Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

What is PRP?

PRP contains special cells called platelets, that can theoretically cause the growth of the hair follicles by stimulating the stem cells and other cells in the microenvironment of the hair follicle. These special platelet cells promote healing, accelerates the rate and degree of tissue healing and regeneration, responds to injury, and formation of new cellular growth. The primary purpose of using PRP in hair restoration is to stimulate inactive or newly implanted hair follicles into an active growth phase.

Inside the platelets are many intracellular structures such as glycogen, lysosomes and alpha granules. These granules within the PRP contain clotting and growth factors that are eventually released during the healing and repair process.

The Science of PRP

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Hair Restoration

Individual results vary with each patient. No guarantees of success can be made but PRP preliminary studies indicate patients can respond to PRP therapy. Some hair restoration surgeons apply PRP to the scalp for those patients who are not surgical candidates every three to four months. Other protocols will use PRP before or during surgery to ensure grafter survivability.

PRP is a potential emerging non-surgical based therapy for natural hair follicle stimulation for thinning hair. Larger clinical studies are pending but the current medical literature contains numerous optimistic results. Although a few controlled studies exist, anecdotal and case reports are the primary sources reflecting success with PRP therapy.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Skin Rejuvenation

Platelet-rich plasma is a concentration of platelets in the blood that are crucial to wound healing. When used for skin rejuvenation, PRP releases growth factors into the skin to expedite the body’s own repair process and stimulate new collagen and elastin. A small blood sample is taken from your own body and the PRP is separated from the other components. The PRP is then topically applied to the skin immediately following a micro-needling procedure. The micro-channels created by micro-needling provide direct pathways to the deeper layers of skin for optimal wound healing. Micro-needling with PRP application is an ideal treatment for smoothing fine lines, wrinkles, and scars or even increasing plumpness and overall rejuvenation of the skin.

What is Micro-Needling?

The Eclipse MicroPen uses a sterile needle-tip containing 12 tiny micro-needles to create controlled micro-injuries to the skin. This initiates the skins repair process to naturally produce collagen and elastin, ideal for smoothing fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, traumatic scars, and stretch marks. Micro-channels created by the treatment allow for optimal absorption of topical products and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), enhancing their effects in the deeper layers of skin.


Frequently Asked Questions About PRP Therapy

To help you become a more informed patient, here’s an in-depth look at what you can expect from treatment with platelet-rich plasma.


How Does PRP Treatment Work?

Blood consists of two primary components: red blood cells and plasma. Plasma is integral to the body’s natural healing response because it helps stimulate recovery. Platelet-rich plasma has been a staple of wound care and sports and orthopedic medicine for many years, and it has now made its way over to the field of cosmetic medicine.


PRP treatment begins by drawing blood from your arm, just like you have experienced if you’ve ever given blood. Next, a machine called a centrifuge rapidly spins the vial of drawn blood to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. Then, Dr. Matarasso will either inject the extracted PRP into your scalp at the follicular level or apply it topically to your face in conjunction with a microneedling procedure.


Who Can Get PRP Hair Loss Treatments?

Platelets are rich in growth factors that can help encourage inactive hair follicles to enter an active growth phase. This can increase both hair count and hair thickness.


Almost any man or woman who is seeking a solution to their hair loss problems can get PRP injections, but people with more recent hair loss tend to experience better results. That’s because it is more challenging to revitalize hair follicles that have lain dormant for a long time.


PRP has also proven to be an effective treatment for both men and women who have androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the head. We do not recommend PRP therapy to people who have an illness such as lupus or a thyroid problem, as these conditions will continue to cause ongoing hair loss. Finally, note that if you are taking blood thinners, your platelets will be less effective, which can adversely affect your results from PRP therapy.


Are There Any Risks Associated With PRP?

While it might sound like a radical idea to use a component of your blood in your anti-aging regimen, the procedure is safe and has virtually no side effects to worry about. Since PRP comes from your blood, there are no dangers of biocompatibility issues or an allergic reaction.


Most patients do not require any anesthetic or sedation during the treatment. If you experience any discomfort afterward, you can manage it with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil.


Using PRP for hair loss or alongside microneedling also takes little to no downtime for recovery, and most patients can go back to work the next day, if they choose.


How Long Will It Take to See a Difference in Hair Growth?

Though outcomes vary, it takes most people between two and three months to notice an improvement after PRP therapy for hair restoration. The first result patients usually see is decreased shedding, followed by regrowth and increased hair length.


Regular treatments are valuable for preventing hair from falling out and continuing to stimulate hair regrowth. A typical PRP therapy schedule involves monthly injections for three to four months, and then every three to six months for as many as two years afterward. Your tailored treatment plan will depend on your unique results, in addition to factors such as age, hormones, genetics, and the pattern and extent of your hair loss.


Under the care of an experienced dermatologist such as Dr. Matarasso, PRP can be part of a multi-tiered approach to reversing hair loss, including taking medications such as finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine). Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of PRP for your hair and skin.