At Hyper Healing, we are always learning about new advanced therapies and progressive procedures that can contribute to healing our patients quickly and completely. One of these advanced procedures includes the use of stem cells in wound rehabilitation. We wanted to take a moment to share background information about the skin, and the definition of what constitutes a wound in order to explain how stem cells work in wound rehabilitation.
Wound care is the core of what we do at Hyper Healing. In order to understand what makes a wound we have to start with an understanding of the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis is the top layer of the skin, below that is the dermis, which is the thickest layer of the three. The dermis is the layer of the skin that accounts for most of the skin’s mechanical properties and resilience. The bottom layer of the skin, the hypodermis, allows for insulation and cushioning between the skin and the bone and muscle. These three layers of the skin all work together to act as a barrier and to protect the body from various elements such as moisture, the cold, sun rays, germs and toxic substances.
In order to maintain our health, we rely on our skin’s ability to heal. The wound healing process typically consists through sequential and overlapping phases of inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. This ability to heal seems to diminish with age, certain lifestyle choices such as smoking, and other underlying conditions such as diabetes.
The point where we become wounded and our skin is unable to heal itself is when additional therapies become necessary. A wound is defined as “a disruption of normal anatomic structure and function.” If these functions are unable to restore on their own, certain procedures and surgeries may become necessary. In the past, various types of skin grafts and skin substitutes have been used in an effort to help heal wounds. While these procedures are still used today, there is also a case to be made for stem cell use in wound rehabilitation.
Stem cells are specialized, undifferentiated cells that are potent and have the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types. They are also capable of self-renewal and can undergo multiple cycles of cell division while remaining undifferentiated. Stem cells in particular can be characterized by the capacity for prolonged self renewal and the ability to differentiate into mature stages.
When stem cells are involved in the wound healing process they can enhance the wound healing by helping to control immunity and accelerate the closure of the wound. Stem cells found in the dermis and hair follicles are typically believed to assist in wound repair up until a certain point. In cases where the loss of skin is extensive, stem cells derived from bone marrow known as mesenchymal cells, are believed to contribute to wound healing. Stem cell-assisted wound healing is also considered a potentially therapeutic approach for treating wounds that are healing impaired because they can help increase various growth factors and blood circulation.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, skin tissue engineering technologies can provide a number of alternatives to traditional skin grafting, it is still not considered a perfect healing treatment. Still, researchers continue to conclude that stem cells have great potential for use in accelerating wound repair, regeneration, and healing.
If you have a wound that either shows no healing progress within two weeks, or has not completely healed in six weeks, contact Hyper Healing for an evaluation to determine the underlying reasons for the delayed healing. We offer a wide variety of services to help you on your journey to complete healing.