I recently read an article in the Daily Mail on a new procedure that takes your own cells from behind the ear to treat facial wrinkles. What is this procedure?

The product you asked about is named laviv.

A biopsy of skin is obtained from behind the ear. It is sent to the company. At the company’s lab, dermal fibroblasts are grown from that skin biopsy. Once an adequate amount of dermal fibroblasts are grown and the product is deemed free of infection (this process takes 11-22 weeks), it is shipped back to the physician’s office at which time the injection is performed. In the study, patients required 3 injection sessions separated out approximately 6 weeks apart.

The article from the Daily Mail describes this product as a potential alternative to Botox, but this is inaccurate. Laviv is FDA approved to treat smile lines (the lines from the nose to the corner of the mouth). It adds volume to areas of volume deficiency. It is not like Botox. Botox will diminish appearance of lines formed by muscle movement…forehead line, crow’s feet. Laviv is more similar to an injectable filler.

There is no evidence of this product providing an aesthetic benefit lasting longer than 6 months. Longer term studies are needed.