No matter what the cause is, suffering from hair loss can be frustrating and distressing. At Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD of Dedham, MA, our team can lay out your treatment options for you after an exam. One of the treatments we recommend for hair loss is PRP therapy.
How Can I Restore My Hair Loss?
We Use PRP Injections
PRP therapy is a treatment derived from your own body, and it can use the growth factors found in your blood to counteract hair loss.
What’s Involved in PRP Therapy?
The Initial Exam
To help us determine if PRP is the right fit for you, we can provide a comprehensive exam. We’ll go over your needs, your goals, potential causes, and health history. We may also seek out a scalp biopsy and run some additional laboratory tests. All of this will help us make the right call when it comes to your treatment.
If we determine PRP has a good chance of helping you reach your goals, we can move on to treatment. We are determined to help every client who steps through our doors to the best of our ability. During your consultation, we may also recommend other or additional treatment options we think have the best chance of helping you.
Blood Draw and Separation
If we do feel like PRP injections stand a good chance of helping you restore your hair growth, we can schedule your PRP treatments. Each treatment involves three steps. First, you’ll have some blood drawn from your arm, just like when you get blood work done.
We can then take your blood and process it in our centrifuge. A centrifuge is a machine that uses fast rotation to separate blood into different fluid layers. This process will take right around ten minutes. Once the blood separates we can access the brand new platelet-rich plasma layer.
Re-Introduction of the PRP
This platelet-rich plasma, chock full of healing and regenerative properties, can now be drawn up and re-injected into the areas that need it. If you want to treat thinning hair, this area would probably be the scalp.
When the PRP is introduced back into your body, the body should quickly respond by generating more reparative cells in the treated area. This includes cells that help support proper hair growth.
Immediately After Treatment
The process as a whole takes about an hour, and there’s no downtime associated with this treatment. Once your appointment is done, you’ll be able to head out of the office and continue on with your day as normal.
The Three Initial Treatments
We recommend coming in for three separate appointments spaced about four to six weeks apart. After this first “series” of treatments, we should be able to move on to maintenance treatments.
After your initial series is complete, we find that most clients benefit from a single follow-up treatment every six months or so to maintain the positive results of their PRP therapy.
That said, maintenance treatments can be flexible based on your needs. Some clients want their follow-up treatments more frequently, whereas others can go longer before they feel a need to stop by again. Together we can take a look at your results and figure out a schedule that works for you.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Alopecia can have many different causes, and can be temporary or permanent. Genetics can play a role too! If you have close family members who struggle with it, you may be more prone to developing alopecia as well. While male-pattern baldness is common, alopecia can affect any gender.
Likewise, though it’s true that age can certainly play a role in thinning hair, there are other causes that may be worth looking into, especially when it comes to early or childhood hair concerns.
Alopecia can be caused or influenced by a nutrient deficiency, such as iron. Iron is tied to the production of hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin plays an important role when it comes to hair growth since it carries the oxygen our cells need to develop and repair.
To make matters worse, alopecia related to iron deficiency can sometimes look very similar to male-pattern and female-pattern baldness. If you suspect you may be low on iron, it may be worthwhile to have your iron levels tested. If it’s determined that your iron levels are lower than they should be, taking an iron supplement may help your hair regrow.
Certain autoimmune diseases can cause alopecia. One such disease is alopecia areata, a condition that usually shows up before the age of 30.
An autoimmune disease means that the body’s immune system is mistakenly targeting a part of your own body. With alopecia areata, the target is your hair follicles. When these follicles are attacked, it can lead to thinning hair. How extensive the effect depends on how many follicles your immune system is attacking.
Who Can Get Alopecia Areata?
This condition can affect anyone, but there seems to be a greater risk if you have a relative with the condition. Other diseases such as hay fever, thyroid disease, or atopic dermatitis may also contribute to developing alopecia areata.
Some people go through cycles of thinning hair and regrowth without seeking out or needing treatment, while others may find treatment helpful in managing this disorder.
The relationship between hair growth and hormones is very close-knit, and various hormones can affect hair growth and health. Changes in these hormones can lead to thinning or balding hair. These changes can be caused by life events such as pregnancy, as well as natural hormonal changes that occur when the body ages.
Have you been under increased stress lately, or did you recently go through a traumatic event? Telogen effluvium is a temporary form of alopecia that can be triggered by stress or a severe shock. This stress can be emotional, physical, or both. Some examples would be a particularly rough patch at work, the strain of childbirth, or the stress of surgery. While it can look similar to alopecia areata, it’s different since it’s temporary and directly tied to stress.
Telogen effluvium can cause a visible bald patch or overall thinning throughout the scalp. It can cause periods of alopecia for six months or more. If you are struggling to find a cause for your hair struggles, reducing stress levels may be able to help. In the meantime, PRP therapy may be able to give your hair follicles a helpful boost of nutrients.
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to hair thinning out, which can be especially noticeable on the scalp. These conditions tend to make hair thin over the entire scalp rather than causing bald patches, but symptoms can vary per person.
If you are suffering hair loss and haven’t been tested for a thyroid disorder, it may be worth your time to look into that. If the thyroid is to blame, treating the disorder can usually reverse the hair issues.
FAQ for PRP Therapy
1. How Long Has It Been Around?
The term PRP has been circulating since the 1970s when it was first used to describe plasma with a higher concentration of platelets. As soon as it was discovered that this PRP had anti-inflammatory abilities and could stimulate cell growth, it was quickly put to work in treating sport injuries.
It’s still used to help athletes recover faster from their injuries, and more uses for it have continued to emerge.
2. What Else Is It Used For?
PRP therapy is widely used for a range of injuries and is growing in popularity as a cosmetic treatment as well. Due to its regenerative abilities, when it’s injected into an injured area it can help speed up the healing process.
Muscle and Soft Tissue Injuries
Tendon and ligament injuries tend to heal very slowly on their own. This is due, in part, to a lack of blood flow in these areas. When PRP is injected right into the area that needs it, the nutrients and healing properties can supply immediate support and get to work repairing the injury.
Tendons connect our muscles to our bones, so they’re involved with basic joint function. They also absorb a lot of shocks, especially when we are involved in jobs or hobbies that are physical or have repetitive motions. Rotator cuff tears, patellar tendinopathy, tennis or golfer elbow, and Achilles tendonitis are all conditions that may benefit from PRP injections.
Ligaments, similar to tendons, are connective in nature. Their particular job is to connect bones to each other, and ligament injuries to the elbow or knee are especially common. Throwing motions, or activities such as skiing and soccer can lead to ligament injuries.
PRP may help strengthen the surrounding tissue and expedite the healing process, so those who suffer these injuries can get back to regular life as quickly as possible.
When it comes to arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common kind. As the articular cartilage on the end of your bones is worn down or damaged, it can increase friction between the joints. This friction can lead to a physical loss of mobility, as well as pain and inflammation. It’s especially common in those who are 60 or older, but it can happen to anyone.
Since PRP is a restorative treatment, the goal here would be to regenerate some new, healthy cartilage growth. Successful treatment could lead to a natural reduction of painful symptoms as the “cushion” between the affected joints is restored.
Platelet-rich plasma injections can encourage the body to produce more collagen and elastin, both of which help the face to maintain volume and elasticity. As such, PRP is cosmetically used to reduce fine lines and encourage a full, youthful appearance in the face.
It’s especially well known for treating under the eyes since that area can be tricky to find safe and effective treatments for.
3. Is It a Safe Treatment?
One reason we like this treatment is it comes directly from your body. It simply harnesses the healing ability that is already present in your blood; it doesn’t rely on introducing anything foreign to the body. This makes it a treatment that is considered very safe.
During a consultation, we encourage you to bring up any questions you have about the process or treatment as a whole. Knowledge is power, and we want all of our clients to feel empowered to make the choice that’s the right fit for them.
Are You Ready To Learn More?
If you’re ready to learn more, we’re ready to provide the expertise. Set up your consultation today with our helpful team at Vibrant Dermatology & Skinbar MD of Dedham, MA. We look forward to bringing you quality care and helping you reach your goals.