Stem Cell Therapy

How the stem cells in your fat can improve the appearance of ageing

Stem Cell Therapy Regenerative Medicine

Stem cells is the buzz term in many fields of medicine. In the cosmetic world, they offer an exciting possibility to rejuvenate and restore the tissues that show undesired signs of ageing. Also known as ‘regenerative medicine’, stem cell therapy is still a treatment very much in its infancy and much still needs to be discovered. Despite this, there are practitioners using stem cells to help turn back the clock and fight the signs of ageing.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are immature cells that are able to develop into many different type of cells. They are the basis for all our different cells and are the only ones that can specialise or turn into other cells such as fat or skin cells.

While stem cells can come from various sources, such as embryos and bone marrow, it’s actually the stem cells found in your fat that are used in regenerative medicine. This is because of the ethical considerations surrounding embryotic stem cells, while bone marrow is reported to have a lower yield of stem cells compared to those derived from fat, as well as being more difficult to harvest.

How does a stem cell procedure work?

A stem cell treatment is similar to a fat transfer procedure, where fat is extracted from the body, processed and injected elsewhere. However, instead of the fat being processed and reinjected like in fat transfer, a stem cell procedure involves the surgeon first extracting and separating the stem cells from the fat by putting the fat into a spinning centrifuge.

Once the stem cells are separate and available, the surgeon may (but not always) choose to grow them in a lab to increase their numbers. Other components may be added to the stem cells, such as natural growth hormones or platelet-rich plasma (PRP), to further enhance their effect.

The stem cells are then injected into the area to be treated. Some surgeons may also use the fat from the transfer to address areas that require volume.

What are the benefits

Stem cells, much like PRP, have the ability to repair and restore damaged, diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissues. People often seek stem cell treatment to freshen and rejuvenate their skin. They can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve their skin quality, reduce the effects of sun damage and help scaring. The results tend to be long-lasting and they improve over time.

The main benefit of stem cell therapy is that it uses your own body to rejuvenate itself, so it is seen by many as a more natural alternative to injectable products.

Considerations

Stem cell therapy is very dependent on the individual surgeon’s technique, so the process, down time and results may vary. Some surgeons use local anaesthesia for example, while others use general. There are always risks to consider, which should be detailed to you in an in-depth medical consultation.

The general risks involved with stem cell therapy include: bruising, swelling and bleeding at the fat extraction and stem cell insertion locations, contamination and/or damage to cells and infection.

Finally, although stem cell therapy is being widely used for cosmetic interventions, it is very much an emerging field in medicine and its full potential still needs to be unlocked with further studies and research.

A Full Face Approach

The story of 24-year-old Bridie, who, after experiencing an animal attack, sought to improve her confidence through non-surgical injectables

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