Reflections on how wound healing-promoting effects of the hair follicle can be translated into clinical practice

    November 2014 in “Experimental Dermatology
    Francisco Jimenez, Enrique Poblet, Ander Izeta
    Image of study
    TLDR Hair follicles can help wounds heal faster and this knowledge could be used to treat chronic skin ulcers, with a potential use of a special stem cell hydrogel to enhance healing.
    Eight years ago, a paper discussed the role of hair follicles in wound healing, noting that hair-bearing areas tend to heal faster due to mechanisms like the migration of epithelial follicular stem cells aiding in wound re-epithelialization. The authors suggested that this knowledge could be used in therapeutic applications, especially for chronic leg ulcers. A pilot study showed a 27% ulcer area reduction with scalp hair grafting, with improvements in 7 out of 10 cases. The study also found that patient age doesn't significantly alter the density of bulge hair follicle stem cells, suggesting their use in chronic wounds of elderly patients. The paper concluded that future strategies should focus on using this knowledge in treating chronic cutaneous ulcers and mentioned the potential of a hydrogel formulation composed of LGR6+ follicular stem cells to enhance wound healing.
    View this study on onlinelibrary.wiley.com →

    Cited in this study

    Related

      Epithelial stem cells and implications for wound repair

      research Epithelial stem cells and implications for wound repair

      156 citations ,   December 2012 in “Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology”
      Different types of stem cells in hair follicles play unique roles in wound healing and hair growth, with some stem cells not originating from existing hair follicles but from non-hair follicle cells. WNT signaling and the Lhx2 factor are key in creating new hair follicles.