What Is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated blood plasma that contains up to 12 times more platelets than found in circulating blood. Additionally, PRP contains growth factors and bioactive proteins that are known to aid in healing wounds and have been shown in some early studies to promote hair growth. PRP has been successfully used in other medical specialties such as orthopedics and plastic surgery. PRP may be of value not only in patients with pattern baldness, both male and female but also in other forms of hair loss such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata.
How Do We Get PRP?
PRP is formulated directly from your blood. Our blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Our platelets are responsible for initiating blood clotting and are an essential component of your body’s ability to heal wounds. Increasing the number of platelets in your plasma and applying or injecting them in a wounded area is thought to expedite the healing process. The concentrated growth factors and bioactive proteins in PRP are also thought to be an effective treatment for male and female pattern hair loss, possibly through stimulation of hair follicle stem cells.
It is important to note that not all PRP preparations are the same. Our practice uses a double-centrifuge system called the Emcyte Pure PRP System. The EmCyte system is a “closed” system that greatly limits exposure of your blood to outside air and potential contaminants thereby greatly reducing any chance of infection. By double spinning your blood in this centrifuge, Dr. Dubow is able to separate the components of your blood and isolate the platelet-rich plasma in much higher concentrations than other preparation systems. As the PRP is prepared it will be activated with a small amount of calcium solution to release the growth factors from the platelets during the injection process.
Why Should You Get Your PRP Treatments At Dr. Dubow Dermatology?
At Dr. Dubow Dermatology, Dr. Dubow performs all of the PRP treatments himself.
The importance of who is injecting your PRP cannot be overly stressed. As a board-certified skin pathologist, Dr. Dubow has a special understanding of how and where to inject PRP to achieve maximum effectiveness. During a consultation, he will determine whether or not you are a candidate for PRP treatments. During your initial consultation, Dr. Dubow will evaluate the type and stage of hair loss you are experiencing to determine the most appropriate treatment options available to you.
Is PRP For Hair Loss Right For Me?
During your consultation, Dr. Dubow will determine whether or not you are a candidate for PRP treatments. During your initial consultation, Dr. Dubow will evaluate the type and stage of hair loss you are experiencing to determine the most appropriate treatment options available to you. PRP is NOT a treatment for everyone. Depending upon your age, sex, and stage of hair loss you may be a better candidate for other medical treatments or even hair restoration surgery. As your advocate, Dr. Dubow will provide you with an informative discussion of the pros and cons of all available treatments so you make the proper decisions for your particular situation.
Certain Factors That May Disqualify You From Treatment
Please notify us of any medical conditions you have as well as any medications you take before your PRP treatments. Certain medical conditions may potentially interfere or disqualify you from receiving treatments. Also, certain medications may interfere with the efficacy of PRP treatments.
What Is The PRP For Hair Loss Treatment Process Like?
PRP treatments are done in the office and take about 75 minutes. Approximately 60ml of your blood will be drawn and then the centrifuge process takes about 25 minutes to prepare the final 7 of 8 ml of PRP. Because PRP injections are somewhat uncomfortable most of our patients choose to have local anesthesia injections prior to the treatment. A "ring block" using lidocaine is injected in a halo-like pattern around the top of the head. Additionally, our office offers "Pro-Nox" patient-controlled nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for those patients who wish additional comfort measures. Sedation is not required for PRP treatments. After the treatment area has been numbed Dr. Dubow will administer the PRP treatment which takes approximately 15 minutes. After the PRP injections are complete we apply cold compresses as you relax for approximately 15 minutes before being discharged.
What Is The Treatment Schedule?
PRP treatments are performed every 6 weeks for the first three treatments in most patients. Then, a 4th and 5th treatment are performed at 3-month intervals. After 5 treatments maintenance treatments are performed every 6 to 12 months depending upon your response and therapeutic goals.
What Should I Expect During Treatment? How Long Does Treatment Take? What Should I Expect After Treatment?
After your PRP treatment, your scalp will stay numb for approximately one hour and may feel heavy or tight. This is normal and will subside within a few hours. Also, it is normal for your scalp to be sore for a few days especially when pressed or massaged. Some patients experience swelling after PRP and sometimes this swelling can extend onto the forehead, nasal bridge or around the eyelids. Should this happen swelling will subside in a few days. If becoming swollen is a concern please discuss with us before your treatment so we may discuss options to reduce the likelihood of swelling after your PRP procedure.
How To Prepare For Your Appointment
Please wash your hair on the day of your PRP procedure. Do not apply styling products, powders, or hair spray. Please drink plenty of water before your treatment to ensure that you are well hydrated. Lastly please make sure that you have avoided aspirin, NSAID's and other blood thinners which may interfere with the platelets for a week before your treatment.
Combining Other Treatments With PRP
PRP can be combined with other hair loss treatments. While some patients prefer to try PRP as a stand-alone therapy this is not required. Understandably, many patients wish to do everything they can to help their hair loss and choose to be on other forms of treatment along with PRP. PRP can also be combined with hair restoration surgery and treatments before and after your hair restoration surgery may help stimulate and maintain the growth of the newly transplanted hair.
Micro-Needling For Hair Loss
Micro-needling involves the use of small needles that are used to create multiple microscopic wounds on your skin. The micro-needling can be performed with a small roller like device, a hand held pen or can be done manually with a tiny needle. Your body's natural healing response is thought to react to the microscopic wounds in your skin and promote blood flow with platelet-derived growth factors that may stimulate hair growth. Furthermore, the increased permeability of the skin after micro-needling can be used to administer medications such as minoxidil, PRP, or other appropriate medications to help promote hair growth. Some hair loss pioneers such as Dr. Norman Orentreich and Dr. Peter Goldman believed that dilute aqueous progesterone application may help block DHT, a hormone associated with male and perhaps female pattern baldness. This treatment option may be discussed with Dr. Dubow at the time of your consultation along with other available treatment options.
Trimcinolone Acetonide For Hair Loss
This medication is sometimes injected for certain types of hair loss that require treatment with anti-inflammatory medication. If you suffer from auto-immune hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata, discoid lupus, lichen planopilaris or frontal fibrosing alopecia, Dr. Dubow will discuss this as one treatment option.
Hair Restoration Surgery
In certain situations, a surgical hair transplant is a hair loss treatment option that is worth exploring. Unlike older hair transplant methods, newer transplants are primarily done today using the single follicular unit method, eliminating the plug-like look that plagued earlier hair restoration techniques. During your consultation, if Dr. Dubow feels that this is an appropriate option for you, he will discuss this treatment with you in-depth. Dr. Dubow is affiliated with reputable hair transplant surgeons who are fellows of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, an organization committed to the state of the art practice of hair restoration and ethical practice standards. Dr. Dubow is an associate member of the ISHRS.
Scalp Micro-Pigmentation (SMP)
Scalp Micro-pigmentation (SMP) is a type of tattoo procedure that is used to color the scalp in certain areas where you have experienced hair loss. If you have not responded ideally to other hair loss treatments and are not a good candidate for a surgical hair transplant, scalp micro-pigmentation is an option worth discussing. SMP is also very useful for camouflaging scars from previous hair transplant procedures.
To determine whether or not PRP for hair loss is an appropriate treatment for you, call our office today at (310) 888-4070.