Harper's BAZAAR - US
SHOULD YOU INJECT STEM CELLS Image Credit: Harper's BAZAAR - US
SHOULD YOU INJECT STEM CELLS Image Credit: Harper's BAZAAR - US

Should You Inject Stem Cells?

Controversial new rejuvenation treatments use umbilical cord cells.

Emily Listfield

RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND what they hope is the next big breakthrough in the ongoing search for younger-looking skin—stem cells from the umbilical cords of newborn babies. While dermatologists have been using cells from patients’ own blood for their purported rejuvenating powers for years (see Vampire Facials), they have high hopes for umbilical-cord stem cells because they’re, well, younger. “Umbilical stem cells are brand-new, and they are multipotent, meaning they can take on the characteristics of tissue they come into contact with,” says Mark B. Taylor, M.D., a Salt Lake City dermatologist and cosmetic laser surgeon who is currently leading pilot studies that use umbilical-cord stem cells for skin rejuvenation, vaginal rejuvenation, and hair regrowth. “They’re like a new car—they drive better.” That such a range of uses is possible is a testament to the power of multipotent cells. When they are placed in the skin after a collagen-stimulating treatment (i.e., laser or micro-needling), they become ambitious little copycats and begin producing collagen too, or so the theory goes. When the stem cells are injected into the scalp, their natural growth factors can stimulate hair regrowth, and, used in conjunction with facial fillers, they appear to work synergistically to regenerate healthier skin, build collagen, and regulate melanin. Multipotency also explains why they can’t suddenly make up their nascent minds to gr


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