Hair loss affects many people today, with the majority of them facing the condition because of their genetic draw. In these instances, it’s caused by the thinning of the hair follicle to the point where no hair continues to grow from a particular area. Although typically associated to men, women are also affected by hair loss. When women face genetic hair loss, the condition could better be described as hair thinning rather than complete baldness. Overall, the condition afflicts such a wide portion of the population that many dermatologists have been working to come up with new forms of treatment. Platelet rich plasma therapy has come to the attention of many professionals and patients recently, but many people still have questions about what the treatment entails and the benefits of the procedure. Here are the basics of how platelet rich plasma therapy works and the advantages it offers patients.
How the treatment can be used
Platelet rich plasma therapy involves taking some of the patient’s own blood and separating the platelet rich plasma from the rest with a centrifuge and combining it with an activating compound. The patient’s scalp is then numbed and the plasma is strategically injected into the scalp. Platelets are excellent for stimulating growth and healing, which means there are two main ways that the treatment can be used.
Some dermatologists use the platelets to halt and reverse the thinning of the hair follicles, which is causing the hair loss. Others choose to use the therapy in conjunction with hair transplants. Since the plasma helps to stimulate growth and healing, it can be used to help with the recovery following a hair transplant.
The benefits offered by platelet rich plasma therapy
The first benefit noticed by many patients and their doctors is that the plasma is developed from the patient’s own blood. This eliminates risks associated with donor genetic materials such as allergies, hypersensitivity, and other adverse reactions. Many patients are also drawn to the natural qualities of using elements of their own body rather than chemicals or donated cells.
The second benefit, which many patients like to hear, is the effectiveness of the treatment. When used to stimulate the restoration of hair follicles, studies have shown it to be very effective. It is important to note that the procedure works better for certain conditions than for others. In the cases of androgenetic or hereditary alopecia (hair loss), which causes the hair follicles to thin until hair is no longer able to grow, the procedure has been especially effective. Typically, results are seen within 3-6 months following treatment. The best results are also seen in those who started experiencing hair loss rather recently rather than those with advanced conditions, as the treatment works with the hair follicles that are still present.
The results have also been strong in patients who experienced hair loss due to alopecia areata (spot baldness) or similar diseases, when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Hair loss as a result of chemotherapy treatments or radiation, however, has not been shown to respond well to the treatments.
When used in conjunction with a hair transplant, it has also been shown to improve success rates by stimulating the transplanted hair follicles to grow and develop as expected. The plasma also helped with the healing of the tissue damaged in the treatment.
Another important consideration of many patients is cost. Fortunately, the treatment has proven to be very affordable and cost effective, especially when compared to other surgical treatment options. A study published by the European Journal of Plastic Surgery stated that “PRP injections are simple and efficient, have minimal morbidity with a low cost-to-benefit ratio and can be regarded as a valuable alternative for the treatment of alopecia”.
People experiencing hair loss often search for the best way to halt the process and reverse their symptoms. Many will try a variety of over the counter methods, others will go as far as to get hair transplants. Fortunately, the platelet rich plasma therapy used in conjunction with laser treatment is proving to be an effective, safe, non-surgical alternative for many experiencing hair loss.