There’s a new treatment in town, and it’s called PRP
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is now filling the gap between conservative therapy and surgery in various medical fields such as plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery and cardiac surgery due to its potential use in skin and hair rejuvenation and for its wound healing results.
PRP treatments that are used for hair loss (alopecia), musculoskeletal conditions, cosmetic procedures and sexual issues are on the rise. This article will address the role of PRP in hair loss.
PRP is a procedure performed in an office or outpatient setting. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient at the time of treatment. The blood is then placed in a specialized centrifuge that spins and separates the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma is further separated producing a highly concentrated level of the patients own natural growth factors. When injected, it is these growth factors that improve healing by increasing tissue regeneration.
Several studies have results concluding to either an increase in the factors promoting hair growth or an increase in hair density and stimulation of hair growth when the follicle was treated with the platelet plasma growth factors.
When considering PRP therapy for both men and women, several factors need to be tested and addressed by your practitioner.
Hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair loss. One should have their hormones tested and balanced with bio-identical hormone therapy if needed. Hormones to be tested include testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and cortisol levels. Sub-optimal thyroid function is also an important influencing factor. TSH, T4, T3 and thyroid antibodies should be tested. Having all of these vital hormones balanced will not only assist in achieving the best results but will provide overall wellness.
Male and female pattern baldness can be the result of high levels of the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) so testing should also be included and then addressed if high.
Nutrient imbalances will also contribute. Iron deficiency (anemia) and low B vitamins play a role in hair loss, as does over supplementing with certain vitamins, such a Vitamin A, and a diet lacking sufficient protein can also be a factor. As Canadians, low Vitamin D levels are prevelant can also cause hair loss. Therefore, bloodwork is necessary to determine and correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies and excesses. Nutrient levels are normally not part of the blood work most practitioners request so make sure you do.
Autoimmune conditions, extreme stress and anxiety, and certain medications like NSAID’s, immunosuppressive agents and beta blockers may influence hair loss.
It’s important to consider all of these possible causes to determine if they are a factor, and correct them if needed. PRP can help expedite the hair growth while treating the underlying cause.
The procedure is safe as PRP is made from your own blood; it is insulated against the risk of disease transmission and inflammatory immune responses. The side effects after PRP injections are minimal pain and redness at the injection site. PRP injections are a new and exciting method in hair loss treatments. It is simple, cost effective, and feasible treatment option for many people.
Maria Musitano, B.Sc.Pharm,
Compounding Pharmacist Concession Medical Pharmacy firstname.lastname@example.org