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Key insight: Immune cells do much more than fight disease — and understanding their work in the skin could spark the development of new drugs to treat baldness.

A California dermatologist studying how wounds heal has stumbled upon a striking new insight into baldness — a discovery that could, perhaps, pave the way for a new generation of drugs to treat hair loss.


Dr. Michael Rosenblum, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, was studying how Tregs, a type of cell known to control inflammation, help heal damaged skin. First, he and his team figured out how to temporarily remove the Treg cells from mice. To get a better look at how the skin would respond, they then shaved patches of hair from those mice.

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  • This makes sense to me — I have suffered from Hashimoto’s syndrome (immune system attack on thyroid gland) and other autoimmune issues for 30 years. During that time I have also suffered from hair loss. My hairdresser tells me most people she sees with thinning hair also have immune system thyroid disorder. We need more work in this area for those of us with immune system problems.

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