improvement vs. 8,1 % for placebo.

The placebo was identical to the active cream in all aspects but that it did not contain alpha lipoic acid.

In total, the research was conducted for a period of 3 months, in which 33 persons took part. All were of the age groups 40 – 75 years of age.

See -

Randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study on the clinical efficacy of a cream containing 5% alpha-lipoic acid related to photoageing of facial skin. Beitner H. Br J Dermatol. 2003 Oct;149(4):841-9.

In other words, there's clinical proof that Shijano Day & Nght Cream original 50ml could have a significant effect on acne scars over months of treatment.



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heya, I applied 20% Alpha Lipoic Acid (so stronger than this one) to my scars twice daily for about a month and saw absolutely no change whatsoever. sorry.

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