CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Anyone on a never-ending quest for younger looking skin now has a new tool to fight off the signs of aging.
The FDA recently approved a new treatment that will fill the lines on the face using the patients own skin cells.
This has been in clinical trials for five or six years and will soon be more widely available.
Dr. Gilly Munavalli, the medical director of Dermatology, Laser and Vein Specialists of the Carolinas, participated in those trials.
"We take the skin cells from behind the ear and send them to a lab. There they are multiplied and sent back so we can inject them into the patients face. By injecting these fibroblasts back into the dermis they can continue to produce collagen and stimulate the cells around them to produce it too," Munavalli said.
The US company that makes this product called laViv, Fibrocell, claims this allows the effects of the injections to last longer.
"Patients say this is a natural alternative because they tell us often they don't want toxins or other unknown substances injected into them. These are their own skin cells," Munavalli said.
The procedure is currently approved to fill the smile lines around the mouth and nose.
Pharmacist Carl Craddock was a part of the clinical trial three years ago.
"I think its held up very well. I've been pleased with it. I think I look better than I did three years ago," Craddock said.
Any negative side effects reported in the trials included some cases of minor injection-site reaction.
The cost is still the outstanding question because the treatment is so new. Dr. Munavalli estimates the laViv treatment will cost patients somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500.
For more information on his clinic where this procedure is performed, click here.