REAL LIFE NEWS: SCIENTISTS DISCOVER HOW TO STOP WOUNDS FROM SCARRING
A papercut heals without leaving a mark, but deeper wounds will scar. But now scientists have worked out how to make wounds heal without leaving a scar.
The trick is to make fresh wounds heal as normal, regenerated skin instead of forming scar tissue. It’s all to do with hair follicles and fat cells. Scar tissue doesn’t contain either of them which is why it looks different from regular skin.
"Essentially, we can manipulate wound healing so that it leads to skin regeneration rather than scarring," said one of the team, George Cotsarelis, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.
"The secret is to regenerate hair follicles first. After that, the fat will regenerate in response to the signals from those follicles."
While this sounds very promising, the experiments that the team have run are only a proof of concept so far. They’ve shown it’s possible in mice and in human skin samples, but seeing it in skin attached to a living person is a very different thing. But it’s a good start, because previously scientists thought this was only possible in fish and amphibians.