A Answers (2)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredAdult stem cells exist in almost every tissue in the body, including the hair follicle cells. Wherever they are, stem cells stimulate the regeneration and repair of tissue. Some researchers are experimenting with ways to stimulate hair follicle stem cells to promote hair growth, or, in cases of excess hair growth, to inhibit it.
Ellen Marmur, MD, Dermatology, answered
Housed inside the hair follicle are stem cells, "pluripotential" cells that have the capacity to develop into any kind of cell they're needed to become. They can turn into collagen, skin, or immune cells if necessary, but once they have specialized they can't change again. Stem cells are similar to wild cards played in a game of poker, able to be converted into whatever incarnation will serve us best. In fact, scientists are now investigating the use of skin stem cells as an alternative to human embryonic stem cells in research that has the potential to cure illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and many different cancers. So the skin, this amazing and dynamic organ, will have latent possibilities in exciting medical research that promises to save lives in the future.
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