Not many have thought about this, but a look at most of us shows that virtually every human has one scar that he wishes will just disappear by tomorrow morning, but sadly, we have had to live with them; little wonder many conclude that a scar follows us to the grave, and yes, it actually does, but that could change as a result of this new discovery.
According to George Cotsarelis, a member of the team of researchers and the chairman of the department of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, “essentially, we can manipulate wound healing so that it leads to skin regeneration rather than scarring. The secret is to regenerate hair follicles first. After that, the fat will regenerate in response to the signals from those follicles.”
The main reason scars look different from the regular skin is actually because scar tissue doesn’t contain any fat cells or hair follicles, and if there can be hair follicles, the scar may be forced to take on the look of the rest of the skin.
The type of skin that regenerates over a small, superficial cut is filled with fat cells called adipocytes, and with time, the two are expected to blend into the surrounding skin once the wound has fully healed.
Myofibroblasts are the cells that make up scar tissues, and these contain no fats. So basically, they look completely different afterward even after the wound heals because they don’t blend into the surrounding skin.
The loss of fat cells has been seen as the reason our skins are discolored and we have deep irreversible wrinkles as we age, and that means we could actually be getting closer to the secret of aging.
Scientists have discovered that it’s actually possible to convert myofibroblasts into adipocytes, making it possible for scar tissues to be converted to the regenerated skin as the wound is healing, something that was thought to be possible only in amphibians and fishes.
The group previously released research that shows that fat cells and hair follicles may develop separately but not independently, but after inducing hair follicles to grow in newly forming tissue in mice and lab-grown human skin samples, they discovered that it was actually possible for these to develop together.