Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: What is PRP?
- Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated blood plasma which contains approximately three to five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood.
- In addition, it contains platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) and other bioactive proteins that aid in wound healing and possibly hair growth.
- Human blood is comprised primarily of red blood cells (RBC), as well as white blood cells (WBC), platelets, and plasma. By initiating the first step of coagulation, platelets are the key to the body’s ability to heal wounds.
- It is thought that by increasing the platelet count in a wounded area, the body’s healing to that area would be accelerated – explaining the use of PRP (platelet rich plasma) in wound healing. Its possible effects on promoting hair growth would make it potentially useful in both hair transplantation and the medical treatment of hair loss.
- PRP is used in many areas of medicine, including the acceleration of healing of tendon injuries, the treatment of osteoarthritis, in some aspects of dental work (i.e. jaw reconstruction), and in cardiovascular medicine. The concentrated form of plasma has been shown to accelerate wound healing and tissue repair and, thus, could potentially benefit hair restoration procedures.
- PRP can be used to enhance hair growth as a stand-alone treatment (
1), in combination with medical therapy (
2), or to improve the recovery and results of hair transplant surgery (
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: How is the PRP procedure performed?
During the procedure, a small sample of blood is taken. This sample is processed in an FDA-cleared device to separate the platelets from other components of the blood.The platelets are activated and concentrated up to seven times. These platelets contain a potent cocktail of growth factors, cytokines, and other proteins and are injected into thinning areas. Microneedling of the skin may also be performed prior to or after PRP injection.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: How long does it take to see improvements?
Noticeable results have been reported in as little as can be seen in 3-6 months
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: Can PRP be used to treat hair loss?
- PRP has been studied in pattern baldness (4), alopecia areata (5, 6, 11), and scarring alopecia (lichen planopilaris (7, 8) and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (8)) Although PRP does not work in all cases, many people experience positive results.
- In hair transplantation, PRP can be injected into or sprayed on the recipient site area to, theoretically, stimulate the healing of the transplanted grafts and into the donor area to facilitate healing of the donor incision and potentially minimize scar formation.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: How many sessions of PRP do I need?
One to three (or more) treatments may be required over the course of a year. Treatment may need to be repeated depending on the individual’s response to therapy, hair loss condition and goals.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: What is ACell MatriStem and how can it be used with PRP?
ACell’s MatriStem technology (an FDA approved medical device) works at the cellular level to repair and remodel damaged tissues. ACell has a broad range of medical and surgical applications, and is a naturally occurring protein complex found in skin and other tissues. When injected into the scalp, ACell activates dormant follicular stem cells for up to 18-24 months.
- ACell is not an FDA approved treatment for hair loss.
- When used with PRP, ACell may reduce the amount of PRP sessions performed per year.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: What are the side effects of PRP?
- Minor discomfort (pin prick sensation) from blood draw
- Pain at the injection site
- Bleeding and bruising
- Short lasting pinkness of the skin
- Dizziness and feeling faint (rare)
- A temporary headache
- Redness in the scalp for 2---4 days
- Swelling in the forehead and around the eyes. There may rarely beswelling discoloration and bruising associated with the procedure.
- Allergic reaction to the injection solution
- Injury to nerve and or muscle while injecting
- Reaction to local freezing medications
- Hair loss (temporary) in the existing hair. This is often termed ‘shock loss.’
- Infection (very rare)
- Itching at the injection sites
- Minor bleeding and bruising at the sites of injections
- Injury to nerve during blood draw (very rare)
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: What are the contraindications for PRP?
- Current infections or Sepsis, Skin diseases such as lupus or porphyria
- Current cancer, Current chemotherapy treatments
- Severe metabolic or systemic disorder, Liver disease, Abnormal platelet function (blood disorders), Anticoagulation therapy
- Current use of corticosteroids . Steroid injections in my scalp in the last month.