What is platelet-rich plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a solution rich in platelets made from your own blood. Platelets have several growth factors that have been shown to stimulate hair growth and healthy hair follicles. These growth factors can increase blood flow to the hair follicles, reduce hair shedding, increase hair diameter and density, and make your hair’s growth phase last longer.
PRP is recommended most commonly for patients with androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss or male pattern hair loss. It is also used occasionally for other types of inflammatory or scarring hair loss.
PRP is also used for facial rejuvenation. See microneedling for more detail.
What should I expect with the treatment?
Prior to your treatment, your board-certified dermatologist will review your history and make sure you are an appropriate candidate for PRP. A series of treatments will be recommended (at least 3), followed by a maintenance regimen if pleasing results are achieved.
Before the procedure, a member of the care team will draw blood from your arm. This blood will be placed in a centrifuge to collect the portion of the blood that is rich in platelets – termed platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Next, you and your doctor will plan the areas on the scalp where treatment is desired. PRP will be injected into these areas by your dermatologist. This is minimally painful and pain control options will be discussed prior to treatment.
After PRP treatment for the scalp, you may feel a mild headache or pressure-like sensation for 24-48 hours. You will be asked not to wash your hair or exercise for 1-2 days to allow the PRP to settle in your hair follicles. Your treatments will be scheduled every 4 weeks to start. As you continue treatments, we hope to see less hair shedding, increased hair thickness, and new hair growth.
Are there any risks?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a low-risk procedure with minimal side effects, including pain and bruising. Despite several studies on the use of PRP for hair loss, not all patients see improvement in their hair. Researchers are still learning about PRP, how it works, and who is the best candidate. What we do know is that PRP works best in combination with other hair loss treatments. If you are considering PRP, discuss additional therapies with your doctor to optimize your chances of seeing improvement.
A thorough understanding of hair disease and hair loss is necessary prior to recommending PRP. As each individual is unique, your dermatologist will listen to your concerns, and do a careful physical exam prior to treatment to optimize your outcome.
At Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, PRP is used for facial rejuvenation and hair loss in the trained hands of a board-certified dermatologist only.