PRP for Hair Restoration
There has been some recent interest in hair restoration by the uncontrolled injection of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) (mostly growth factors and a few stem cells).
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is non-surgical injection procedure, it has been used widely in various indications for more than 30 years with effective results. The first publication on this treatment goes back to 1975 and deals with the use of platelets as physiological adhesives in corneal surgery. Since then, the literatures have widely supported and covered their functions and effects. Most specialities were interested in PRP when repairing process was necessary: osseous regeneration in dental surgery, healing of ulcers in diabetic patients, large-scale burns, in orthopaedic, rheumatology, in sports medicine, and in plastic surgery (reconstructive and cosmetology). In 1996, biology showed a positive effect of growth factors on the hair follicle. Since that time, this process has increasingly been used by physicians.
What is the platelet Rich Plasma?
Blood Plasma is a component of blood that functions as an extracellular matrix for blood cells, when concentrated from blood; it is a yellow liquid substance. Platelets are another component of blood, small particles without nucleus, coming from the fragmentation of the megakaryocytes. they contain granulations. The morphology of the platelets changes when they become activated: they became round, with pseudopods, and they release alpha granules, within which those growth factors are stored. Their life span is about 10 days. Functions in clogging blood vessels and help stop bleeding and are a living body’s very own property for healing wounds through coagulation and many growth factors. Platelet found in the blood plasma are believed to have greater strength in repairing wounds than in circulating blood.
More than 60 factors have been identified. The secretion begins 10 minutes after activation, and 95% of the factors are secreted in the first hour. The most important growth factors for hair applications are:
How is the treatment with PRP will be?
The autologous blood uses platelet extracted from the patient own blood plasma by first taking 8-16 cc of blood from your vein which is very limited amount (same amount of blood for annual health laboratory check-up), the taken blood spin it in a centrifuge with platelet activators. After the centrifuge the plasma has been isolated from other products of the blood, an activator adding it to it and be ready to inject into the scalp, beard or eyebrows.
Protocol of treatment can vary according to the preferred by your physician according to your cause and severity of hair loss. For androgenic alopecia usually, the treatment takes 8-10 months initially between intervals 4-6 weeks, and after that once session a year for maintenance. Significant number of patients have noticed a reduction in their hair thinning with the 2nd or 3rd session of the treatment.
PRP can also it has been used in conjunction with hair transplantation, to stimulate the new relocated hair grafts from shock loss. It repairs any trauma or dryness in the hair grafts, promoting hair growth against telogen effluvium, which is a significant complication associated with hair restoration surgery.
What are the contraindication of this procedure?
The contraindications are:
- Cervicofacial cancer history
- Hematologic disease
- Active local infection
- Anticoagulant treatment
We need to pay attention to history of allergies because activated platelet also release histamine.
What are the complications of this procedure?
The procedure is generally safe and no side effect, almost NO complications associated with it and any one can get the benefit from this treatment to keep healthy hair. Infection can be a considerable risk, but at very minimal chances with uncontrol diabetic patient.
Ineffectiveness or insignificant response to this modality of treatment should be taken in consideration before starting the treatment and this can be for various reasons including irreparable genetic and hormonal baldness, or the type of hair loss that need medical treatment for primary cause of it.