PRP

PRP to Treat Hair Loss

Since around 2005-2010, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to treat hair loss in men and women has taken off extremely rapidly. There are now 100s of doctors and surgeons around the world who treat hair loss patients with PRP.

At recent international hair loss conferences, there have been a number of presentations made regarding the benefits of using of PRP in treating androgenic alopecia patients. PRP is also thought to help healing and hair growth in hair transplant patients.

Dr. Rapaport is among the most experienced doctors in the world when it comes to PRP for hair loss. Below is one of his patients’ before and after photos:

PRP Before After Hair Growth.
Hair growth before and after PRP injections from Dr. Rapaport.

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma is the concentration of platelets that are derived from the plasma portion of a person’s own blood. PRP contains various growth factors and cytokines. Because the plasma is autologous (extracted from one’s own body), there is minimal possibility of any significant adverse reactions.

To obtain PRP, a small amount of blood is first extracted from a patient. This blood is then spun in a centrifuge. The resulting liquid is separated into three layers: platelet-poor plasma (PPP), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and red blood cells. The whole procedure takes less than 15 minutes, and may require two centrifuge spin cycles. The concentration of platelets in PRP is typically around five times as much as in normal blood.

History of PRP use in Medical Applications

While PRP therapy was first used in medical applications in the 1970s, its popularity for such uses only started taking off around the mid-1990s. The main reasons for this were the fact that the equipment to extract PRP become far less expensive and less sophisticated, while a number of favorable studies suggested significant potential benefits in using PRP for healing purposes.

While studies on the efficacy of PRP in treating sports injuries have shown mixed results, thousands of professional athletes have undergone PRP therapy when recovering from injuries. The first superstar athlete to admit to using PRP was probably Tiger Woods in 2009 for his painful knees. Thereafter, numerous others have had PRP treatments, including Kobe Bryant and Rafael Nadal. Platelet-rich plasma is thought to aid in the faster healing of a wide range of injuries.

PRP has also been used in treating patients who have had surgical procedures, dental procedures, burn injuries or needed bone repair and regeneration. In most such applications, results have been mixed and treatments are still best classified as experimental pending further study.

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