ReCell is a relatively new and very innovate technology that harvests cells from your own skin to help replace damaged skin, from burns, scalds and scars. It can also be used to replace areas of the skin which lack colour due to hypopigmentation and vitiligo.
ReCell does this by turning the cells that are harvested – keratinocyte cells that are responsible for healthy skin and melanocyte cells that produce melanin that gives skin it's colour – into a 'spray solution'
ReCell: Am I suitable?
This treatment should only be performed by surgeons with an experience of plastic and reconstructive surgery who will be able to determine if you're suitable. ReCell isn't suitable for use on wounds that are infected or where the tissue is in effect dead. It's also not suitable for patients who are allergic to anaesthetics, the suspension fluid that is used in the spray or an enzyme called Trypsin.
ReCell: What’s the treatment like?
Under local anaesthetic, a sample of the skin is taken (don't worry, it's very small – only one to two centimetres square) from close to the area that is to be treated to ensure the closest colour and texture match. This sample is then placed into the ReCell device which separates the cells and produces the spray solution.
While that is being done, the area to be treated is prepared – either through microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing – so the solution will take when it sprayed on. Once this has been done the area is covered with a dressing.
ReCell: What about after?
You wear the dressing for up to five days. ReCell results are affected by a number of factors – depending on your body's ability to heal and the severity of the condition in the first place – and it might take a while for optimum repigmentation or healing. However, the good news is that these results will be permanent.
Your surgeon will be able to explain in more depth what to expect and also how long to protect your skin from direct sunlight.
ReCell: Are there any risks or side effects?
The skin will appear red and there may be scabbing. Your surgeon will be able to explain what medication or creams can be used. Risks from ReCell are rare but include reaction to the anaesthetic or infections, but there might also be the need to undergo repeat treatment.
ReCell: What will it cost me?
The cost depends on how large the treatment area is.