Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy has already attracted attention in the plastic surgery, orthopedic and cardiac surgery because of its beneficial effects in skin rejuvenation, rapid healing, reduced infections, decreased chance of hypertrophic scars and keloid formation. It was catapulted to fame in the social media by Kim Kardashian West’s famous Instragmmed facials in 2013 with a spooky selfie of her face calling it a “vampire facial”.
Apart from the above uses, the benefits of PRP in promoting hair growth has been known since 1993. Hair loss has a significant influence on the psychological distress and is associated with low self-esteem and depression.
A variety of reasons can cause hair loss including, hereditary, stress, hormonal changes, post pregnancy, patchy hair loss, scalp infections, dramatic weight loss, systemic conditions like anemia, vitamin B deficiency and few autoimmune conditions.
Treatment options for all types of hair loss begins with managing the underlying disorder. The medical management is limited with only a few FDA approved medications, with some patients having a possibility of developing side effects to these medications as well.
PRP injections can be regarded as a valuable adjuvant treatment modality for all types of hair loss. PRP has an effective concentration of multiple growth factors which help in modulation of tissue repair and regeneration. Studies have even shown that Hair units pretreated with platelet plasma growth factors before their implantation for hair transplant cases showed stimulation of growth in them.
PRP is done by drawing the patient’s blood in specific containers and then centrifuging or “spinning” it fast enough so that the blood cells settle at the bottom and the plasma we require is on top of the container. We collect the required plasma and then either inject it or apply it on the affected areas of hair loss or over the entire pre anaesthetized scalp. These sessions are repeated every 3 – 4 weeks and significant improvement in the hair density with reduced hair fall is usually noticed.
PRP hair treatment is a simple, outpatient department procedure and with its excellent safety profile is a promising treatment option for patients with thinning hair. For any further queries please contact the Dermatology Department at Bahrain Specialist Hospital.
Dr. Anitta Sara Thampi, M.B.B.S, M.D