We think we finally understand why our hair grows on certain places of our bodies but not on others. Veuer report
Why can millions of hairs grow from our heads, and yet our palms and the soles of our feet are as bare as anything? It all comes down to a special molecule in our bodies, according to the scientists who have found it.
The hairless regions of our skin secrete a special type of molecule known as an inhibitor. This particular one is a protein named Dickkopf 2 (DKK2). These effectively brick-up the WNT pathway, which is in charge of triggering hair growth in our bodies. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine believe certain animals have evolved to produce DKK2 in certain parts of their bodies, depending on what will best help different creatures to survive.
“In this study, we’ve shown the skin in hairless regions naturally produces an inhibitor that stops WNT from doing its job,” Professor Sarah E. Millar, an author of the study published in the journal Cell Reports, commented.
Millar, who is a professor in dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, continued: “We know that WNT signaling is critical for the development of hair follicles; blocking it causes hairless skin, and switching it on causes formation of more hair.”