PRP For Hair Loss
PRP for Hair Loss
Apart from red blood cells and white blood cells, our blood also contains cells known as platelets. Platelets are the normal constituents of the blood. The function of platelets is to promote healing at the site of a wound and regeneration. Platelets contain growth factors that promote regeneration of the cells in the body. .
Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is concentrated blood plasma that contains approximately five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood. PRP contains many growth factors like VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and PDGF (Platelet derived growth factor). The injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a technique using the body’s own blood to heal itself. PRP’s use began in the treatment of sports injuries and has been used in medicine for the last two decades. The idea behind PRP therapy is that by increasing the platelet count in a wounded area, the body’s healing capacity in that area would be accelerated.
Recently, studies have shown that PRP can serve as a safe and effective treatment option for male and female hair loss. Medical professionals incorporate its use for the growth of thinning hair. Many patients have benefited from this form of treatment.
The use of PRP to treat hair loss has the potential to change the way hair loss is treated.
How does PRP help in treating hair loss?
If the hair follicles or hair roots are healthy, the growth of the hair is healthy. Hair follicles survive on the nutrition they get from blood supply. If we introduce platelets by administering platelet rich plasma (PRP) around damaged hair follicles, it amplifies the body’s naturally occurring wound healing mechanism. Thus, PRP can be used to stimulate the growth of hair follicles preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth.
PRP therapy is performed in 3 stages:
First, approximately 60-100ml of blood is collected from you in a similar fashion to having a routine blood test performed at your doctor’s clinic. The blood is collected by a nurse or phlebotomist and placed in a tube, then put in a centrifuge and spun for approximately 15 minutes. When the centrifuge has stopped, your blood components have been separated, providing the concentrated platelets used in the PRP therapy. These are the abundant growth factors and stem cells to be applied to the scalp where hair loss has begun.
The next step in the treatment is prepping the scalp to receive the PRP. Topical anesthesia is applied on the portion of the scalp where PRP will be injected.
The procedure incorporates a special micro-needling pen causing micro-trauma to the lower layer of the scalp that induces other healing and growth repair cells into action. The highly concentrated PRP is also injected using a syringe in many different areas of the scalp where areas of scarcity are more prevalent.
Mild discomfort is expected during the treatment. You can return to your normal activity almost immediately, but your scalp needs protection from the sun and excessive irritation.
There are many benefits of using PRP treatment to promote healing for hair growth. Highly concentrated growth factors in the form of platelets have been shown to generate new hair growth, thicken thinned out hair, and make hair transplants grow thicker and healthier.
However, not everyone is an ideal candidate to undergo this procedure. Patients who have an active infection in the scalp, history of a viral infection like shingles, diabetes, any clotting disorder, or patients who are on blood-thinning medications like aspirin and immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine are not candidates for this procedure.
The procedure takes one to two hours depending on amount of hair loss. Since an inflammatory process is initiated at the wound site, there may be mild pain or discomfort felt by the patient at the site where PRP is injected. Patient are not advised not to take any anti-inflammatory medication since it may interfere in the natural healing process of PRP. Patients generally receive this treatment multiple times before they can see any results. However, some patients may only have to receive this therapy once a year.
The injected area may have mild swelling and may be tender to touch. Swelling may go away in few hours after the procedure while tenderness may go away in a couple of days. There is a possibility of the area getting infected, but this is rare.
PRP does not pose any danger of allergy, hypersensitivity, or foreign-body reaction and it is a safe choice for many patients.
Prognosis is generally good, but it varies from person to person. There is on average an 80% success rate.
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