Virtually every teenager goes through it. Some continue to experience it well into adulthood, dealing with the condition in middle-age and their senior years. What are we talking about? Acne. It is a condition so prevalent that most of us don't give it a second thought. But new research suggests there may be a way to treat it via stem cell therapy.
Apparently, a group of researchers from the Cosmetic Acupuncture Academy (CAA) recently presented their findings at a medical research gathering in California. Their research suggests that stem cells can be used for a wide range of facial rejuvenation treatments including those addressing acne, scarring, and wrinkles.
Aesthetic stem cell treatments are not new, according to Utah-based Apex Biologix. They say that doctors have been offering aesthetic regenerative medicine procedures for years. The procedures are only just beginning to receive media attention thanks to a sudden interest in what is known as the 'vampire facial'.
Stem Cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma
The study in question apparently looked at stem cell injections compared to both Botox and PRP therapy for dealing with aesthetic issues. Researchers gathered data that seems to show good support for both stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in helping rejuvenate the skin by increasing blood flow and promoting new collagen production.
Stem cells are cells that naturally occur in the body. Certain kinds of stem cells are capable of differentiating into various kinds of tissue. It is believed that injecting autologous stem cells into the skin encourages the body to naturally heal itself of the damage caused by age and environmental exposure.
PRP therapy works on the same basic principle but from a different angle. PRP contains an unusually high volume of blood platelets and their associated growth factors. Injecting them into the skin at strategic locations increases blood flow accordingly. The growth factors signal the body to begin repairing damaged cells, thus leading to more healthy skin cells and more collagen.
Plenty of Anecdotal Evidence
Despite the findings of the California researchers, the amount of clinical evidence proving the efficacy of stem cell and PRP therapy for aesthetic medicine is limited. The good news is that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence in support.
Doctors across the country already treat aesthetic issues with stem cells and PRP. Many of their patients are reporting good results. Patients are noticing fewer wrinkles, less prominent scarring, and better overall appearance of the skin. Most importantly, the procedures are safe.
How a Typical Procedure Works
If you were to undergo a procedure to treat persistent acne, it would be pretty basic from a medical standpoint. First, your doctor would discuss the procedure with you. You would both have to agree that it's the right way to go.
The procedure itself would begin with an extraction of either blood or adipose fat tissue. Both materials can be extracted with a needle, in much the same way blood samples are taken. The extracted material would then be processed in a centrifuge to separate either the stem cells or blood platelets.
Processed material would be applied by either injections or microneedling. The microneedling procedure is what produces the look associated with the vampire facial. At any rate, everything is wrapped up in short order. You would resume your daily activities and wait to see the results.
Evidence in support of stem cell and PRP therapy as a treatment for acne and other aesthetic issues is slowly but surely growing. Who knows? The two procedures may become the standard for treating aesthetic issues in the future.