New research shows the skin “remembers” injuries, which helps it heal faster the next time
(Natural News) A study from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful experiences caused by inflammation impart long-lasting memories to the stem cells residing in the skin, teaching them to heal subsequent injuries faster.
In the study, the researchers discovered that the stem cells deep within the inner layers of our skin, which are responsible for replenishing the outer layers, take their cue from inflammation, the body’s response to injury or infection.
When the skin experiences irritation such as a sunburn, or infection by microbes, or injuries such as a paper cut, it becomes inflamed – red, swollen, and painful – as its way to initiate repair to the damaged tissue. The stem cells were found to remain in place after the skin has recovered from inflammation, and will recognize a recurring inflammation coming on after being sensitized to it the first time, and will respond to it more rapidly. (Related: Adult stem cells treat a host of diseases, say doctors.)
In experiments with mice, the research team found that wounds closed more than twice as fast in the area of the skin that had already experienced inflammation than in the area that had never been damaged. This holds true even if the initial inflammation happened as far back as six months earlier, the equivalent of about 15 years for a human. The team determined that the healing sped up due to the stem cells’ faster reaction to repair the recurring damage….