What is PRP Therapy? Everything You Need to Know

What exactly is PRP, and will it work for you? Here’s our take on PRP!

What is it?

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a natural treatment derived from your own blood (autologous) that is finding new and exciting uses in both medical and cosmetic dermatology (and many other medical specialties too). Plasma is the liquid component of your blood that allows your cells (red blood, white blood, and platelets) to flow through your blood vessels. In PRP, we isolate your plasma, rich in platelets and growth factors (PRP), and use it for targeted treatments. Platelets are important for wound healing – they contain many different types of growth factors that work synergistically on blood vessels, collagen and fat to rejuvenate aging and injured tissues. PRP has been used to treat joint injuries in professional athletes, pain and degeneration in osteoarthritis, and to improve wound healing after surgery. More recently, it has become a popular treatment for hair loss and skin rejuvenation.

How does PRP Therapy work?

First, a small amount of blood is collected from your arm – in our clinic, we collect about 30 milliliters, which is equivalent to about two tablespoons. The blood is then put into a centrifuge, a machine that uses high speeds to separate the blood into its component parts. The red blood cells are then discarded, and the golden plasma, containing the concentrated platelets, is drawn into a syringe to use for treatment. The concentration of platelets in the plasma is up to 10 times greater than in whole blood. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the areas where we want to stimulate growth – the scalp, joints, or even the aging face. PRP treatments are minimally invasive. You might experience some mild stinging or burning with the injection of the PRP, but this can be minimized with use of ice or topical numbing medications. After the treatment, you might feel slight tenderness in the treated area for the next 1-2 days. Most patients tolerate the procedure without any difficulty, and because we are harnessing your body’s own natural components to stimulate growth and repair, there is virtually no chance of rejection or allergic reactions.



What are the Benefits of PRP therapy for Hair Loss?

When PRP is injected for hair loss at the base of the hair follicle, the growth factors can stimulate dermal papilla cells – the cells in the hair bulb responsible for hair growth – thus increasing hair growth and density. Typically 3-4 initial monthly treatments are required and then maintenance treatments can be performed at 6 month intervals to maintain results.

Most research with PRP has focused on its use in androgenetic alopecia, or hormone-related hair loss, which is common in both men and women. Evidence suggests that PRP may work best earlier in the hair loss process, and results can be improved when PRP is combined with topical treatments like topical minoxidil (Rogaine). Recent studies support the use of PRP in this type of hair loss, and show that it is superior to placebo (no treatment) in increasing hair density and the thickness of individual hair follicles. We are continuing to study this treatment to identify the most effective regimen for achieving optimal hair growth.

What are the Benefits of PRP for Anti-Aging?

The growth factors present in platelet-rich plasma have also been shown to stimulate collagen production in aging skin. For this reason, PRP can be used in conjunction with microneedling to smooth fine lines and improve skin texture, and it can also be injected into the skin, similar to a dermal filler injection, to add volume to areas depleted by age-related volume loss. Again, because this is an all-natural treatment that uses the body’s own components to achieve benefit, this treatment is well tolerated and without major side effects.

Ready to Book Your PRP Treatment?
Call our Cary Office at 919.655.3929 or book online. We look forward to seeing you!

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