Injection of new hair follicles for alopecia
We will share with you the first steps that are being taken in a new treatment against alopecia, based on the injection of stem cells.
Recently, research ofstem cells as a means to treat different illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, dorsal spine lesions and damage to the muscles, among others, has been producing hopeful results.
We are attempting to bring this success to the field of alopecia, where Dr Kevin Mc Elwee and his team in the University of British Columbia in Canada have conducted a research study regarding the injection of stem cells in bald patients, where hair growth has been achieved.
The results of the research were recorded in 19 patients from whom a skin sample was taken from the occipital part of the scalp. The stem cells were treated and separated from this sample and were subject to conditions in the laboratory in which they multiplied. Once the stem cells had multiplied, they were injected under the skin of the patients. The cells that were injected into the skin were capable of providing new hair follicles and achieving new hair growth. In this study, safety, above all, was analysed, the results being highly positive; the observed effects were a transitory burning sensation and no pain was recorded. Despite the results, there is not an adequate amount of data yet. The researchers are attempting to increase the amount of data in a wider test which beganin January 2013.
Doctor Ramón Grimalt, coordinator of the Spanish group of Tricology of AEDV, made the following remarks regarding the study:”As for the effectiveness, some patients will respond well and others not as well. The difference may be in cellular concentration, the factors used in cellular stimulation or the loss of cellular differentiation. This is a 24-month study and only 6 months have passed. It is certain that the study has been conducted on areas where there already was a bit of hair; not on completely bald areas. However, the fact that some patients have responded better than others means that the scientific approach is good, but that we need to perfect the technique”.
Nowadays, the most effective treatments for those with alopecia who would like to recover their hair are the medicine finasteride and hair transplant surgery, whose pros and cons we have already mentioned above.
This new study can give clues regarding the development of an alternative to surgery, which would reduce its less desired effects, such as scars. However, the quality of new hair and the "life" of the hair is still not known, nor are the secondary effects derived from the injection of stem cells which have been subject to extreme conditions to achieve multiplication.
Scalp micropigmentation continues to be an alternative of demonstrated safety and effectiveness. It has a balanced price-quality ratio. It is a tool for those with alopecia who would like to gain in density or achieve a natural, shaved look and who do not wish to undergo surgery or use medication.