Platelet-rich plasma also known as PRP has been used for years to treat joint conditions but more recently it has been used to treat skin conditions including alopecia or hair loss.
Platelets and hair growth: What’s the connection?
Platelets are one of the main components of blood. Platelets most recognized functions is to form blood clots, but they also are important promoters of cell growth and regeneration. When it comes to hair loss, the theory is that platelets, injected deep into the scalp to reach the bottom of the hair follicle where they release growth factors and may stimulate a specialized population of cells promoting hair growth.
How Does PRP Work?
Blood is drawn from your arm and then spun down in a centrifuge (a machine that spins at high speeds to help separate the blood into its separate components). This process is repeated twice to concentrate the platelets in the plasma creating platelet-rich plasma.
The platelet enriched plasma is then injected into multiple areas of the scalp. The usual treatment plan involves four sessions, approximately 4-6 weeks apart, followed by maintenance sessions every three to six months to maintain results.
Who Does PRP Work For?
Evidence for platelet-rich plasma is stronger for some types of hair loss than others. It appears that PRP is most effective for Androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women, with a likely variety of genetic and environmental factors playing a role in its cause.
Androgenetic alopecia is also known as male pattern baldness, and according to some studies more than 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent
Androgenetic alopecia is surprisingly common in women as the hair becomes thinner all over the head in a crown-like distribution. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness but can be very distressing.
PRP is also helpful for other types of alopecia such as scarring alopecia but must always be accompanied by other treatments to obtain the full benefit of treatment.
To learn if PRP is right for you schedule an appointment with SullivanDermatology.