JOURNAL ARTICLE

Topical Human Epidermal Growth Factor in the Treatment of Senile Purpura and the Prevention of Dermatoporosis

Braden McKnight, Rachel Seidel, Ron Moy
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: JDD 2015, 14 (10): 1147-50
26461827

BACKGROUND: Senile purpura presents itself as a largely unexplored challenge as it has been long thought of as a benign condition without long-term health sequelae. It is becoming increasingly accepted that skin aging not only results in cosmetic disturbances, but as a functional ones. With modern increases in lifespan, skin atrophy associated with solar damage is presenting as a clinically significant inability to mechanically protect patients. This chronic cutaneous insufficiency/fragility syndrome was recently termed dermatoporosis and senile purpura appears to be a visible marker of early stage dysfunction.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of topically human epidermal growth factor on the clinical presence of senile purpura and its effect on skin thickness as measured via cutaneous ultrasound.

METHODS: Six subjects applied human epidermal growth factor morning and night for six weeks. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by comparing initial clinical photos to 6-week photos and performing a blinded investigator's global assessment (IGA). Skin thickness was evaluated via cutaneous ultrasound measurement.

RESULTS: Ultrasound measurements indicated a mean skin thickening of 195.2 ± 35.7 um (SEM) over 6 weeks. The average number of purpuric lesions decreased from 15 ± 4.6 (SEM) to 2.3 ± 0.7 (SEM) over that same period.

CONCLUSION: Senile purpura presents itself as a cosmetic disturbance posing significant psychological distress and serves as a marker of the severity of skin thinning. In this study, we demonstrate that topical h-EGF diminishes the appearance of senile purpura by thickening skin and may help prevent the development of late stage dermatoporosis.

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