Can Your Skin Cells Turn Into Stem Cells?
Researchers may have found a way to turn your skin cells into stem cells that can heal other parts of your body.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells with the potential to specialize into many different types of tissue. Embryo stem cells are those taken from human fertilized eggs, which is why they're so controversial. But even when you're an adult, your body still makes stem cells with the potential to specialize into various types of tissues. For example, adult stem cells can differentiate into muscle cells when implanted in atrophied muscle tissue – the same goes for nerve tissue.
According to Dr. Gaurav K. Goswani, M.D., founder of PreciseCare, adult stem cell therapy can treat sports injuries, joint pain, arthritis, vertebral compression fractures, back pain, tendonitis, gout, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. He explains there are three main steps to adult stem cell therapy: first your stem cells are harvested, and further isolated from the extracted tissue. Then a simple injection of the pure stem cells into the target tissue. He emphasizes that all steps must be done on the same day in order to lessen risks and complications.
But before now, doctors could only harvest adult stem cells from bone marrow, blood, and fat. Now researchers have been successful in forcing mouse skin cells into regressing back to stem cells by using special proteins called transcription factors. The key to their research is using more than four types of transcription factors. They succeeded in turning specialized mouse skin cells into undifferentiated stem cells that have the possibility to differentiate into other tissue cells and not just skin cells.
This research greatly advances adult stem cell therapy because it makes the three-step process less invasive. Instead of having to perform surgery to reach your bone marrow, or perform liposuction to harvest stem cells from your fat, they can simply make a superficial incision into your skin and produce stem cells from there. This means less possible risks and complications, while also lowering the cost of the therapy itself.
If you're dealing with chronic pain or a condition that conventional medicine has a hard time treating, ask your doctor about adult stem cell therapy.