Injectable Poly-L-Lactic Acid: A Novel Sculpting Agent for the Treatment of Dermal Fat Atrophy After Severe Acne

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Acne vulgaris affects up to 80% of people 11 to 30 years of age, and scarring can occur for up to 95% of these patients. Scarring may be pitted or hypertrophic in nature, although in most cases it is atrophic. Atrophic acne scarring follows dermal collagen and fat loss after moderate to severe acne infection. Injectable poly-L-acid (PLLA) is a biocompatible, biodegradable, synthetic polymer device that is hypothesized to enhance dermal volume via the endogenous production of fibroblasts and, subsequently, collagen. The gradual improvements in cutaneous volume observed after treatment with injectable PLLA have been noted to last up to 2 years. The case studies presented describe the use of injectable PLLA to correct dermal fat loss in macular atrophic acne scarring of the cheeks. Two female patients underwent three treatment sessions with injectable PLLA over a 12-week period. At each treatment session, the reconstituted product was injected into the deep dermis under the depressed portion of the scar. Both patients were extremely pleased with their results at, respectively, 1- and 4-year follow-up evaluations. Patients experienced minimal swelling and redness after injection and no product-related adverse events such as papule and/or nodule formation. The author believes these data suggest that injectable PLLA is a good treatment option for the correction of macular atropic scarring with thin dermis (off-label use), particularly compared with other injectable fillers currently used for this indication that have shorter durations of effect.

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