Aug 25, 2020
Platelet rich plasma is the most popular treatment for Hair loss globally. Platelet rich plasma aka PRP is obtained from our own blood. For this, blood is collected as routine medical procedure and yellow part of the blood rich in platelets is separated by machine. This yellow PRP is known as liquid gold and has promising results in hair and skin problems.
How do it help with Hair loss?
Our hair grows in cycles. One hair cycle takes around nine months. However, growth phase might last for up to one year, giving us long lushful hairs of any length we grow. In baldness, growth phase of the hairs is shortened progressively in each hair cycle. Hair root stem cells also slowly lose their regeneration power. Blood supply decreases too, allowing hair roots to eventually die. This process of balding is known as Androgenetic Alopecia.
Platelet rich plasms has been used in Androgenetic alopecia for quite some time now. Although initial studies were inconclusive, recent systematic review in 2020 reported across many studies that PRP has consistently shown to increase hair density, hair caliber, hair length and texture in many researches. Almost 84% of all researches published on PRP for hairs till date, have shown beneficial effects, which is commendable for any medical therapeutic modality.
How does it help with skin problems?
PRP therapy is known for its wonderful regenerative capacity. It contains factors that stimulate cells to regrow and nurture. Hence it is helpful in improving wrinkles, pigmentation and achieving even toned skin glow.
What happens when we inject PRP?
Activated platelets release VEFG, PDGF, FGF, EGF, IGF-1 and TGF- β, which promotes stem cells to convert into hair follicles, prolongs hair growth phase, reduces inflammation, improves blood flow slightly, and even increase the thickness of the skin. Many studies have reiterated above findings. Uebel et al. showed that pretreatment of follicular units with PRP before transplantation resulted in improved hair growth and density.
How long does it take to do PRP in clinic?
It takes around 30 minutes to prepare the PRP and 15 more minutes to inject it. The entire process should complete within 1 hour. When combined with microneedling, it might take 15 minutes more.
How many sessions of PRP gives good results?
Number of sessions are ideally between four to six sessions. Each PRP session stimulates hairs to go into growth phase. To see visible results, we need to do monthly PRP injections for 4-6 months at first.
However, some people might need more or less sessions depending on the grade of hair loss, how rapidly someone is balding, any other medical conditons, etc. As a maintenance treatment, three sessions every year is recommended.
Is it painful?
PRP is slightly painful. Pain of PRP is with the platelet solution itself, and not exactly due to needles. Since very small sized needles are used, they are not painful. However, to those who have less pain tolerability, you may opt of Growth Factor treatment. Growth factors are modified PRP where blood is drawn similarly but the injections are painless. Growth factors are bit more expensive compared to PRP, but have comparable results.
How long does it take to recover from PRP injections?
Recovery time is minimal after PRP injections. Since small aliquots are injected and its own blood, hence there is no specific restrictions after the procedure. You can exercise or resume physical activity same day.
When do you know you are an ideal candidate for PRP?
PRP therapy has proven role in male and female hair loss, especially genetic balding. However, it is best to get proper evaluation first by your Dermatologist. The Dermatologist with expertise in Trichology, will take detailed history regarding the type of hair loss and its associations. Trichoscopy of the scalp gives a clearer picture regarding the diagnosis. Then few blood tests are important to check for any underlying cause, which might or might not respond to PRP injections. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, number of PRP sessions and concomitant medical treatment will be determined.
Is PRP permanent treatment?
Hair loss has many causes. Stress related hair fall can improve with time. But baldness is generally a continuous process similar to aging. Baldness is also considered Hair Aging. Hence treatments including medicines and PRP are temporary. They help in stopping the progression and improve density.
Are there any side effects?
PRP is derived from your own blood. Hence it is the safest cosmetic procedure available. Mild pain and discomfort are the only known side effects.
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