Should Malaysians Go For Stem Cell Facial?
It depends on your facial needs and preferences. No doubt that every Malaysian including you wants to have good skin. Unless you’re born with good genetics, facial treatment may not matter to you.
The reason why the first impression matters to many is because it’s instilled in our nature to want to look the best that we can, and that includes our facial appearance. When we look good, we feel good.
However, there are times when the environment or your genetics may affect your skin condition. This leaves you with having to maintain a proper skincare routine and regular facial treatment. Luckily, your stem cells can help to improve your skin condition.
What is stem cell?
Stem cells are the body’s raw materials whereby they can generate cells with specialised functions. Given the right conditions in your body, these stem cells may divide to form more cells known as daughter cells.
After that, they either become new stem cells or specialised cells with a more specific function like the blood cells, brain cells, or bone cells. Bear in mind that it’s the only cell in your body that’s naturally capable of generating new type of cells.
Types of stem cells
In general, there are four types of stem cells which can be used for different purposes – embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and perinatal stem cells.
1. Embryonic stem cells
Also known as pluripotent stem cells, these stem cells come from embryos that are three to five days old. These cells can divide into more stem cells or become any type of cell in the body. This allows the stem cells to be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue or organs.
2. Adult stem cells
These types of stem cells are found in small numbers in most developed organs and tissues in the body such as the bone marrow. Compared to embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have limited ability to divide and regenerate.
Adult stem cells are often used by the body to repair and replace damaged tissue in the same area where they’re found. Take the adult stem cells found in the bone marrow as an example. They can make new blood cells and are often used by doctors to perform stem cell transplants to treat certain types of cancer.
3. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
Scientists have discovered that they can transform adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells using genetic reprogramming. These new type of stem cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
By altering the genes, iPSCs can divide into various types of specialised cells in the body, making it act like embryonic stem cells. This makes iPSCs useful in drug development and understanding how diseases in the body develop over time.
4. Perinatal stem cells
Like the discovery of iPSCs, researchers have also discovered stem cells in the umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid. These stem cells can change into specialised cells and treat a variety of diseases developed by children.
The stem cells harvested from the umbilical cord can be frozen for future use. Meanwhile, the stem cells found in amniotic fluid, which fills the sac surrounding a developing foetus, works to protect the foetus in the uterus.
How are stem cells harvested?
Stem cells are harvested for transplant depending on the source. There are three ways stem cells can be harvested – bone marrow, circulating blood, and cord blood.
1. Bone marrow
This method requires the use of a needle and syringe to remove around one litre of bone marrow from your hip bone. Often done under a general anaesthetic, you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. However, you may feel the pain and discover the marks where the needle was inserted.
2. Circulating blood
The most common way to harvest stem cells involves temporarily removing blood from the body, separating the stem cells, and returning the blood to the body using a special machine. This procedure is painless and can be done while you’re awake.
3. Cord blood
Umbilical cords are rich in blood stem cells, similar to those found in the bone marrow. They can either be donated by new mums or collected by the hospital (with permission) and stored for future use.
How are stem cells applied to facial treatment?
Stem cell therapies have long been used to treat several medical conditions, diseases, and severe health disorders. That said, stem cell therapy has made its mark in the aesthetic field as the therapy works to reduce signs of ageing, thus slowing down the skin’s ageing process.
As the basis of all the regenerative elements in your body, stem cells are responsible for producing the type of cells needed to replace any loss of skin cells.
Stem cells are present in different parts of our body and sites that lie just below the skin. By tapping on the stem cells located in your body, the doctor may collect a small sample of stem cells and develop an anti-ageing serum for you.
The therapy is typically done in a few hours including the harvesting process. Your stem cell sample will then undergo centrifugation to separate the stem cells from other elements in the sample. After the facial treatment, you can expect to resume your daily activities within a day or two.
Is stem cell therapy safe?
Compared to other facial treatments which require you to go under the knife, stem cell therapy is safer and can provide aesthetically pleasing results. Not only that, but this type of facial treatment has shorter downtime and is minimally invasive.
However, like any other facial treatment, stem cell therapy also has its side effects such as fatigue, headache, and nausea. These effects typically subside between 1 and 2 hours. Do note that research on stem cell facial treatment is still ongoing.
For this very reason, if you intend to get a stem cell facial treatment in Malaysia, it’s best to seek treatment from qualified skin specialists in KL. This is crucial given the existence of unscrupulous medical physicians in Malaysia who aren’t qualified to offer stem cell facial treatment.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment vs Stem Cell Therapy
PRP treatment and stem cell therapy are both biologics that can assist in cell or tissue regeneration. However, PRP treatment isn’t a cell therapy like stem cell treatment. The difference lies in the main element of the therapies.
You see, the platelets in your blood contain natural sources of proteins and cytokines which can stimulate your body’s natural healing process, especially in the bone and soft tissue. While the platelets promote cell repair, it can also reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.
Stem cells, on the other hand, are your body’s master cells. This means they can develop into various types of cells which work to assist in regenerating or replacing damaged cells in your body.
While both treatments can be used to achieve similar purposes, the two are not mutually exclusive. This means that you can opt to follow up with either a PRP treatment or stem cell therapy after your facial treatment.
If you’re looking to reduce signs of ageing with a stem cell therapy, be sure to consult a medically-certified dermatologist or skin specialist to enjoy the full benefits of the treatment.