Human skin has a unique healing mechanism shared with no other mammal. Recent research suggests that our sweat glands contain a reservoir of stem cells that are recruited to repair damaged skin.
Each square inch of our skin has, on average, 600 sweat glands, triple the number of hair follicles. On a normal day we segregate a litre of liquid through these orifices, but up to ten litres a day in extreme circumstances. A study by the University of Michigan (USA) has shown that humans have a unique healing mechanism – lacking in the skin of other mammals – that is based on stem cells stored in the sweat glands. The enormous regenerative potential of such stem cells could help develop new wound therapies. Researchers hope, for instance, to improve treatments for ulcers in diabetic patients and bed sores in hospitalized patients, as the corresponding healthcare costs are substantial. The research could, in fact, open up new avenues for skin care in general.