Table of Contents
In a world which pays more attention to superficial beauty rather than the beauty of the soul, people are under a constant pressure to look their best. Grey hair or patchy skin, in such a scenario, not only affects your looks but also has psycho-social implications. You may try to put up a brave front saying that graying of hair is a sign of wisdom, but deep in your heart you are emotionally distraught.
No wonder people go to any lengths to cover up their gray hair. Since times immemorial, numerous concoctions and chemicals have been tried to cover up the grays. Many a cosmetic companies selling hair dyes have reaped a fortune playing on this insecurity of people. Yet, apart from temporary solutions like coloring the hair, no satisfactory answer has been found to this problem. But all this may soon be history. Scientists claim that they have found a wonder drug that may not only reverse the process of graying of hair but may also serve as a treatment for vitiligo, a condition that had no permanent cure until now.
Graying of hair is due to a build up of hydrogen peroxide inside the hair follicles
In a breakthrough research published in the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology journal (FASEB Journal), scientists from the Institute for Pigmentary Disorders, E.M. Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany and scientists from the Centre for Skin Sciences, the University of Bradford, United Kingdom have found that graying of hair has got nothing to do with attaining wisdom.
For their research, the scientists analyzed 2,411 patients from different countries who were suffering from vitiligo. Among these patients, 57 (2.4 percent) were found to be suffering from strictly segmental vitiligo (SSV) while 76 (3.2 percent) where found to be suffering from mixed vitiligo i.e. strictly segmental vitiligo along with non-segmental vitiligo (NSV). Careful microscopic examination of skin biopsies taken from these patients revealed that patients with SSV within a specific nerve distribution which involves skin and eyelashes showed the oxidative stress similar to that seen the more commoner NSV. There was a build up of hydrogen peroxide, reduced antioxidant activity of the enzyme catalase and thioredoxin reductase, and impaired activity of repair enzymes namely, methionine sulfoxide reductases A and B.
These patients were given cream for topical application. The cream contained ‘a modified pseudo-catalase’ called as PC-KUS, which is activated in the presence of ultraviolet B (UVB) component of the sunlight. It was observed that in patients who applied the cream and then spent sometime out in the sun, the pigmentation of the skin and the eye lashes returned.