Humans do not have exoskeletons to protect them against the impact of external agents. Whenever something cuts us or hits us, our soft external epidermis is our only natural shield. Once it is penetrated, the damage results in a red wound. If the cut is deep enough, we will bear the reminiscence of the accident with us possibly for the entire life as a scar. However, thanks to recent innovative discoveries, our skin will be able to regenerate with no scars, like there was never a wound.
Usually, when our skin is injured, the scarring process starts immediately. This means that the body tries to heal the new vulnerable spot by covering it with some kind of fibrous tissue. This is a natural process of our body activated whenever it is affected by major lesions. However, not all living creatures go through exactly the same experience. Some animals have regenerative properties. These are the only ones that do not need a scarring tissue, but their biological system regrows the skin exactly as it was before the accident.
Scientists are about to crack the secret of regenerative properties. George Cotsarelis, who took part in this research, explained that these attributes could be reproduced in humans too. He discovered that people no longer have to bear any sign of a scar. The solution to the scarring tissue can be just a matter of sequence order. What needs to be healed first is the hair follicle. Once this skin organ comes back to its former state, the fat tissues will respect a neat shape. This way, the new skin will avoid taking the irregular form and will have no scars.
The difference between the regenerated wound and a scar is that the latter uses no hair follicles or fat cells. This is why scientists have to fill a wound with adipose tissue, which is commonly known as fat cells. This means that they managed to find a way to replace myofibroblasts with adipocytes. Myofibroblasts are the cells employed by scarring tissues to cover the wound. Unlike normal skin, they do not comprise of fat cells, namely adipocytes.
The new finding can be a solution to the aging issue too. The marks of the past years like wrinkles are a result of losing the beneficial adipocytes. This lack of substantial cells produces the presence of wrinkles and discoloration. Scientists have to find a way to reproduce such an operation on humans too. However, this is still a major discovery as until now the scientific world believed this procedure was impossible for mammals.
Image source: 1