Treating hair loss has been a challenge for decades. The condition is even more devastating for women who routinely asked about treating their hair thinning conditions. There is a real lack of effective therapies for men and women with pattern hair loss. Topical Rogaine (minoxidil) is only of limited help, and while taking oral Propecia (finasteride) helps to regrow hair in men it is ineffective in women. Hair transplantation is effective, but can be an expensive, surgical grafting procedure. Fortunately, the board-certified dermatologists at SkinCare Physicians have a new technique called PRP (platelet rich plasma), which is changing the way we treat hair loss.
Used for over a decade in orthopedics to enhance healing after surgery and injuries, PRP is now being used to enhance hair growth. In addition to white and red blood cells, blood plasma contains platelets which contain high levels of growth factors. Growth factors are messengers that tell our cells to function optimally. We believe PRP helps to encourage regrowth of hair by stimulating resting hairs to grow and thicken. In dermatology, it is most commonly being used to treat a variety of types of hair loss such as pattern thinning, also known as androgenetic alopecia, in both men and women, as well as less common conditions such as alopecia areata (patches of balding) and frontal fibrosing folliculitis (a type of scarring hair loss.)
To obtain PRP, a small sample of the patient’s blood is spun down using a special centrifuge so the platelets can be collected and then injected into the thinning area on a monthly basis for the first three months. Each session includes 10 to 20 injections depending on the size of the area being treated. Then, patients have a session every three months for the first year. The initial treatments stimulate the hairs to grow and the next sessions maintain what has grown. Six months after the final treatment patients appear to maintain the hair they grew during the year of treatment.
Patients may go to hair clinics which are not run by dermatologists for treatments, but they would be much better served by seeing the true experts in hair loss – Dermatologists who understand the process of hair loss in both men and women. That’s why SkinCare Physicians has established a hair loss PRP program so our patients can be properly and safely treated by the experts. If you are suffering from hair thinning and balding patterns, our team of medical professionals can help. Request a consultation online or contact us at (617) 731-1600 to schedule your appointment.
Photos courtesy of Shilpi Khetarpal, MD
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