What is PRP or “Platelet-Rich Plasma”?
Contemporary medical science has discovered the great potential for the human body’s ability to heal itself, as a vast treasure trove of medical treatments for various ailments. PRP or Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a very promising type of regenerative medicine therapy that promises to harness the body’s own ability to heal itself and amplifies the natural growth factors already contained in the blood to heal the body and its ailments.
Although PRP treatment is not a definitively proven medical treatment, and while it is also not approved as a medical treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Nonetheless, its popularity supersedes its proven results as prominent athletes like Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal have been known to use PRP injections in order to boost healing abilities, after injuries.
Furthermore, there are some in the medical community contemplate that PRP treatment has the potential to trigger natural hair growth and maintain growth by increasing blood supply to the hair follicles; thus, growing the thickness of the hair shaft. Thus, it is usually seen that PRP treatment, generally, follows after a hair transplant surgery, with the belief that it would boost the natural growth factors and allow more grafted hair follicles to thrive, in their newly transplants site. Although, it must be kept in mind that there isn’t much definitive medical research to prove that PRP can be an effective hair loss treatment option.
What is plasma and what are platelets?
Generally speaking, Plasma is the liquid part of the blood which comprises of water and proteins that provide a medium for the red and white blood cells and platelets to circulate throughout the body. “Thrombocytes” or also known as platelets are blood cells that act as a clotting agent for blood and thus provides the essential therapeutic growth factors to the blood.
Now, medical experts believe that platelets play a vital role in the body’s natural healing ability, as their activation can stimulate the body to grow new and healthy cells and thereby promoting healing. Thus, researchers believe that injecting concentrated amounts of platelet-rich plasma into damaged tissue can kick start the body’s natural growth factors and help the body in healing faster.
What are the purposes of PRP injections?
This discovery of potential therapeutic benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma has prompted researchers to apply PRP treatments to various medical conditions and diseases.
All in all, it must be noted, however, PRP therapy seems promising, none of the potential PRP applications has definitive proven medical results to be conclusive.
How do you prepare for PRP injections?
Generally speaking, it takes a few steps to prepare the PRP injections for the patients, suffering from hair loss.
PRP can be injected in different ways:
What is the PRP injection process?
Typically, a patient can expect the following with a regular PRP injection therapy session:
What are the potential side effects of PRP?
It must be kept in mind, that as PRP therapy involves injecting a substance into the skin, there are always chances of potential side effects. Even though, PRP is autologous in nature, meaning it only contains substances that come directly from your own body; it reduces the risks for an allergic reaction that can occur from injecting other medications, such as cortisone or hyaluronic acid.
However, having said that there are risks from the PRP injection themselves, which can include:
Thus, for any potential patients, it is important to discuss these potential risks with their doctor, in order to minimize any risk factors.
What are the risks of PRP for hair loss?
It is of utmost importance that patients report all medications that they are taking, which may include supplements and herbs; prior to the PRP therapy, to their medical professionals, in order to reduce any risk of potential side effects.
However, a patient may also be discouraged from having a PRP treatment if they;
What conditions of diseases can disqualify a patient from getting PRP therapy?
As far as patients who are concerned about hair loss, and have exhausted medical treatments such as Rogaine and Propecia, then, PRP therapy coupled with a hair transplant surgery can be a viable and permanent solution to hair loss.
However, it must be kept in mind that there is limited clinical proof that PRP for hair loss actually works, even though, there may be many who would believe that PRP is a relatively safe and effective therapy for reversing hair loss and stimulating new hair growth.