Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Hair and Now

Hair follicle stem cells help heal blisters

12 July 2021

Hair and Now

A heel rubbing in a shoe often leaves a painful blister – wherever layers of skin pull apart, these little fluid pockets protect the damage while it heals. But skin also has to grow while it repairs – so how does it find a balance? Here the upper layer of a mouse’s skin (the epidermis, highlighted in green) separates from the underlying layers (purple) leaving a raised blister. As scientists watch the healing, a surprising ally swoops in – stem cells usually involved in growing hair follicles divert their efforts to the blister. The price for this multitasking is a delay in hair follicles forming in the growing tissue. With this seemingly minor side-effect, scientists are exploring the idea of repurposing hair follicle stem cells to help in treating patients with blistering disorders like epidermolysis bullosa.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.