Blood component treatment with platelet rich plasma (PRP/ platelet riche plasma) is a treatment using concentrated amount of platelets from the patient's own blood, which is then injected back into the scalp. Platelets contain growth factors that attract stem cells to the area. Stem cells and the growth factors of the platelets stimulate hair regrowth.
The most common form of hair loss in both men and women is called androgenic alopecia, which occurs due to genetically determined androgenic effects on the hair follicles.
Androgenic alopecia is dependent on the androgenic substance dihydrotesterosterone (DHT). The hair follicles contain receptors for androgen (male sex hormone). When these receptors are affected by DHT, two things happen. The growth phase is shortened and the hair follicle itself becomes smaller, which leads to shorter and thinner hair.
Men can start losing their hair already in adolescence. However, it is more common for this to happen around the age of 30. First, one often discovers that the hair becomes thinner and later the scalp becomes increasingly visible. Even the hairline can creep up higher and there are tabs, the characteristic "high temples".
Women with androgenic alopecia suffer from a more diffuse hair loss and rarely experience total hair loss. About 20-25% of all women in their 50s show signs of female androgenic alopecia.
When hair follicles remain, PRP can restore hair to its original size and reduce hair loss. For this reason, the PRP works best for women and for younger men who have just begun to notice that their hair has become thinner.
Alopecia areata is a disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes blunt hair loss. PRP treatment has been successful in that situation too.
Hair loss due to chemotherapy or radiotherapy most likely does not respond to treatment with PRP.
In PRP therapy, a small amount of blood (usually 1-2 test tubes) is first collected from the patient. The platelets are then concentrated by centrifugation of the blood. After local anesthesia, the platelet-rich plasma is introduced into the scalp through several small injections. The large number of platelets injected stimulates inactive hair follicles into an active growth phase. It can irritate the scalp for a few hours and slight swelling can sometimes be seen in the next few days. The treatment does not pose a risk of hypersensitivity since the platelets come from the patient's own blood.
After the first treatment, it can be noted that hair loss decreases already after 2-3 weeks. After a month you get their second treatment. Patients who have undergone PRP therapy have observed increased hair growth and thickness within 3-6 months. Return visits are booked for follow-up 6 months after the second reading.
The PRP treatment is not suitable if you have been diagnosed with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count), chronic liver disease, cancer or if you are on blood thinners. Those who smoke a lot and use a lot of alcohol are not ideal candidates for PRP treatment (due to poorer platelet function and blood circulation).
Anti-inflammatory drugs block platelet activity. Such treatment should be discontinued at least 3-4 days prior to PRP therapy and may be continued after one week.
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