Aesthetic news: For hair loss, acne scarring, and age- and sun-related skin changes, new research has been emerging in support of PRP, stem cell therapies, and combination treatments for regenerating tissues, inside and out.

Multiple studies show that PRP can stimulate new hair growth, thicken existing hair shafts, increase circulation, and decrease hair loss without the side effects of systemic therapies. PRP is successful in helping more than 70% of patients, both male and female, achieve at least one grade decrease on hair loss scales. It is most effective when combined with topical Minoxidil and with infrared light therapy, even in patients who have failed Minoxidil treatment in the past.

In the face, PRP therapy has been demonstrated to improve acne scarring, sun-related skin damage, and age-related fine wrinkles. There is measurable improvement in skin texture, elasticity, skin smoothness, and skin barrier function and capacitance (for the scientists out there) in response to PRP injections and microneedling.

Stem cells and their healing factors also have been making aesthetic news this year. It is well established that fat, microfat, and nanofat injections not only fill defects and restore subcutaneous fat lost to age, but are remarkably effective in improving skin quality and elasticity. Although fat is the best long-lasting regenerative filler available, its use in skin rejuvenation has been limited by the relative cost and minor discomfort of the fat harvest procedure, and the small risk of injecting the particular fat.

With new knowledge in how stem cells work, great alternatives are now available that side-step these issues. Primary among these, exosomes have been making news as the active agent of the stem cell. Research over the last year has show their utility in wound healing and skin regeneration, and a November 2017 study establishes their role in stimulating hair regrowth by activating dermal papilla cells and prolonging their survival.

Paralleling the musculoskeletal regenerative renaissance, stem cell science is revolutionizing aesthetics and we now have options in helping our patients not only feel great, but look great as well.