November 14, 2020

Which skin treatment is right for you?

WHAT’S the buzz about Profhilo? Profhilo is an injectable skin treatment produced by IBSA Farmaceutici, an Italian company. It is recommended for patients afflicted with early skin ageing – that is, skin dryness and loss of elasticity as shown in mild to moderate skin laxity.

Profhilo uses NAHYCO Hybrid Technology, a proprietary process of heat-treating both high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HA) to form hybrid cooperative complexes.

These hybrid cooperative complexes improve skin quality by hydrating the skin, reducing skin laxity through the stimulation of collagen production by means of multi-level dynamic remodelling. They are also more resistant to enzymatic breakdown.

Profhilo needs to be injected into consistent locations of the face and neck – the Bio-Aesthetic Points (BAP) where the hybrid cooperative complexes of HA will naturally spread to the adjacent areas.

Using the BAP technique, with only 10 points for the face or the neck, there is minimal downtime and minimal discomfort. This proves to be a relief for many patients who are averse to discomfort from multiple injections from treatments such as Rejuran or skin boosters. The downtime, if any, would only take a couple of days to subside.

The recommended frequency is two sessions over two months (each session takes about 30 minutes), and maintenance sessions done six months later. This is also a good proposition for those who have hectic schedules and unable to commit to monthly treatments.

How does Profhilo compare to Rejuran?

Rejuran is an injectable containing polynucleotide (PN) derived from salmon DNA, originating solely from South Korea.

The main differences of Rejuran from Profhilo are:

Content: Rejuran does not contain any hyaluronic acid. The main components of Rejuran are water (98 per cent) and polynucleotide (2 per cent).

Function: Rejuran is a healer of damaged tissues by allowing fibroblasts to produce collagen directly on its polynucleotide structure. It has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce post-inflammatory redness. There is only very minimal and short-lived skin hydrating effect.

Rejuran is injected into the superficial layer of the skin either by manual injections or by an automated injector gun. Manual injections create multiple insect-bite-like bumps for about a day. These tend to cause more discomfort and longer downtime (3-4 days, sometimes more).

Injecting Rejuran with an automated injector gun is much less painful and has less downtime of 1-2 days but this depends on individual injector devices. Delivery by injector gun is akin to micro-needling of the skin that further stimulates collagen stimulation – this indirectly improves large pores and acne scars.

The recommended treatment protocol is 3-4 monthly injections, with maintenance treatments after 6 months.

In practice, many patients request Rejuran to be injected monthly, especially when administered comfortably and painlessly by an automated injector gun. This is because visible results are short-lived and will diminish after 2-3 weeks.

How does Profhilo compare to skin boosters?

Skin boosters are injectable hyaluronic acid (HA) meant only to improve skin hydration due to their incredible ability of moisture-holding. A skin booster is capable of holding 10,000 times its own weight of water.

The presence of HA in skin boosters is the only physical similarity of Profhilo. The concentration of HA in skin boosters, however, is much less than that of Profhilo: 20mg HA in skin boosters versus 64mg HA in Profhilo.

The HA molecules in skin boosters are not tightly bound to each other, unlike the hybrid cooperative complexes of Profhilo. Hence, skin booster HA’s are susceptible to breaking down, resulting in its transient skin hydration effects of a few weeks.

To increase skin boosters’ longevity, they needs to be injected monthly over the next 3-4 months, then maintained by further treatments 6 months later.

Like Rejuran, the injections are performed either by manual injection or by an automated injector gun, and multiple injections are required too. The depths of injection of skin boosters and Profhilo are usually deeper than that of Rejuran, thus carrying the risk of bruising.

So, which one is the best treatment?

None of these are perfect aesthetic treatments. Each of them may have their own benefits but they also have their own shortfalls.

However, the best practice is to administer these treatments based on your skin’s unique, individual concerns. Speak to your doctor about your skin concerns and tell him or her clearly about what your aesthetic requirements are.

Written by: Dr Christopher Looi