Your perception of yourself has an out-sized impact on how you interact with the world. Your self-esteem affects your relationships, friendships, professional life, and virtually every other aspect of your life. When you feel good about how you look, it shows in all kinds of subtle ways.
Hair loss often has an adverse impact on self-esteem. The team of experts at Dermatology Associates of Central New Jersey have worked with patients who had tried everything they could think of to reverse hair loss, including pills, creams, and sometimes even very unflattering hairstyles. Most of them hadn’t tried PRP therapy for hair loss, though, and were pleasantly surprised by the results.
Platelet-rich plasma, commonly called PRP, is a therapy with many applications. It has revolutionized skin care and hair loss, is used to treat soft tissue injuries, and is an effective treatment for arthritis.
Platelet-rich plasma is made up of components from your own blood, which is composed of several components. You have red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets in your blood. Platelets contain proteins called growth factors, and that is the science behind PRP therapy.
The first step in PRP therapy for hair loss is a blood draw. We then process the blood in a centrifuge, which spins and separates the various components of your blood. The result is a highly concentrated form of plasma that is extra-rich with platelets and their all-important growth factors.
How PRP is used to stop hair loss
Once we have drawn your blood and extracted the platelet-rich plasma, we inject it into your scalp. In most cases, we inject it into the areas where your hair loss is most noticeable. For many, that means at the front and on the sides. The PRP stimulates your hair follicles to grow hair.
PRP tends to be most beneficial for people with androgenic alopecia, which is sometimes called male pattern baldness or hormone-related baldness. It also usually garners the best results when it’s used in combination with a treatment such as topical minoxidil (Rogaine®) or the oral drug finasteride (Propecia®). Most people need about three sessions to see optimal results.
PRP hasn’t been as extensively studied as a hair loss treatment in other types of hair loss such as stress-related hair loss or autoimmune-related hair loss as it has been for androgenic alopecia.
Some potential drawbacks of PRP for hair loss
PRP therapy isn’t for everyone. There are a few things you should be aware of before you decide to give it a try. Most insurance companies don’t cover the treatment, for instance, and some individuals find the cost prohibitive at about $1,000 per treatment.
You should be prepared for some level of discomfort, as PRP therapy isn’t entirely painless. Your experience depends, to some degree, on your pain tolerance level. Some common side effects include redness, pain, headaches, and some temporary hair shedding.
You should also talk to your doctor about PRP therapy, especially if you have an autoimmune condition or a history of bleeding disorders. Such conditions may not necessarily disqualify you from getting PRP therapy for hair loss, but you should be cautious and discuss any concerns with your doctor.
If you’re ready to learn more about PRP therapy for hair loss and to find out if it might be the right solution for you, schedule an appointment at any of the three locations of Dermatology Associates of Central New Jersey.