In yesterday's keynote address to the 19th World Dermatology Congress, renowned dermatologist Dr. Saad Sami AlSogair noted that the past could hold the key to the future of anti-aging.
Dr. AlSogair's presentation to a packed house, titled "Anti-Aging Potentials of Methylene Blue for Human Skin Longevity," provided compelling evidence of methylene blue's ability to delay aging-related mitochondrial dysfunction and stimulate collagen and elastin. Together, these factors point to an anti-aging breakthrough nearly 150 years in the making.
"Methylene blue was first synthesized in 1876 and has been in use in clinical medicine ever since," Dr. AlSogair explained. "It is a powerful antioxidant and has proven effective in treating a variety of conditions from malaria to Alzheimer's disease, with a very low risk of side effects. But, it is only recently that methylene blue has been shown to be a promising treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction, which causes a wide variety of diseases and problems, including visible aging of the skin."
Dr. AlSogair, a board-certified dermatologist from Saudi Arabia, was tapped to deliver the keynote due to his prominence in the medical community. In 2013, the World Organization of Aesthetic Medicine Doctors named Dr. AlSogair "Dermatologist of the Year" for outstanding contributions to his field. In 2015, the Swiss Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine elected Dr. AlSogair as its Middle East Ambassador. And since 2016, Dr. AlSogair has served as vice president of the Middle East International Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine Conference and Exhibition (MEIDAM).
Among Dr. AlSogair's findings: Methylene blue can delay the deterioration that was once thought to be an unavoidable sign of aging. Methylene blue has been shown to enhance cellular oxygen consumption--a key weapon in the fight against free radicals--by 37% to 70%. It is highly soluble in both water and organic solvents with a low redox potential.
In the most promising and buzz-worthy part of his keynote, Dr. AlSogair informed the crowd that methylene blue actually reverses aging, has a neuroprotective effect on Alzheimer's patients, extended the life of female mice by 6%, and showed promise in the treatment of progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes rapid-aging in children.
What's more, when applied to a 3D skin model, methylene blue promoted wound healing, increased skin hydration, and thickened the skin to a more youthful depth. But one of the most exciting dermatological findings learned was centered on one of the most obvious--and reviled--signs of aging: Wrinkles.
"Wrinkling is a highly visible feature of aged skin, and in the dermatology field, it is one of the top reasons patients seek treatment," Dr. AlSogair explained. "Skin wrinkling in aging is due to a reduction in collagen. Upon treatment with methylene blue, however, we see an increase in collagen production and skin hydration, as well as the prevention of collagen degradation. Taken together, our findings indicate methylene blue has promise in anti-aging cosmetic formulations."
The 19th World Dermatology Congress was held in Tokyo on May 7th and 8th, 2018. Other prominent speakers were Mexico's Andrea Merino-Ruisanchez, Italy's Roberto Dell'Avanzato, and China's Yan Li.