Platelet-rich plasma therapy is growing in popularity. So far, it’s been used for injury treatment, but there isn’t enough clinical evidence to sufficiently prove that it’s effective for faster healing. In addition, it’s been used to help improve libido among women. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to prove its efficacy as a treatment for low libido. Another PRP therapy is for hair loss.
How PRP therapy for hair loss works
Platelet-rich plasma therapy for hair loss works as a non-surgical, non-steroidal treatment that extracts blood from the patient and injecting it into the scalp. It’s believed that injecting PRP into the scalp triggers natural hair growth by boosting blood supply to the hair follicles. This can reportedly also increase the thickness of hair shafts. To increase success rates, some doctors recommend pairing PRP therapy with other hair loss treatments. There isn’t enough research to prove whether PRP is a great therapy for hair loss. PRP treatment is supposed to take place thrice at least a month apart. Maintenance treatments are needed around every half year.
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In the first step, blood is drawn from the arm and put in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins fast enough to separate components in the blood into the solids and the liquid plasma. The area where the injections will be done is also anaesthetised. The second step involves separating blood into platelet-rich plasma, platelet-poor plasma, and red blood cells, drawing out the platelet-rich plasma with a syringe.
The final step includes injecting the platelet-rich plasma into the scalp. Studies show that PRP can work theoretically for hair loss but it’s unclear whom the treatment works best for. Does it work better if you’re bald or if you only have partial hair loss? There’s no way to be certain.
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Side effects of PRP therapy for hair loss
PRP injections are from your own blood. This means that you’re unlikely to contract any infections. However, injections always carry the risks of injuries to blood vessels or nerves, infection from an unsterilised needle, calcification of the site, and scarring.
There’s also the risk of a bad reaction to the anaesthetics used. If you have any allergies to such medications, notify your doctor immediately. PRP therapy for hair loss is also not a good idea if you’re on blood thinner medication. If you are a smoker or have a history of drug abuse, you may not be a viable candidate for PRP therapy.
People with the following conditions should also not use PRP therapy:
- Chronic infections
- Metabolic disorder- this is a condition where the body struggles to metabolise food
- Hemodynamic instability- unstable blood pressure in the organs
- Platelet dysfunction syndrome- this is when blood can’t clot like it’s supposed to because of specific disorders
- Systemic disorder- conditions where one or more organs can’t function properly
- Thyroid disease
- Low platelet count
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What does the science say
A review of PRP therapy for hair loss by the National Center for Biotechnology Information says that the procedure is fairly safe. It can result in mild headaches, itching, abnormal redness on the skin, and swelling from too much fluid. Most patients observed in the review didn’t need any further treatments, such as antibiotics. Patients could return to their daily routines immediately.
People with androgenetic alopecia can consider PRP therapy on its own or combined with other treatments such as hair transplants. It can also work for people who need nonsteroidal forms of treatment. More studies are needed to confirm how to best prepare for the surgery, dosing protocols, injection numbers, and the number of PRP therapeutic sessions to determine the efficacy of the treatment.
Learn more about another type of PRP therapy Could The O-Shot Be The Solution For Low Libido Issues?
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