Lanugo is a type of fine hair that grows on the bodies of human fetuses while they are developing in the womb. These hairs disappear either by birth or shortly after when vellus hairs replace them. Vellus hairs are also naturally fine and transparent, but thicker than lanugo hairs. Vellus hairs are the hairs typically seen over much of the body in childhood. Scientists do know, however, that lanugo hairs combine with a waxy substance called vernix caseosa to cover the body of a fetus. As suggested in a paper , this combination of lanugo hairs and vernix, along with other factors, might play a role in the production of different hormones within the fetus. Lanugo appears to play an essential role in the healthy development of a fetus.
NCBI Bookshelf. Brendon L. Verhave ; Ali Nassereddin ; Sarah L. Authors Brendon L. Verhave ; Ali Nassereddin 1 ; Sarah L. Lappin 2.
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