08 Apr Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy in Androgenic Alopecia
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a novel treatment where blood is drawn from a patient and then spun down using a centrifuge machine to divide the blood into its separate layers. These include the plasma where white cells are found, the buffy coat which includes a high number of platelets, and the red blood cells.
The plasma and buffy coat are then extracted and injected into various joint spaces, tissues, and even intravenously depending on the pathology the patient presents with.
In androgenic alopecia, also referred to as male-pattern baldness, PRP therapy has been performed and evaluated to determine if the treatment is actually beneficial for affected patients. Here, the PRP preparation is injected under the skin of the scalp where there’s minimal to no hair growth present.
Androgenic alopecia is a hair loss disorder that affects 80 percent of men and 50 percent of women throughout their lifetimes. The therapies available for this condition are limited and there is no cure for it.
The condition is characterized by the following:
- It is chronic and non-scarring.
- It is an age-related condition.
- It is associated with a progressive reduction in the length, diameter, and pigmentation of the hair.
- The condition involves the central area of the scalp with various patterns of hair loss involved.
PRP therapy was initially used for wound healing but researchers decided to perform studies to determine if the treatment could help manage male-pattern hair loss in affected individuals.
Current treatments for androgenic alopecia include:
- Oral finasteride
- Topical minoxidil solution or foam for men and women.
- Prostaglandin analogs
- Hormonal therapy
These therapies can have adverse effects such as decreased libido in men who use finasteride. Other therapies such as hair transplants and scalp reduction are generally reserved for individuals where the mentioned medical treatments have been ineffective.
In a review article which was recently published in the journal Skin Appendage Disorder, the effectiveness of PRP therapy was evaluated by looking at how the treatment worked in 12 separate studies.
Some important facts relating to these studies include:
- They were conducted between 2011 and 2017 making the findings very recent and therefore highly relevant.
- A total of 295 individuals participated in all these studies.
- Most importantly, most of the studies showed that PRP therapy was an effective treatment for androgenic alopecia and increased the terminal hair diameter/thickness in affected individuals.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
PRP contains cytokines and various growth factors in the plasma and concentrated platelet preparation and performs the following functions:
- Enhances the body’s inherent ability to regenerate and repair damaged tissue.
- Differentiation into cells of tissues that have been damaged.
- Formation of new blood vessels to provide a better blood flow to tissue.
- Wound repair, healing, and tissue rejuvenation.
The Regenerative Stem Cell Institute
The Regenerative Stem Cell Institute is Chicago’s top regenerative medicine center where PRP therapy is performed in patients such as those who suffer from androgenic alopecia.
The center is at the forefront of regenerative medicine and also offers therapies in sports injuries, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions, and urologic disorders.