Why does hair loss happen?
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Hair loss can be genetic, hormonal or autoimmune. A variety of treatments have been used to combat alopecia, including medications with strong side effects, such as steroids. Other medications used to treat hair loss suppress the immune system and are even used in chemotherapy. These treatments have historically not only had serious side effects but the relapse rate is also high.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentration of platelet cells from a person’s own blood. PRP has been extensively studied and used in the treatment of wound healing. Medical research has shown that platelets carry with them important growth factors which induce and maintain hair growth and formation.
What does the research say?
The largest study was in 2013. Trink et al  treated 45 patients with hair loss with injected PRP and compared it to steroid injections placebo (distilled water). Platelet rich plasma was found to significantly increase hair regrowth and to decrease hair thinness without the side effects of steroid treatment. In fact, there were no side effects reported at all and none of the treatment patients relapsed.
In another study by Singh (2015), 20 patients with alopecia were treated with PRP. Nineteen of the 20 patients had hair regrowth and there were no side effects. Yet another paper by Gkini et al (2014) supported that PRP injections have a positive therapeutic effect on male and female pattern hair loss without the remarkable major side effects.
Although in the medical literature, more studies with longer follow-ups are ideal to validate final results, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are shown to be effective and safe in the treatment of hair loss.
What is a treatment like?
Come to your appointment at Skin Deep Medical Aesthetics well hydrated so the maximum amount of plasma can be obtained from your blood. Drink at least two 12 ounce glasses of water 1 hour before your visit. Shortly after you arrive for your PRP treatment, a tube of your blood (similar in size to those for standard blood tests) will be drawn by our phlebotomist. While you relax by the fireplace in our waiting room, your blood is spun down in a special tube and all the platelets concentrated. In the meantime, topical anesthetic with lidocaine will be applied to the treatment area. When your PRP sample is ready, you will be escorted to the treatment room. There the platelets from your own blood sample will be injected just under the skin with a small thin needle by one of the physicians of Skin Deep Medical Aesthetics.
How many treatments will I need?
The studies show that at least 3 treatments, about one month apart, are needed to achieve maximum effect. Maintenance treatments may be necessary and can be one to two times a year thereafter.
What side effects can I expect?
Although no complications were reported in the studies, as with any injections or blood draw, there is risk of bleeding, bruising, infection or local allergic reaction
What is the cost of PRP treatment?
For pricing, please visit our website at www.SkindDeepVT.com or call (802) 879-3742. To schedule a consultation of appointment with one of our physicians, please call Skin Deep Medical Aesthetics at (802) 879-3742. See you soon!
 Trink A, Sorbellini E, Bezzola P et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-and active-controlled, half head study to evaluate the effects of platelet-rich plasma on alopecia areata. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Sep; 169(3)690-4.
 Singh S. Role of platelet-rich plasma in chronic alopecia areata: Our centre experience. Indian J Plast Surg. 2015 Jan-Apr; 48(1): 57-59.
 Gkini MA, Kouskoukis, AE, Rripsianis G et al. Study of platelet-rich plasma injections in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia through an one-year period. J. Cutan. Aesthet. Surg. 2014 ; 7(4); 213-219.
From Trink et al paper: Clinical photographs of the scalp of a patient with alopecia who was treated with PRP to the back of the scalp (right side), which completely filled-in with hair at 1 year. The top part of the patient’s head (left side) was treated with placebo (water) and that worsened after 1 year.
*Individual results may vary