New technologies are promising to be able to reduce the most visible after-effects of surgical cosmetic procedures, scarring.
The ability to truly reduce or eliminate scarring after surgery would be a godsend for surgical procedures where scars are visible. The scars are always a negative for the patient and they can become a focus that lessens the results that the surgery actually delivered. The current crop of lotions and potions have some effect, but some form of aggressive wound healing that minimized or eliminated scars would be an optimal outcome for any procedure.
In the article by published last year in the Science magazine, a research team found that they were able to reprogram fat from myofibroblasts by signaling it with the Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP), which promote growth. In their study, they were able to find a way in regenerating fat from myofibroblasts in adults. The researchers observed that growth of hair follicles was indicative of adipocyte regeneration, which is what most of their findings resulted. They noticed that adipocytes grew around the area where hair follicles appeared.
If it were easy to execute, it could definitely change how aesthetic surgeons can treat scarring in patients.
There is an abundance of research on wound healing in the plastic surgery field. Possibly getting some insight from Plikus et al.’s research, aesthetic physicians and surgeons can be guided into finding a way to signal the BMP receptor, they can benefit greatly in using the approach so they could minimize the risk of acquiring a scar after the surgery and turn it into fat instead. In this manner, the adipocytes might be easier to treat as compared to the scars.
Plastic surgeons employ different techniques to minimize the scarring on the areas in which the incision was made. Silicone sheeting is one of the most popular techniques in minimizing scarring in the area. Another technique is to use corticosteroids (Janis and Harrison, 2014).
There have been many cases that examined treating wounds through methods such as laser resurfacing and injections. These two alternatives do help in accelerating wound healing, with botulinum toxins even enhancing the appearance of scars. Dermal fillers also have been seen to have regenerative properties, which could help in the process of healing.
As of the moment, the research team responsible for converting myofibroblasts to fat cells have yet to test their findings out on humans, but they were able to relate it to what they saw on the mice. It would definitely be groundbreaking especially in the field of aesthetic medicine. For now, it is up to the aesthetic physician to educate the patient how to treat their scars.