Hair loss can be devastating for men and women alike. Treating hair loss is a challenge, as there is a lack of effective non-surgical 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 its utility is limited to both men and women with somewhat advanced hair loss. 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.
If you are considering a PRP treatment to get thicker and fuller hair, our team of medical professionals can help. Request a consultation online or contact us at (617) 731-1600 to schedule your appointment.
Used for over a decade PRP has been used in orthopedics to enhance healing after surgery and injuries, 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, messengers that tell our cells to function optimally. It appears that 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.)
A thorough personal and family history of hair loss will be taken to intelligently estimate your future pattern of hair loss. Hair color, texture, and density will be assessed, and your expectations from treatment discussed with your provider. We may suggest Propecia (for men), minoxidil and/or vitamin supplements, such as Nutrafol or Viviscal.
We recommend avoiding aspirin, NSAIDS, or blood thinner products for 2 weeks before the treatments along with any herbal remedies such as high doses of Vitamin E, garlic, St. John’s wort, fish oil or any other supplements that can thin the blood. We encourage you to be well hydrated prior to the appointment to assist in the drawing of blood. It is advisable to wait and have PRP treatments 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after hair dye/coloring treatments. You cannot be treated if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You cannot have PRP injections if you currently smoke or have a history of drug or excessive alcohol use.
Theradome laser hair growth treatment, (also known as Laser Phototherapy– LPT), is a red light source that is an effective adjunctive treatment for hair loss. The FDA-cleared Theradome LH80 PRO is available over the counter and does not require a medical prescription. Multiple clinical trials prove that the Theradome helmet is a safe and effective hair loss treatment. We recommend using it for 20 minutes twice a week in addition to PRP. The Hairmax Laserband 82 is another light-based option for the treatment of hair loss and can be used for just a few minutes nightly.
To obtain the PRP, a small sample of the patient’s blood is spun down using a special centrifuge. The platelets are then injected into the thinning area.. Each session includes 10 to 20 injection sites depending on the size of the area being treated.
The initial treatment protocol is comprised of 6 treatments over 12 months. Patients have a session every month for the first 3 months, then a total of 3 additional treatments spaced 3 months apart. The initial treatments stimulate the hairs to grow, and the next sessions maintain what has grown and can stimulate new growth. Following the initial 6 treatment protocol (over a 12-month span), maintenance injections are usually required at 6 to 12-month intervals. Your provider will help you determine the optimal timing of these maintenance treatments.
PRP has been proven in the medical literature to be a safe and effective way to stimulate hair growth. Most patients will see an increased number of hairs and an increase in hair thickness beginning after the second or third treatment. Many studies have shown an increase in the number of anagen growing hairs, telogen resting hairs, hair density, and terminal hair density after 3 months and after 6 months when compared with baseline
At SkinCare Physicians, our dermatologists and staff are true experts who understand the process of hair loss in both men and women. If you are suffering from hair thinning and balding patterns, request a consultation online to be properly and safely treated by our team of medical professionals.