May 21st, 2017 Written by a Staff Member of Hair Loss in Women and reviewed by a Medical Doctor
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Blood is a combination of liquid (plasma) that contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets clots blood, and contains hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are important in the healing of injuries.
Although blood is mainly a liquid (called plasma), it also contains small solid components (red cells, white cells, and platelets.) The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. They also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.
To produce platelet rich plasma, blood is drawn from a patient and run through a centrifuge. The centrifuge concentrates the platelets, which increases the amount of growth factors by a factor of 5 to 10. The plasma concentrate is then injected into the scalp with a micro-needle.
The treatment generally lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and is relatively expensive. Recovery is relatively quick (in comparison to hair transplants). As results aren’t permanent, patients will need to repeat platelet rich plasma treatments to sustain hair regrowth. Many who undergo treatment end up repeating the process.
Does Platelet Rich Plasma For Hair Regrowth Work?
Many women have had positive results with PRP. But as with other treatments for hair loss, it doesn’t work for 100% of women suffering with hair loss. There are numerous studies with positive results for hair growth with PRP. Larger clinical studies are pending, but there are many anecdotal and case reports. The FDA is yet to approve claims about the efficacy of PRP as a hair regrowth treatment.
Are You A Candidate For Platelet Rich Plasma for Hair Regrowth?
If you are already bald, PRP won’t regrow hair from dead follicles. If you have platelet dysfunction syndromes, thrombocytopenias, hypofibrinogenaemia, hemodynamic instability, sepsis, acute and chronic infections, chronic liver disease, anti-coagulation therapy, chronic skin diseases or cancer, or metabolic and systemic disorders, you aren’t a candidate. You also aren’t a candidate if you have a history of heavy drug, smoking, or alcohol use.
Can It Be Used With Other Therapies?
In general yes. You will not have a negative reaction to the PRP because it is your own blood. Many patients use minoxidil concurrently with PRP. However, consult with your dermatologist to confirm what treatments you are thinking of combining.
Is The Treatment Painful?
The process involves the use of a micro-needle making injections, and before the injections some doctors will stimulate the dermis (the layer of skin under to top layer of skin or epidermis) with micro-needling, which will cause microtrauma to help induce healing and stimulate growth repair. The treatment is normally requires a topical anesthetic. However, patients can request a general anesthetic or even intravenous sleep sedation.
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