Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) For Hair Loss
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a portion of blood rich in platelets. Platelets contain many growth factors which are found beneficial in hair growth, and skin rejuvenation among several other medical conditions. The results can be dramatic in many patients if it is prepared and performed properly.
What Causes Hair Loss (Alopecia)?
The most common type of hair loss is the male or female-pattern hair loss also known as androgenic alopecia. At least 50% of the men by the age of 50 and 50% of women by 60 years of age are affected by this condition. And the frequency and severity of this type of hair loss increases with age. The main driving factor for male or female pattern hair loss is genetics and if you have family members with this type of hair loss, you have a higher risk of developing it.
Some other common causes of hair loss are alopecia areata, telogen effluvium (many factors can contribute to this), traction alopecia, infectious causes (such as cradle cap or tinea capitis), medication-induced (either telogen or anagen effluvium), and various types of scarring (irreversible) alopecia. Not uncommonly, you can be affected by more than one type of hair loss. A through and complete evaluation and correct diagnosis and management by a physician familiar with hair loss disorders is essential to achieve the best outcome.
Is Hair Loss Reversible?
There are several types of hair loss and most can be prevented or slowed down if diagnosed and treated early. The most common type of hair loss, which is the male or female-pattern (aka androgenic or androgenetic alopecia) hair loss can be slowed down or prevented to some degree using various medications. Topical treatment with minoxidil (ROGAINE®), oral medications such as finasteride (PROPECIA®), dutasteride (AVODART®), and spironolactone (Aldactone), low-level laser (light) therapy, and platelet rich plasma (PRP) have all shown beneficial in most patients with this type of hair loss. Another type of alopecia is alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune form of hair loss and in most cases especially when in limited forms is reversible even without any interventions. Several other causes of hair loss such as medication-induced, hormonal-related, nutritional deficiency-related, and infectious types, among others can be reversible to the most part if diagnosed and treated early. Since there are several types of hair loss, each requiring specific therapies, then correct diagnosis and management by a hair specialist is essential.
What Is "Female" Patterned Hair Loss (Alopecia)?
Female-pattern (also known as androgenic or androgenetic alopecia) hair loss is the most common type of hair loss in women. Those patients with genetic propensity for this condition are at higher risk and tend to start their hair loss at an earlier age. Age also plays a factor and at least 50% of women show evidence of female-pattern hair loss by age 70. Of note, this type of hair loss can mimic or occur concurrently with other types of hair loss and evaluation by a hair specialist is important to make the correct diagnosis and implement
the most optimal treatment plan.
Can PRP Treatment Restore Hair Loss?
Multiple studies have shown that PRP can help with hair regrowth in male or female pattern hair loss (also known as androgenic or androgenetic alopecia), which are the most common types of hair loss. The results can be dramatic in many patients if the PRP is prepared and performed properly. PRP has also shown benefits in some cases of alopecia areata (an autoimmune cause of hair loss), in addition to its use in conjunction with hair transplant surgery by some surgeons. Most research indicate that PRP may work through the effects of various growth factors and cytokines which are released from platelets upon activation.