While everything from the rise of social media to the COVID pandemic have influenced the field of dermatology in recent years, one factor remains constant: Patients want to feel and look their best. Many therapies used by dermatologists across the country and world help patients to achieve this goal by focusing on addressing aging-related conditions in a way that changes the appearance of the skin. Some already emerging dermatology trends of 2024, however, take a different approach: Regenerative medicine—and specifically the use of exosomes—goes beyond the “surface level” to impact cell behavior itself.
Studies into multiple aspects of regenerative medicine are, of course, ongoing. Still, the buzz around exosomes—and interest in the role of platelet-rich plasma—is growing in both clinical and cosmetic settings. So what exactly are these therapies?
Exosomes are cellular components that facilitate communication between cells. They can be derived from stem cells, which makes them a more reliable option than relying on the full stem cells themselves. Once isolated, exosomes can be applied for fibroblast stimulation and to encourage collagen production where needed. At its most basic level, building new levels of this structural protein can physically reduce the depth of wrinkles and lines, but it can also be used to minimize the appearance of traumatic scars. There are even investigations into exosomes’ ability to help heal wounds and reduce symptoms of eczema.
Platelet-rich plasma takes a similar “less of the cell is more” approach by isolating fragments of blood cells that are responsible for healing and using them to encourage regeneration of everything from the skin’s appearance to weakening hair follicles.
This is obviously a very superficial look at just a couple aspects of the complex and exciting field of regenerative medicine. For a much deeper dive into the subject in early 2024, Marina Peredo, M.D.—a board-certified dermatologist based in Manhattan—will be presenting on “Exosomal Therapy: A New Frontier in Regenerative Medicine” at the Masterclasses in Dermatology February 2024 meeting in Puerto Rico. Dr. Peredo will join other world-class physicians at the forefront of their fields around the United States at the conference designed to facilitate and encourage the intersectionality of dermatology and other medical disciplines for the benefit of both doctors and patients.