PRP Hair Restoration
What is PRP?
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, which is naturally found in everyone’s blood. PRP contains many growth factors active in wound healing and soft tissue growth. These factors also stimulate the hair bulb under the skin to grow hair. It is autologous, meaning derived completely from you, so there are no concerns with allergic reactions or unnatural substances being injected into the body.
What does it treat?PRP works best for men and women of all age with genetic hair loss (androgenic hair loss) that has happened recently or is ongoing. While it can sometimes help other types of hair loss, it is usually not recommended for hair loss due to scarring, lupus or thyroid issues and does not work well on completely bald areas. It also does not work in everybody. While the majority of patients see results, there are some patients who do not, for reasons we do not know and results cannot be guaranteed.
PRP is also used commonly in orthopedic conditions to help heal tendons and ligaments.
Finally, PRP is used for changes in the face due to aging- the so-called Vampire facial. It can be injected into problem areas around the eyes and mouth, used after microneedling (gaining access through the microscopic holes in the skin) and after fractional laser procedures to speed healing time and improve results.
The best results occur when patients are treated monthly for 3-4 months, then every 6 months to maintain their hair growth. Treating concurrently with topical minoxidil preparations, oral finasteride or dutasteride and low level laser is also recommended for maximum hair growth. Talk to your dermatologist for a personalized regimen.
How is PRP prepared?
A small amount of blood in drawn in a special tube. The tube is spun in a centrifuge for 10 minutes which separates the PRP from the red blood cells, white blood cells and other parts of the blood. The PRP is drawn into another syringe and injected or rubbed into the area being treated.
Does it hurt?
We use a variety of techniques to decrease the stinging from the injections including blowing cold air on the scalp a few minutes prior and during the injections to numb the skin, topical numbing or a vibration device to lessen the pain. The injections take less than 5 minutes.
Who should not get PRP?Anyone on blood thinners is not a candidate, as the blood thinners affect the platelets. Patients with skin cancer in the treated area should not get treated and anyone with an infection or significant inflammation in the area should wait until the condition is healed. You should not take aspirin 2 weeks prior to a PRP treatment and should avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, Motrin, naproxen 7 days prior to and 7 days after PRP as it may lessen the effect. Some supplements can thin the blood and may affect PRP, so it is also recommended you discontinue all multivitamins, Vit E, Vit A, Ginko, Garlic, Flaxseed, Cod liver oil a week before and you may restart a week after.
Skin diseases including Lupus and porphyria, liver disease, platelet or other blood disorders should not get PRP and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not get PRP.
What are the limitations after PRP?
There are no limitations. Occasionally patients will have mild headaches (can treat with Tylenol) and rarely facial swelling for a few days, but most can go straight to their usual lives.
What are alternatives to PRP?
Medical treatments such as minoxidil (Rogaine), nutritional supplements such as Biotin, oral medications such as finasteride (Propecia) and the use of low level energy lasers to stimulate scalp blood flow. Surgical options include hair transplantation and scalp reduction.
How do I get the best results from PRP?
PRP is a newer treatment and a lot is still unknown about it. The best results occur when several different treatments are combined with the recommended 3-4 series of treatments. We recommend combining topical medications with low level laser treatments and oral supplements /medication for best results and each treatment plan should be customized to the individual patient’s needs and preferences.