Unlike many Americans, I can successfully lie and convince myself that aging doesn’t bother me as much as it does. But where I’m more worried about things like mobility and dementia, many have a mindset centered more on physical features over anything else. Wrinkles and gray hair are the banes of some people’s existence.
Fixing wrinkles seems like a science unto itself, but rest assured that a reversal of graying hairs may be on the near horizon, as European researchers have possibly singled out not only the specific cause of the discoloration, but also a successful treatment. More importantly, it could be a helpful treatment for vitiligo, which affects people who lack pigment in patches of their skin. They also have some ocean-front property if you’re interested. (Just kidding. It faces a lake.)
For the study published in FASEB Journal, the researchers looked at 2,411 people afflicted with two different forms of vitiligo – strictly segmental vitiligo (SSV) and non-segmental vitiligo (NSV). Knowing that hair turns gray due to a hydrogen peroxide buildup within the follicles, they found that both sets of vitiligo were caused by the same oxidative stress that saps the hair’s pigment.
The team used a topical treatment called PC-KUS to successfully treat the skin and eyelashes of vitiligo sufferers. A topical! All it could take is a cream or a gel or something, and proof of aging can just be limited to crows’ feet and Dobie Gillis references.
“This condition, while technically cosmetic, can have serious socio-emotional effects,” said FASEB editor-in-chief Dr. Gerald Weissman. “Developing an effective treatment … has the potential to radically improve many people’s lives.”
Few things in science are done with vanity in the forefront, but it’s always nice for the public to get some residuals.