Good Morning America recently did a segment on treating hair loss with PRP which stands for platelet rich plasma. If you missed the segment I will go over the main points they made.
Hair loss is common for both men and women. It can have a significant phycological impact leading to low self-esteem and depression. B Female pattern hair loss or androgen alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss for women. This occurs in about 6 to 12% of women age 20 to 30 years of age. This increases as one gets older and the incidence is over 55% with women over the age of 70.
The women complain of thinning of the hair, especially in the crown and sides of the head; along with an increase in hair shedding each day. They also state that their hair is not as healthy and shinny as it used to be.
Male pattern baldness effects about two-thirds of men by age 35 to some extent. The cause is usually genetic.
There are three stages of hair growth. Most of the hair follicles are in the Anagen or active growth phase which last 2 to 6 yrs.
The Catagen phase is the transitional hair growth that last 2-3 weeks.
The last phase is the Telogen or quiescence phase that last 2-3 months and at the end of this phase, the hair is shed and a new hair will replace it and the cycle begins again.
The average head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs. About 100 hairs are lost every day.
Hair loss occurs when the hair is shifted into the Telogen phase. The etiology or cause of this is numerous and can include medical conditions, hormonal alterations, genetics, stress, poor nutrition, and drugs. In women, the major cause is nutritional before age 50. Iron deficiency and a decreased intake of the essential amino acid L-lysine are common causes of hair loss. Correction of these can reverse the hair loss, but it might take months to notice a change.
Common treatments for hair loss include oral medications, topical solutions and vitamins. The low-level laser has also been shown to help with some patients. Hair transplantation is also an option for severe hair loss.
Two common treatments that are frequently used in hair loss include minoxidil which is applied topically and it is also known as Rogaine. The other medical is called Finasteride which inhibits dihydrotestosterone or DHT which known to cause hair loss.
What I want to talk about mow is PRP treatments of the scalp. PRP stands for platelet rich plasma and and this made from your own blood. Your blood is drawn and centrifuged a couple of times to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. Inside the platelets are growth factors that are needed to heal wounds. I have used PRP in my practice for over 10 years to help patients heal from different surgeries, and I have used it in the scalp for over 4 years. I have had PRP injected into my scalp over the years because of thinning and increased hair loss. What I have noticed is that my hair stops falling out significantly within a couple of weeks, and the hair appears healthier with more growth of hair in the crown and temporal areas.
There have been more studies in the literature that have explained how PRP helps with hair loss or alopecia. B Dr. Li and colleagues in Korea did a study on rats and investigated how PRP effects the hair follicle and tried to explain the mechanisms involved. 1
They used a rat model that had dark hair and shaved their backs with a clipper. The back of the mice were injected with PRP and with a control which is a nonactive substance and the hair growth was monitored for 3 weeks and injections were stopped when hair reentered the Anagen cycle.
They used complex biochemical assays to measure certain proteins. What they found was that PRP stimulated the hair follicle more than the controls and a growth factor called Fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF-7) and beta-catenin were increased. These proteins are potent stimuli for hair growth. What they also found was that other proteins were also increased with PRP injections. These proteins promotes cell survival and prevents apoptosis or cell death.
Dr. Li showed biochemically why PRP works to increase hair growth. Proteins needed for hair growth were shown to be increased and other proteins that prevented the cells from dying were also shown to be increased.
The effect of hair growth on mice.B Activated PRP was injected at 3-day intervals.B Near complete hair growth was observed in mice injected with PRP for 3 weeks.B Notice the mice under C.
Trink et al did a very good study on patients with Alopecia Areata which is an autoimmune condition causing inflammation-induced hair loss.B There are few treatment options and no treatment is curative or preventive.B 2
They had 45 patients that were treated with either PRP, triamcinolone acetonide (TrA) which is a steroid or placebo.B The study was blinded which means that nobody knew who got what.B Only half of the head was treated and three treatmentsB given at one month apart.B They measured hair regrowth, burning or itching sensation, and how much the hair grew by measuring a protein called Ki-67.B These patients were followed for 1 year.
Their conclusion was that PRP was found to increase hair regrowth compared to TrA (triamcinolone) or placebo.B The Ki-67 levels were significantly higher with the PRP treated areas. This is a marker for cell proliferation.B The the burning and itching symptoms were also less with the PRP treated areas.B They found no complications with treatments of PRP.
In conclusion, these studies show that PRP is a safe effective treatment for hair loss and it has a beneficial role in hair regrowth.B The number of sessions needed is unclear but most studies have used anywhere from 3-5 sessions.
Take advantage of ourB special offer for PRP treatment of the scalp for hair loss for men and women.
We are now offering a $200 savings for each session.B Each session of PRP treatments are $800.
1.Li Zheng, Choi Hye-In, Choi Dae-Kyoung, et al.B Autologus Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Potential Therapuetic Tool for Promoting Hair Growth.B Dermatologic Surgery 2012;38:1040-1046.
2.Trink A, Sorvellini E, Bezzola L, et al.B A randomized, double-blind, placebo-and active-controlled, half-head study to evaluate the effects of platelet-rich plasma on alopecia areata. British Journal of Dermatology 2013;1-5.