In pursuit of creating more natural-looking skin grafts for burn patients, a group of scientists made a discovery that could lead to cosmetic treatments that would help give you a more even skin tone or a uniform tan.
Working with bioengineered skin, researchers from the University of Cincinnati and Tokyo Medical University attempted to manipulate melanocytes, the melanin cells that create pigment, with keratinocyte cells from four people with different skin colors.
When the keratinocytes from a light-skinned individual were used on the bioengineered skin, they “told” its melanocytes to produce less pigment; and the skin, in turn, lightened. The skin darkened when keratinocytes from a dark-skinned individual were applied.
In addition to improving the appearance of skin grafts, these findings, according to study leader Raymond Boissy, could “help the quality of life for people with pigment diseases such as vitiligo, melasma and age spotting by making their skin more healthy looking.”
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