Can wrinkles be "cured"? Yes, says Dr. Nicholas Perricone, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale medical school. He has made his case in two best-selling books, The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals for Supple, Youthful Skin and The Perricone Prescription: A Physician's 28-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation. His critics question his science and the efficacy of his products, which gross $100 million a year. He defends both.
IN THE WRINKLE CURE, YOU SAY, "WRINKLED SAGGING SKIN IS NOT THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF GROWING OLDER. IT'S A DISEASE, AND YOU CAN FIGHT IT." DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?
Yes, certainly. It's the natural consequence of long-term inflammation. since we have the knowledge and the means to decrease that inflammation, then we can alter that process.
HOW DID YOU MAKE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN INFLAMMATION AND AGING SKIN?
When I was studying dermatology, we had to look under the microscope at all skin diseases. I noticed that aging skin always had inflammation. I thought, Inflammation is at the basis of diseases; I think it's at the basis of aging. So I started looking at possible strategies for treating inflammation. In my practice, when patients came in and they had a problem, I treated them with the traditional medicine, but I also treated them on a nutritional level and with ways to decrease inflammation. They always had a better outcome than when using traditional medicine alone.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BOTOX?
I'm much against botox. I don't think it's a good long-term strategy for people to inject this and paralyze their muscles. There are natural ways of getting rid of those lines and wrinkles.
YOUR RECOMMENDED DIET IS BASED ON FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AND COLD-WATER FISH, RIGHT?
Yes, that's the center. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants decrease the bad inflammation in our body and therefore decrease our risk of age-associated diseases and also, I think, decrease the aging process itself. Cold-water fish, of course, is very rich in essential fatty acids.
YOUR SO-CALLED COSMECEUTICALS ARE UNREGULATED BLENDS OF COSMETICS AND PHARMACEUTICALS, SOLD IN UPSCALE DEPARTMENT STORES. TELL ME ABOUT THEM.
They're based on this anti-inflammatory theory. For example, one of the biggest ingredients in the products we sell contains something called DMAE. It is found in cold-water fish and is naturally anti-inflammatory. But when you put it on the skin, it has incredible effects that you can see in 10or 15 minutes, and the effects are cumulative.
HOW MUCH DO THESE PRODUCTS COST?
The top price is $120. The average is $80.
YOUR YALE COLLEAGUE DR. JEFFREY DOVER TOLD PEOPLE MAGAZINE, "THERE'S VERY LITTLE RESEARCH BEHIND [PERRICONE'S] CLAIMS. TO SUGGEST THAT ALTERING YOUR DIET WILL SLOW DOWN THE AGING PROCESS IS NOT BELIEVABLE TO MOST DERMATOLOGISTS."
First of all, how could Jeffrey Dover speak for most dermatologists? has he interviewed them? has he questioned them? has he done a survey? that quote should never have been printed. Secondly, unfortunately, he is not keeping up with the literature.
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE CALLED YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT SALMON "A MODERN SNAKE-OIL PITCH."