Researchers indicate that a new treatment researched throughout 2013 may help to address hair loss in humans. An update on Follica shows that trials on men and mice have shown a significant increase in the regeneration of hair follicles that could help to treat hair loss. This is due to the increase in skin perturbation which peels back the top layers of the scalp, allowing the remaining skin cells to act like stem cells. These cells can then be treated with a topical solution that re-programs them so they will reproduce hair in areas that were originally completely bald. Follica treatments currently claim that they will be able to completely eliminate male pattern baldness in those that are suffering from the condition.
Update on Follica with Existing Hair Treatments
There are currently a variety of ways to manage male pattern baldness, but each comes with criticisms or issues that men do not want to deal with. Current formulas that help to re-grow hair use a chemical known as minoxidil which helps to keep the hair follicles from shrinking. Shrinking hair follicles will choke existing hairs so they eventually die off and fall out. Another chemical, propecia helps stop the conversion of testosterone to DHT which limits the hair’s ability to get the nutrients it needs to grow. Hair grafts and toupees can successfully mask hair loss, but those that undergo these methods are often concerned that they will be ridiculed because it will be obvious that the results they have achieved are artificial.
The update on Follica is in line with many scientific discoveries that have come from a variety of improvements in being able to re-program cells to perform different purposes. In the past, flexible cells such as muscles have been able to be re-programmed to act as heart or muscle tissue to repair significant damage to these areas. Follica has been licensed and researched through the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine to perform a similar function on skin cells, not only helping to prevent hair loss but in theory may be able to reverse the effects of hair loss on areas that are experiencing the full effects of male pattern baldness.
Historical Update on Follica
The first update on Follica was a continuation of research from the 1950s which found a way to grow hair on wounded areas of mice and rabbits. While this original research was eventually discredited, George Cotsarelis at the University of Pennsylvania found a way to grow hairs on small cuts on adult mice. It was discovered that wounding the skin caused the cells to dedifferentiate which created a small window where scientists could re-program these cells to act in a way that they desired. Follica takes advantage of this science by teaching the skin cells to generate hair follicles that will grow hair the way the skin naturally would in areas that were not affected by baldness. If the treatment can be administered as anticipated, it will be minimally invasive and effective in erasing all effects of baldness.
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