Our age shows on our bodies. One of the most obvious signs of aging is a depletion of external radiance. For most people, the skin begins to sag, thin, and develop age spots; the hair gets coarse or very fine, turns grey, or falls out; and the brightness slowly disappears from our appearance. This is usually accepted as a normal cost of growing older. But there is promising evidence that it might not need to be everyone’s fate.
Stem Cell Therapy
The elasticity and tone of the skin is maintained by the epidermal stem cells. Stem cells are master cells of the body, cells that are capable of both self-renewal and the production of healthy cells of the same tissue type.
Younger people have a multitude of stem cells. For them, skin regeneration is easy, and the skin remains radiant, elastic, and plump. As hair grows and falls out or is cut, it is replaced by equally lustrous fresh hair cells. But as we age, we have fewer and fewer stem cells for these regenerative process. It seems that the signs of aging are directly related to a reduction in available stem cells. And if we suffer from a disease, burn, or other skin challenge, we need stem cells to facilitate healing.
The theory behind using stem cell therapy to treat the external signs of aging is that if we increase the number of circulating epidermal skin cells, we should be able to retain or restore youthfulness of the skin and hair.
Positive Stem Cell Therapy Results
Patients who have undergone experimental stem cell therapies for improving their appearances have usually reported incredible results. Anecdotal evidence indicates that these treatments improve skin texture and tone and increase skin elasticity. The treatments also seem to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Patients report less bruising, and that their skin glows after a few weeks.
In many cases, the hair regains its original texture and reverts from grey to its original natural color. Hair even begins to grow again in areas that had become bald. There is an overall improvement in appearance, with most patients indicating that they look and feel years younger after the treatments.
Types of Stem Cell Therapy for External Beauty
There are a few ways that stem cells are used to inspire regeneration in the skin and hair. Some treatments involve simply using an IV drip to deliver stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood. Specific stem cell growth factors are then injected to coax the stem cells to increase overall youthfulness and target the epidermal cells.
A more effective method is specialized transplantation. This is where extractions from the patient’s own abdominal adipose tissue (belly fat) are used to develop epidermal stem cells. These cells are then injected locally into the face, hands, cleavage, or other area where a more youthful appearance is desired.
Patients treated with this method show improvements in the contours and soft tissue of the skin. Once the transplant occurs, the skin and underlying fatty layers are induced to produce more stem cells on their own. This means that unlike conventional plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures, one stem cell therapy session may be enough to create a more youthful appearance for years to come.
Using adult stem cells transplanted from the patient may prove more effective than embryonic or cord stem cells, because they are already programmed with the necessary adult hormones.
This method is also used to inspire hair growth. Cells from parts of the head that still grow hair are extracted and transplanted to the bald spots, with accompanying stem cell growth factors.
Other stem cell treatments include the use of topical creams that use human or plant derived stem cells. There is little evidence that plant-derived stem cells provide much benefit, aside from the antioxidant free-radical protection that supports the skin’s health and resiliency.
But if the human-derived creams have a high enough concentration of stem cells and stem cell growth factors, they can encourage a more radiant, youthful appearance and some minimal stem cell production in the face upon which they are applied.
Stem cell therapy for the skin and hair is still a new field, and there is a lot of hype with only minimal scientific evidence. But initial reports indicate that in many cases the skin and hair can be renewed and regenerated with certain types of stem cell therapy. It is promising to discover that we no longer need to be at the mercy of the ravages of time. Stem cell therapy may hold the key to retaining a youthful, radiant appearance well into old age, or regaining a clear and vibrant face after a burn or illness.