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Cosmetic Medicine / Plastic Surgery

Hair regrowth: MicroRNA could lead the way?



New animal research has described a microRNA, which appears to modulate hair growth.

Heir lost in men
Early research suggests that microRNA may be the future of hair regrowth treatments.

The study, which appears in the Science Advances journal, may lay the groundwork for future hair regrowth treatments that are more effective and less invasive than the options currently available.

Loss of hair is commonly associated with aging. Yet it may also be attributed to hormonal changes, environmental and genetic influences as well.

Minoxidil and finasteride may be main hair loss therapies. While both therapies have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA), both are especially successful, and both require regular re-application.

As the authors of the present study state, “Both are built not for the treatment of hair loss but for serendipity.”

As a result , scientists are finding new ways to accelerate hair regrowth. Work usually focuses on encouraging hair follicles — certain parts of the skin that develop hair — to switch from a state of rest to an active state.

Instead of transplanting hair follicles which can be expensive and dependent on a ready donor supply, more recent research has tried to stimulate hair follicle cells in the laboratory. Instead scientists add those cells directly to the balding region of the scalp.

However, research has shown that the hair follicle cells require cultures in the right conditions for this to be successful in stimulating growth. These conditions involve a 3D sphere.

To shift the hair follicle from a passive to an active state, the hair follicle cells need to interact with other cells. In a 3D environment, rather than a flat 2D environment, they do it better.

3D cultured cells

The researchers started by corroborating this earlier work in the present analysis. They achieved so by treating mice in a keratin scaffold with 2D cultured follicle cells, 3D cultivated follicle cells, and minoxidil.

We observed, as with previous studies, that the 3D cultured follicle cells transplanted onto the baldness areas were more successful than either the 2D cultured follicle cells or the minoxidil. The mice that received treatment with the 3D cultured follicle cells recovered 90 per cent of their hair after 15 days.

Dr. Ke Cheng, professor at the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and research leader, states, “The 3D cells in a keratin scaffold performed best, as the spheroid mimics the hair microenvironment, and the keratin scaffold acts as an anchor to keep it where it is needed.”

“But we were also interested in how [dermal papillae] cells control the process of follicle formation, so we looked at the exosomes, namely exosomal [microRNAs] from that microenvironment.”

The dermal papillae (DP) cells help regulate the activity of hair follicles. MicroRNAs are molecules which help to regulate how genes communicate. They ‘re enclosed in small sacs, called exosomes.

The researchers looked at the exosomes of both the 2D and 3D cultured cell follicles. They noticed that the microRNA miR-218-5p encouraged gene communication which signaled hair growth in the 3D cultured cell follicles.

He confirmed this when he found that growing microRNA increased the development of hair follicles while inhibiting it prevented the hair follicle from functioning.

Future treatments?

The team’s discovery is potentially useful, because while 3D cultured cell follicle implantation is successful in stimulating hair follicle growth, the transplantation process is laborious and expensive.

“Cell therapy with the 3D cells could be an effective treatment for baldness, but you have to grow, expand, preserve, and inject those cells into the area. [MicroRNAs], on the other hand, can be utilized in small molecule-based drugs. So potentially, you could create a cream or lotion that has a similar effect with many fewer problems. Future studies will focus on using just this [microRNA] to promote hair growth.”

– Dr. Cheng

Cosmetic Medicine / Plastic Surgery

Seroma: Things to know



A seroma is a fluid buildup in an area of the body where tissue has been removed. Seromas are frequently a consequence following surgery, although they can also develop as a result of an injury.

Seromas are usually not harmful, and doctors let them heal on their own. They have little resemblance to cancer cells and represent no additional risk or concern. They can, however, cause discomfort and result in a lengthier hospital stay after surgery.

According to one study with 150 participants, 49 percent of the patients had a seroma after breast surgery. Another study discovered that 20% of individuals had seromas evident on a CT scan 6 months following surgery.

When to consult a doctor

It may take several weeks for the seroma to absorb on its own. As long as no difficulties emerge, allowing a seroma to absorb on its own is the best method to heal spontaneously.

If the seroma does not improve or if the symptoms worsen, the patient should see a doctor.

A doctor may need to drain the seroma if:

  • it puts excessive pressure on the area of surgery or injury, the skin, or an organ
  • it becomes painful
  • there are signs of infection or inflammation, such as redness, warmth, or tenderness
  • it gets bigger
  • the amount of fluid seems to be increasing
  • there is no improvement

Seromas can increase the risk of surgical site infection, so they must be closely monitored.

A seroma may need to be drained more than once, depending on its severity.



The exact causes of seromas are unknown, however they are common in the breast area of people who have had breast cancer surgery.

Other procedures that can cause in seromas include:

  • plastic or cosmetic surgery
  • breast reduction
  • plastic reconstructive surgery
  • breast implant
  • breast biopsy

Seromas form as a result of the body’s reaction to dead space within tissue that was linked to something before to surgery.

Seromas are common following surgical procedures or everywhere there is a skin rupture, according to surgeons.

Risk factors

A seroma can occur as a result of a number of circumstances. These are some examples:

  • use of drugs called heparin or tamoxifen
  • body mass index
  • breast size
  • age
  • previous biopsy surgery
  • presence and number of cancerous nodes in the armpit

How do seromas develop?

Seromas typically emerge 7–10 days following surgery, once the drainage tubes are withdrawn. The surgical sites may develop swelling patches that feel like liquid under the skin.

Surgery causes the blood and lymph vessels, as well as the surrounding tissue. Inflammation develops, and the severed arteries and tissues release clear fluid as a result.

This is why there is swelling and pain following surgery. In some situations, the fluid condenses and forms a pocket, resulting in the creation of a seroma.

Performing surgery in a method that minimizes the risk of leaving dead space can also lower the likelihood of a seroma developing.

Seromas cause lumps to grow beneath the skin. These are filled with serous fluid, a yellowish to white fluid. This is the same fluid that can be seen in blisters and fresh cuts.

The lumps can be analyzed to see if they contain serous fluid rather than pus, blood, or another fluid.

Conditions that are similar to seromas

There are certain conditions that are sometimes misdiagnosed as seromas:

Hematoma: This is a gathering of blood in the body’s dead space. It is usually caused by a tiny blood artery rupturing while a person is recovering from surgery. Hematomas may need to be drained since they can cause pain, scarring, and infection.
Lymphocele: This is an abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid following a surgical treatment.
Abscess: This is a painful collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection. Pus is a viscous fluid made up of white blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria. The majority of abscesses originate beneath the skin, however they can also occur inside the body in an organ or a gap between organs.

Home remedies

Most seromas recover on their own. They are often reabsorbed into the body within one month, although this can take up to a year.

In more severe situations, they can take up to a year to be digested, or they can form a capsule and remain until surgically removed. Once the seroma has healed, the region may harden.

Heat can be applied to the affected area to help it heal faster. Every few hours, a heating pad or hot compress can be applied for around 15 minutes. This aids in fluid drainage while also offering extra comfort to the incision area.

People should ensure that the heat is not excessively hot and that the compress is not left on the affected area for an extended period of time. Excessive heat can cause further fluid collection in the seroma.

Depending on the area affected, keeping the area high may also aid in drainage.


Fine needle aspiration can be used to draw off fluid.

To empty the region, a technique known as fine-needle aspiration is occasionally utilized. It’s also a fantastic technique to keep track of how much fluid is leaking.

If seromas become a recurring issue and must be drained frequently, one solution is to install a drainage tube to keep the region free.

Drainage raises the danger of infection and should be conducted by a medical practitioner in a clean environment.

Prolonged drainage might increase the risk of infection and slow the healing process even more.

Surgical risks

In other cases, leaving the seroma alone may be the best decision. One concern for cancer patients is that seromas can sometimes delay additional cancer therapies.

Seromas are increasingly frequently regarded as a side effect of surgery rather than a problem, however they do not occur in all individuals.

Seromas typically occur immediately after surgery when drains are not used. A seroma might develop up to one month after surgery and drain removal.

Though seromas are a common surgical complication, there are some steps that may be taken to assist prevent them from occurring.

One of the main alternatives for reducing seroma formation is to use closed suction drainage for several days. New strategies are being developed to limit the amount of dead space formed in order to assist avoid the formation of seromas.


Following surgery, the treated region is frequently wrapped in a tight bandage. Dressings help to keep the region clean and bacteria-free. They help restrict it from stretching and reduce fluid accumulation.

Following a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or even a breast reduction, the patient is instructed to wear a tight bra to apply pressure to the surgical site. This reduces the likelihood of fluid leaks and speeds up recovery.

Patients are advised to wear compression garments for at least two weeks following surgery and to gently massage the area to assist get the fluid out.

It is important to keep the wound clean in order to keep bacteria and other germs at bay. Another important strategy to avoid the formation of seromas is to prevent infection at the surgical site.

A minor buildup of fluid is normal following surgery and does not always indicate the presence of a seroma.

Infected sarcomas can be drained and treated with antibiotics or other medications, and the patient will recover completely.

Although most seromas are harmless, patients should be aware of them. Patients should see a doctor if a seroma grows to be exceedingly large or if any other issues arise. People who are having surgery should be aware of the warning signs and symptoms.



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Cosmetic Medicine / Plastic Surgery

What are the causes of varicose veins?



Varicose veins are bulging, twisting veins that are frequently blue or dark purple in color.

They occur when defective vein valves enable blood to pool or flow in the incorrect direction.

Varicose veins are believed to affect more than half of all individuals. Varicose veins affect around one out of every four individuals in the United States.

What are they?

Varicose veins
Credit: Getty Images

Varicose veins are bulging, large veins that most commonly develop on the legs and feet. They occur when the valves in the veins fail to function correctly, causing blood to flow inefficiently.

Treatment for varicose veins is seldom necessary for health reasons, but if swelling, aching, and painful legs occur, as well as significant discomfort, treatment is accessible.

There are a variety of choices available, including some natural therapies.

A varicose vein can burst or develop into varicose ulcers on the skin in extreme circumstances. These will need to be treated.


One-way valves in the veins allow blood to flow only in one direction. The valves may get weaker when the vein walls expand and become less flexible (elastic). Blood can leak backwards and eventually flow in the other way if a valve is damaged. When this happens, blood can build up in the veins, causing them to swell and expand.

diagram of varicose veins
Figure A shows a normal vein with a properly working valve. In Figure B, the varicose vein has a faulty valve, the walls of the vein are thin and stretched.
Image credit: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

The veins in the legs, which are the furthest from the heart, are the most commonly impacted. This is due to the fact that gravity makes blood flow back to the heart more difficult. Varicose veins can be caused by any condition that causes strain on the abdomen, such as pregnancy, constipation, and, in rare circumstances, tumors.

Risk factors

Experts are baffled as to why vein walls expand and valves malfunction. It often happens for no apparent reason. However, the following are some possible risk factors:

  • standing for long periods
  • family history of varicose veins
  • obesity
  • menopause
  • pregnancy
  • being aged over 50

The following risk factors have been related to an increased risk of varicose veins:

  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of varicose veins.
  • Age: The risk increases with age, due to wear and tear on vein valves.
  • Some jobs: An individual who has to spend a long time standing at work may have a higher chance of varicose veins.
  • Gender: Varicose veins affect women more often than males. It may be that female hormones relax veins. If so, taking birth control pills or hormone therapy (HT) might contribute.
  • Genetics: Varicose veins often run in families.

Varicose veins and pregnancy

Varicose veins are far more likely to form during pregnancy than at any other period in a woman’s life. Pregnant women have significantly more blood in their bodies, putting additional strain on the circulatory system.

Additionally, changes in hormone levels might cause the blood vessel walls to relax. Both of these variables increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins.

The strain on the veins in the mother’s pelvic region increases as the uterus (womb) expands. The varicose veins usually disappear when the pregnancy is ended; however, this is not always the case, and even if the varicose veins heal, some may remain noticeable.


Treatment may not be essential if the patient has no symptoms or discomfort and is unconcerned about the appearance of varicose veins. If there are symptoms, however, therapy may be necessary to relieve pain or discomfort, as well as to address problems such as leg ulcers, skin discoloration, or swelling.

Some patients may seek treatment for cosmetic reasons, such as the removal of “ugly” varicose veins.


Varicose veins that are big may need to be surgically removed. This procedure is frequently performed under a general anesthesia. In most circumstances, the patient may go home the same day; however, if surgery on both legs is necessary, the patient may need to stay in the hospital for one night.

Smaller veins, as well as spider veins, are frequently treated using laser treatments. The vein is illuminated with powerful bursts of light that fade and dissipate over time.

Ligation and stripping

The procedure involves two incisions: one in the patient’s groin at the top of the target vein, and the other farther down the leg, possibly at the ankle or knee. The vein’s top is tied off and sealed. A thin, flexible wire is put into the vein’s bottom and pulled out, along with the vein.

This operation normally does not necessitate a hospital stay. Bruising, bleeding, and discomfort are all possible side effects of ligation and stripping. Deep vein thrombosis can occur under exceedingly uncommon circumstances.

Most patients may require 1-3 weeks to heal after surgery before returning to work and other typical activities. Compression stockings are worn throughout the healing period.


Small and medium-sized varicose veins are injected with a substance that scars and shuts them. They should diminish within a few weeks. It’s possible that a vein will need to be injected many times.

Radiofrequency ablation

A tiny incision is made above or below the knee, and a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into the vein with the assistance of an ultrasound scan.

A probe with radiofrequency radiation is inserted into the catheter by the doctor. The radiofrequency radiation warms the vein, forcing its walls to collapse and effectively close and seal it shut. For bigger varicose veins, this surgery is suggested. A local anesthetic is frequently used for radiofrequency ablation.

Treatment with an endovenous laser

The catheter is placed into the vein of the patient. A tiny laser is put through the catheter and positioned at the top of the target vein; it emits brief bursts of radiation that heat the vein and seal it shut.

The doctor threads the laser all the way up the vein with the help of an ultrasound scan, eventually burning and sealing it. This treatment is performed with the use of a local anesthetic. There may be some nerve damage, although it is typically minor.

Transilluminated powered phlebectomy

A special light called an endoscopic transilluminator is put via an incision beneath the skin to allow the doctor to see which veins need to be removed. A suction instrument is used to cut and extract the target veins through the incision.

This treatment can be done with either a general or local anesthesia. After the procedure, there may be some bleeding and bruises.

Home remedies

There are things you may do at home to relieve discomfort and prevent varicose veins from getting worse.

These are some of them:

  • raising the legs
  • avoiding prolonged standing or sitting
  • exercising
  • losing weight

There are several over-the-counter natural therapies available, most of which are topical lotions and emollients.

These can aid with pain relief and comfort, as well as improving the look of varicose veins.

Stockings with compression

Compression stockings help to enhance circulation by compressing the patient’s legs.

They fit snugly around the ankles and loosely up the leg. Compression stockings help blood flow higher, against gravity, and return to the heart in this way.

Compression stockings may relieve discomfort, pain, and swelling, but there is no evidence that they prevent or even slow the progression of varicose veins. The outcomes of studies have been inconsistent and contradictory.

Some people’s skin becomes dry and flaky as a result of wearing pantyhose. It is important to notify a doctor if this occurs.


The majority of the time, there is no discomfort, although varicose veins can cause the following indications and symptoms:

  • the veins are blue or dark purple
  • veins look twisted, swollen, and lumpy (bulging)

Some people may also have the following symptoms:

  • venous eczema (stasis dermatitis) – skin in the affected area is red, dry, and itchy
  • when suddenly standing up, some individuals experience leg cramps
  • a high percentage of people with varicose veins also have restless legs syndrome
  • atrophie blanche – irregular whitish patches that look like scars appear at the ankles
  • aching legs
  • legs feel heavy, especially after exercise or at night
  • a minor injury to the affected area may result in longer bleeding than normal
  • lipodermatosclerosis – fat under the skin just above the ankle can become hard, resulting in the skin shrinking
  • swollen ankles
  • telangiectasia in the affected leg (spider veins)
  • there may be a shiny skin discoloration near the varicose veins, usually brownish or blue in color


There is a danger of consequences in any condition when adequate blood flow is disrupted. Varicose veins, on the other hand, rarely cause difficulties. If difficulties arise, they may include the following:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency .– Because blood flow is poor, the skin does not effectively exchange oxygen, nutrients, and waste products with the blood. Varicose veins do not cause chronic venous insufficiency, however the two are closely connected.
  • Thrombophlebitis: Inflammation of the vein in the leg is caused by blood clots.
  • Bleeding.

Varicose eczema, lipodermatosclerosis (hard and tight skin), and venous ulcers are all people of chronic venous insufficiency. Venous ulcers usually develop around the ankles and are preceded by a discolored area. It is important to get medical help if you have chronic venous insufficiency.


To lower your chances of getting varicose veins, do the following:

  • avoid standing still for too long
  • do not sit with the legs crossed
  • sit or sleep with your feet raised on a pillow
  • get plenty of exercise, for example, walking
  • maintain a healthy weight

Anyone who needs to stand for a long period of time should aim to get up at least once every 30 minutes.


A doctor’s physical examination, which is primarily visual, will determine whether or not a patient has varicose veins. While the doctor examines the patient for symptoms of swelling, the patient will be invited to stand.

  • Color duplex ultrasound scan: This produces color photos of the vascular anatomy, allowing the clinician to spot any irregularities. It can also determine the rate at which blood flows.
  • Doppler test: An ultrasound scan of the veins to determine the direction of blood flow. This test also looks for blood clots or vein obstructions.

Questions concerning the symptoms may also be asked of the patient. A doctor may recommend a patient to a vascular specialist in some instances.



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Cosmetic Medicine / Plastic Surgery

Peptides: Things you should know



Peptides are subunits of proteins that are smaller in size. Many health and beauty products contain peptides for a variety of reasons, including their anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and muscle-building capabilities.

According to new research, some forms of peptides may help to slow down the aging process, reduce inflammation, and kill microorganisms.

Peptides and proteins are often confused. Amino acids are found in both proteins and peptides, however peptides have considerably fewer amino acids than proteins. Peptides, like proteins, are found naturally in foods.

Because of the potential health benefits of peptides, various supplements are available that include peptides taken either from food or synthesized by manufacturers.

Collagen peptides for anti-aging and skin health, as well as creatine peptide supplements for muscle building and athletic performance, are among the most popular peptides.

It is discussed in this article whether peptide supplements have any possible benefits and whether they have any adverse effects.

What are peptides?

What are peptides powder
Peptides may aid in the development of strength and muscle mass.

Peptides are small strings of amino acids that usually contain between 2 and 50 amino acids. Proteins include more amino acids than amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.

Because peptides are smaller and more easily broken down than proteins, they may be easier for the body to absorb. They can permeate the skin and intestines more easily, allowing them to enter the bloodstream faster.

Supplements may contain peptides derived from plant or animal sources of protein, such as:

  • wheat
  • soy
  • hemp seeds
  • meat
  • flaxseed
  • eggs
  • milk
  • fish and shellfish
  • beans and lentils
  • oats

Bioactive peptides, or those that have a good effect on the body and may have a positive impact on human health, are of particular interest to scientists.

Bioactive peptides have a variety of properties. The impact they have on the body are determined by the amino acid sequence they possess.

The following are some of the most popular peptide supplements:

Collagen peptides, which may improve skin health and slow down the aging process.
Creatine peptides are a type of peptide that can help you gain strength and muscular mass.

Other peptides and peptide hormones may be used to boost athletic performance in some people. Many of these, including follistatin, a peptide that promotes muscle growth, have been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Benefits and uses

According to research, bioactive peptides may:

Peptides are frequently used to accomplish the following effects:

Slowing down the aging process

Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in the skin, hair, and nails. Collagen peptides are collagen proteins that have been broken down so that the body may absorb them more easily. Collagen peptides may help to improve skin health while also slowing the aging process.

Collagen peptides included in dietary food supplements have been shown to help with skin wrinkles in several trials. According to other research, these supplements may also help with skin elasticity and hydration.

Peptides may increase the production of melanin, a skin pigment that helps protect the skin from sun damage.

Peptides, which producers claim can minimize wrinkles, help skin firm up, and enhance blood flow, can also be found in topical anti-aging cosmetics.

Increase the speed of wound healing

Collagen peptides may help wounds heal faster because collagen is an important component of good skin.

Bioactive peptides can also help the body recover itself by reducing inflammation and acting as antioxidants.

Antimicrobial peptides are now being studied to see if they can help with wound healing. Skin problems such as psoriasisrosacea, and eczema may be exacerbated by having extremely high or extremely low amounts of antimicrobial peptides.

Prevent bone loss as you get older

In developing rats who also undertook running activity, a moderate dose of collagen peptides was linked to an increase in bone mass.

Collagen peptides may be a useful strategy to combat age-related bone loss, according to the findings. However, further research, particularly on humans, is required.

Increase your muscle mass and strength.

Collagen peptide supplements have been shown to boost muscular growth and strength in older persons in several studies. Participants in the study coupled supplement use with resistance training.

Creatine peptides may also help develop muscle and enhance strength.

Creatine peptides are gaining in popularity, despite the fact that fitness fanatics have been utilizing creatine protein powders for many years.

Such peptides may be easier for the body to digest than creatine proteins, which means they may cause fewer digestive issues.

Side effects

Because peptide supplements are comparable to peptides found in ordinary meals, they are unlikely to cause major side effects in healthy people.

Since this body may break down oral peptide supplements into individual amino acids, they may not enter the bloodstream.

There were no negative side effects reported in one study when females received oral collagen peptide supplements for 8 weeks.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, on the other hand, does not regulate supplements in the same manner that it does drugs. As a result, anyone taking supplements should proceed with caution.

Peptide-containing topical lotions and ointments can induce skin irritation, rash, and itching.

Individuals should always buy from a reliable company and stop using if they experience any negative side effects.

It’s also a good idea to consult a doctor before taking peptide supplements or applying topical peptide products.

Peptides should not be used by anybody who is pregnant, breastfeeding, using drugs, or has a medical condition until they consult with their doctor.


fDepending on the type and brand of peptide supplement, the timing and dose will differ.

When using peptide supplements or applying topical peptide creams or lotions, always follow the package directions. Never consume more than the recommended amount. If you have any negative reactions, stop using it and see a doctor.


Protein-rich meals inherently include peptides. It is not essential to take peptide supplements or apply peptides topically.

Some people, on the other hand, may want to take collagen peptides to slow down the aging process. Others use creatine peptides to increase muscle mass and strength.

There is currently insufficient data to suggest that these products are effective, and much more research is required to fully examine their efficacy and safety.

Peptide research is still in its early phases, but scientists may uncover health benefits from other forms of peptides in the future. Until then, consumers should use caution while taking supplements and consult their doctor about the potential advantages and dangers.



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