What Is PRP?
If you’ve heard legends about noblewomen of old bathing themselves in the blood of young virgins to get younger looking skin, they weren’t so far off the mark as you’ve thought. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is a blood component containing white blood cells and platelets that boost the growth of new cells.
PRP is making its rounds in the medical community as a treatment for smoothing and firming up aging skin, healing torn muscles, ligaments, and tendon injuries. It is also emerging as a potential treatment for the management of hair loss.
How Can PRP Work for Hair Loss?
The idea is that PRP therapy (which is delivered through injections) can stimulate the natural growth of hair, and maintain it. This is by increasing the blood supply to the follicle and is thought to even make the hair shaft thicker.
PRP for hair loss therapy goes as follows:
- Blood is drawn from your arm and is placed into a centrifuge. After about 10 minutes, your blood will separate into three different layers, namely:
- Platelet-rich plasma
- Platelet-poor plasma
- Red blood cells
- The PRP is then placed into a syringe. It is then injected into the scalp, directed into areas that could benefit from more growth.
After the first round of treatments, injections are then repeated once a month over the course of 3 months. Then, treatments are reduced to once every 3-6 months.
Studies show that PRP for hair loss has great potential for reducing the physical symptoms of hair loss, especially androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness.
What Is a Centrifuge? A machine that consists of a container that rotates rapidly to apply centrifugal force to the contents within. It is used to separate fluids of varying densities, or to separate liquids from solids.
What Are the PRP for Hair Loss Side Effects?
While the idea of needles can be a little uncomfortable to some, PRP injections are generally safe. Patients don’t even get any numbing prior to injections, at most only ice packs to minimize any pain.
One of the reasons for PRP’s popularity is that it doesn’t have very many side effects thanks to its autologous nature, and there is only very little downtime and recovery time after treatments.
At most, PRP hair treatment side effects patients can experience are redness, bruising, infection, and scarring at the site of the PRP injection. But, unless you have any pre-existing skin conditions, those may clear up within a few days.
Those with scalp infections or psoriasis should have to wait for their scalp to heal before getting PRP injections. People with blood and platelet disorders, liver disease, and hose taking anti-coagulation medication or therapy can also contraindicate the effects of PRP.
What Is Autologous? An adjective describing tissues or cells taken from the very same individual it is to be used on. PRP is an autologous treatment because it is sourced from the patient’s own blood.
PRP treatments call for no restriction of activities after sessions. Patients may feel free to shower with shampoo and conditioner within hours of treatment, as well as resume their daily routine.
Mild inflammation may occur on the site of the injection, as well as some redness of the scalp. Patients must avoid harsh chemical colorings or perms in the next 72 hours in this case.
Patients who are taking hair growth treatments such as Minoxidil will be asked to skip and resume their dosage for the next day.
Who Can Benefit from PRP Therapy?
People suffering from different kinds of alopecia such as androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata can benefit greatly in PRP for hair loss injections
Those with chronic hair loss and acute hair loss such as post-partum hair loss can also benefit from PRP injections.
Those who have a low blood platelet count, however, should reconsider taking PRP injections.
What Is Alopecia Areata? An autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles while in the growth stage. This causes the hair to fall out in patches.
When Can You See Results?
After the first few months of treatment, patients may start noticing a reduction of hair they usually lose or shed on a regular basis. An increase in hair thickness follow soon after, as well as regrowth of hair in affected areas.
It can take 6-12 months of consistent treatment before you can see and see results just by looking at your bathroom mirror. You will also need to be consistent with the PRP injections, and your doctor may recommend medications if you’re pre-menopausal, as well as some over-the-counter treatments to help with the hair regrowth.
Why Should You Use PRP for Hair Loss?
PRP treatments are a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that can be done comfortably in a doctor’s office. It can take no longer than 30 minutes to an hour.
What makes PRP preferable for patients is that it doesn’t need any complicated procedures and medications. All you will need is your own healthy blood and a knowledgeable doctor who will oversee the process for you.
PRP uses natural means of hair growth by signaling to your skin cells to kick into function. You would basically just be providing your follicles a much-needed boost of growth, using the same blood that flows through them, but with more concentrated platelets for growth.
Where Can You Get PRP for Hair Loss?
You can ask your primary health care provider if there are any clinics or hospitals nearby that provide PRP therapy, or if they could do the treatment for you themselves.
PRP also comes with a hefty price tag, which varies depending on where you live or where you prefer to get your treatments. In New York, for example, a PRP hair treatment cost can rack up about £800-£1200.
The benefits of PRP for hair loss, as well as for a host of other medical conditions, are promising and offer more benefits than risky side effects. This is helpful for those who have tried all the possible combinations of medications, creams, and procedures to little or no success.
Remember that before going into new treatment options for any condition, you should do your own share of research. It is also important that you consult with your primary healthcare provider to see if PRP injections are a good and safe option for you.
It is also important for adults to consume a healthy mix of daily vitamins. We recommend this Vitamin D3 supplement.
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