Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Hair Restoration
Recent scientific research and technology provides the medical community with new understandings of wound and tissue healing. As a result of these scientific studies, we recognize PRP is an all-natural autologous medical procedure performed in physicians offices for scalp, skin, and hair stimulation.
While studies are slowing being published in the medical literature on the success of PRP, the hair restoration community remains cautious about making claims for hair restoration using exclusively PRP. In a recent study published in Dermatologic Surgery, physicians in Korea published data supporting the clinical application of PRP in hair restoration
THE SCIENCE OF PRP
PRP contains special cells called Platelets, that can theoretically cause growth of the hair follicles by stimulating the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicle. These special Platelet cells promote healing, accelerates the rate and degree of tissue healing and regeneration, responds to injury, and formation of new cellular growth. The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase.
Inside the Platelets are many intracellular structures such as glycogen, lysosomes and alpha granules. These granules within the PRP contain clotting and growth factors that are eventually released during the healing and repair process.
PRP specific cells that causes hair growth include:
Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)—promotes blood vessel growth, cell replication, skin formation;
Transforming Growth-Factor-Beta (TGF-b)—promotes growth of matrix between cells, bone metabolism;
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)—promotes blood vessel formation;
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)—promotes cell growth and differentiation, blood vessel formation, collagen formation;
Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2)—promotes growth of specialized cells and blood vessel formation;
Insulin Like Growth Factor – (IGF)—a regulator of normal physiology in nearly every type of cell in the body
DOES PRP WORK?
Individual results vary with each patient. No guarantees of success can be made but PRP preliminary studies indicate patients can respond to PRP therapy. Some hair restoration surgeons apply PRP to the scalp for those patients who are not surgical candidates every three (3) to four (4) months. Other protocols will use PRP before or during surgery to insure graft survivability.
PRP is a potential emerging non-surgical based therapy for natural hair follicle stimulation for thinning hair. Larger clinical studies are pending but the current medical literature contains numerous optimistic results. Although a few controlled studies exist, anecdotal and case reports are the primary sources reflecting success with PRP therapy.
WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE PRP TREATMENT?
Patients with history of heavy smoking, drug and alcohol use. Medical diagnosis such as platelet dysfunction syndromes, thrombocytopenias, hypofibrinogenaemia, hemodynamic instability, sepsis, acute and chronic Infections, chronic liver disease, anti-coagulation therapy, chronic skin diseases or cancer, metabolic and systemic disorders.
IS PRP FOR ME?
PRP has been used successfully in other medical and surgical disciplines for many years. The decision to use PRP is a personal decision and should be made after careful research, consideration and consultation with a physician. PRP is safe and natural because the procedure concentrates the good cells from your scalp and injects them directly back into the area where it is needed. There is absolutely no chance of getting a blood infection from another human being. PRP involves using your own cells that are not modified or changed, and it will not be rejected by your immune system.
Extensive clinical trials are not complete and medical data is not yet published to establish the absolute effectiveness of PRP therapy in hair restoration. PRP should not be considered a “cure” for hair loss and no guarantee can be made about its individual effectiveness. No claim of PRP efficacy in promoting hair growth can be made because there is no FDA approval that would allow such claims to be made.
CAN I USE OTHER MEDICAL THERAPIES CONCURRENTLY?
Absolutely. In fact, we encourage it and prescribe PRP therapy as a compliment to a nonsurgical approach for those patients who are not eligible for surgery or who want to delay hair restoration surgery. As a non-surgical treatment option, we recommend PRP therapy along with Minoxidil and DHT blockers or for those patients who can not tolerate or have side effects with these medications.
In summary, PRP therapy offers the opportunity for hair growth for those patients who are not candidates for surgery or those patients wanting a more aggressive nonsurgical approach to treatment. For our surgical patients PRP therapy is performed at the same day as the hair restoration surgery.
Whether you are looking for additional hair stimulation, or are looking to have hair surgery with the addition of PRP, OC Hair Restoration center is able to meet your needs. Results will vary from patient to patients, and PRP as a non-surgical option has not been offers patients with miniaturization and hair thinning improvement in hair caliber and thickness.