Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections into the scalp have recently been shown to be a break-through treatment for baldness. In recent years, a number of small uncontrolled studies continued to demonstrate its remarkable effectiveness in stimulating hair re-growth. These results were confirmed in 2015 with the publication of a placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial that clearly and proved the treatment is both highly effective and very safe for treating balding. Individuals suffering from hair thinning are wondering if PRP is something they should try.
Androgenetic alopecia in men
Practically all studies of PRP for hair loss have focused on hair loss due to a condition called androgenetic alopecia, more commonly referred to as male-pattern baldness. In men, more than 95% of cases of hair loss are due to this condition, and it results in the common pattern of hair loss from the temples first, followed by a receding hairline, and eventually complete hair loss.
This condition may affect some men as early as their 20s; it affects up to 85% of men over the age of 50. PRP has been shown to be effective for treating male-pattern hair loss in men, so if you are a man affected by this condition, you may be a candidate.
Androgenetic alopecia in women
Androgenetic alopecia also affects a significant number of women. In women, the condition is characterized by hair thinning all over the head, without a receding hairline. It rarely affects women until after menopause, and most commonly first becomes evident in the 60s. Most affected women do not become completely bald.
PRP has been shown to be highly effective in treating hair loss in women affected by androgenetic alopecia, so if you are a woman affected by this condition, you are indicated for it.
Other forms of hair loss
There are, of course, other causes of hair loss, particularly in younger women. In younger women, most of these causes are temporary and the hair will simply growth back later. Therefore, women with these forms of hair loss are not indicated for PRP treatments.
Other, rarer forms of hair loss that are permanent and affect both men and women do exist. Two studies of PRP for treating alopecia areata have been conducted, and both suggest it is effective for treating this form of hair loss.
The procedure is a simple, minimally invasive treatment. Individuals at high risk of developing an infection or anyone with severe clotting disorders should discuss their risk with the doctor before undergoing a PRP procedure.
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