Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

What is PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) is a nonsurgical treatment that is widely used in the medical field1–4. Among its many applications, PRP is often used as an “off label” treatment for hair loss.

What Happens During PRP Treatment?

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy can be broken down into three main steps.

 Withdrawing Blood for PRP

Step One: Retrieve Plasma

Obtaining plasma, a component found within blood, is the main goal of this step. This is obtained by removing a small amount of blood from your arm. The amount of blood needed is only a fraction of what is taken when you donate blood.

Step Two: Activation of Platelets

Platelets located in your drawn blood are then concentrated to about 3 to 7 times the amount normally present. Activated platelets are used in PRP as they contain healing properties and growth factors5. Growth factors can encourage hair growth as they help in the development of new blood vessels and can promote the survival of hair follicles4.6–10

Step Three: Injection

The last step of PRP is to inject these activated platelets into hair loss areas.

Advantages of PRP

  • PRP can encourage hair growth in a wide range of hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata and pattern baldness4,8,10,14–18.
  • PRP can be combined with hair transplantations or can be used as a solo treatment option.
  • This treatment maybe a cost effective, non-invasive hair loss option that may supplement a hair transplant.
  • Combined with a hair transplant, PRP can increase success rates and improve results by increasing the survival rate of transplanted follicles19.
  • No hair growth medications are required during PRP treatment.
  • No adverse effects have been reported12,13.

How effective is PRP?

The effectiveness of PRP on hair loss has been evaluated in numerous studies. In a recent randomized, controlled trial PRP treated alopecia areata patients achieved greater hair regrowth as compared to patients without PRP treatment (N=45)4. Complete remission of alopecia areata was found in 60% of these PRP treated patients4.

PRP has also shown promising results in case studies. In one such case, PRP was combined with a hair transplant in a patient with extensive hair loss. A high survival rate (80%) was found with transplanted follicles due to the PRP treatment, allowing for greater hair coverage18.

How does PRP compare to other nonsurgical hair growth treatments?

The effectiveness of PRP has been directly compared to hair growth medication. In a placebo controlled study, PRP treated alopecia areata patients showed hair regrowth sooner than patients treated with minoxidil (N=90)20.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) January 14, 2017

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