In the past regenerative medicine was treated as science fiction; today it is a reality. Plastic surgeons are leading the way in using body cells to assist in healing and tissue regeneration. By now, you may be aware of the use of own blood cells to achieve a youthful complexion. But, did you know that you could use similar treatment to restore your lost hair?
Several men and women have lost their hair due to old age. Sometimes, baldness can start early in life, but in most cases, it is prevalent among persons above 50 years. If you are among this group of men and women, you do not have to worry anymore because Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) promote hair restoration.
What is PRP therapy and how does it work?
PRP is a three-step medical procedure that involves the injection of platelet-rich plasma to the root of hair follicles. Doctors will inject the plasma on the specific areas of the scalp where it has lost hair.
The plasma in our blood has platelets and white blood cells. The platelets are rich in growth factors. These growth factors, in a way, play a messenger role. They trigger the skin cells to function. The growth factors can boost the activity of the hair follicle by stimulating the stem cells and related cells within the microenvironment of the follicle. This promotes new hair growth.
Highly concentrated platelet cells speed up the rate of tissue healing, promote healing and formation of cellular growth. The cells can also respond to injuries. Within the platelet cells, here are several intracellular structures such as lysosomes, glycogen and alpha granules. In cases of thinning air, platelet cells activate newly implanted hair follicles to grow.
Is PRP effective?
PRP has been used for years in dentistry and sports medicine. Since PRP is part of your own blood, there is no problem of compatibility. The science behind PRP may be at its infancy, but there is growing evidence that it supports hair growth.
One of the scientific studies published in Dermatology Surgery shed more light on the effectiveness of PRP as a potential treatment for hair growth. Besides this, clinical studies conducted by the New York Hospital for Special Surgery show that PRP therapy can decrease pain to various conditions such as wrist, elbow, knee, shoulder, ankle and hip tendonitis. Several other studies have recognized PRP as an all-natural medical procedure. Therefore, it is safe and effective. That is why Dr. Epstein and the whole team at the Foundation for Hair Restoration have confidence in PRP.
As stated above, PRP is a three-step process. Its application can be through intra-operative preoperative and postoperative. In most cases, doctors recommend three treatments spread over three months. Besides this, there are maintenance treatments every 4 – 6 months for up to two years. The maintenance schedule depends on your age, genetics, hormones, and the amount of hair loss.
- Step 1 – The first step is drawing of blood from your arm. The process is just as if you are having a normal blood testing at your doctor’s office. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge, a machine that separate fluids according to densities.
- Step 2 – After leaving the blood in the centrifuge for about 10 minutes, the doctor will separate it into different layers. This is the stage where PRP is removed and separated from the rest of the blood. Apart from platelet-rich plasma, the other layers are platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells. We use a closed sterile system to spin the blood cells to concentrated platelets rich plasma.
- Step 3 – This step involves drawing the platelet-rich plasma into a syringe then inject into the affected areas of your scalp. The doctor will then wash your hair. The procedure does not involve the use of medication or sedation. So, there is no danger in driving yourself home after the procedure.
Is PRP safe, and who is the right candidate?
PRP has been successfully used in different medical fields for several years. PRP is natural and safe because the procedure uses your own blood cells. So, there is zero chance of getting blood infection as there is no modification. Your immune system will not reject your own cells. Moreover, the injections are concentrated on the affected areas.
The choice of whether to have or not to have PRP therapy is a personal decision. If you are unsure, please talk to the professionals at the Foundation for Hair Restoration. After assessing your situation, Dr Epstein will help you understand various options. He will also answer your most pressing questions.
That being said, PRP is not suitable for patients with drug, alcohol use, or heavy smoking history. Apart from this category of patients, you should also talk to your doctor before going for PRP therapy if you suffer from any of the following conditions.
- Acute and Chronic Infections.
- Platelet dysfunction syndromes.
- Chronic skin diseases or cancer.
- Chronic liver disease.
- Metabolic and systemic disorders.
- Hemodynamic instability.
Combining PRP with other medical therapies
There is no side effect of combining PRP therapy with other hair treatments. In fact, in some case, it is advisable to use PRP as a compliment to a non-surgical approach. PRP therapy is suitable for patients who are not eligible for surgery or those who want to delay surgery.
Got more questions about PRP?
If you have had challenges in managing your hair loss, PRP would offer much relief. Whether you are looking for hair surgery treatment combined with PRP, or are looking for extra hair stimulation, this therapy offers hair thinning improvement and miniaturization. It is ideal for patients who might not qualify for surgery but want a more aggressive minimally invasive approach to treatment.
If you want to learn more about PRP, schedule a consultation with Dr Epstein of the Foundation For Hair Restoration to discuss how this medication can help you restore your hair. Dr Epstein is an acclaimed facial and plastic surgeon. He is a Diplomate, American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami among other professional achievements. So far, the doctor has performed over 12,000 hair restoration procedures. A team of nine professionals and assistants assists him.
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