By Meena Singh, M.D.
Most think of platelets as the component of blood that coagulates wounds. However, the function of platelets is far more than just forming clots. When activated, they secrete cytokines and growth factors, acting as an integral part of wound healing. Because of platelet’s important function, concentrated preparations of plasma have been used in various fields as an attractive therapy for many conditions.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a preparation taken from a patient’s own blood, in which the platelets are enriched in concentrated plasma. The therapy was originally used for injections into damaged joints in the orthopedic field. Now it is being used by cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons for overall facial rejuvenation.
New Hair Trials for Balding
Recently, hair specialists have been trialing the therapy in patients who are balding. Animal studies show that PRP increases dermal papilla cells, which are decreased in individuals with balding. Potent hair growth stimulators, Fibroblast growth factor-7 and Beta-catenin, are also increased by PRP treatment. In addition, mice treated with PRP have quicker transitions into the growing phase of hair than untreated mice. When used as an adjunct to hair transplantation, hair follicles pre-treated with PRP can demonstrate better density and graft survival. The theory is that the platelets are secreting growth factors, leading to stem cell activation from the surrounding hair follicles.
Improved Hair Growth
Because of the improved hair growth seen with hair transplantation and the above-mentioned animal studies, hair specialists have started using PRP as primary treatment for male and female pattern balding, as well as alopecia areata. PRP treatment is particularly attractive for women who have not seen great results with minoxidil and young men who may not be suitable candidates for finasteride or hair transplantation.
An Enticing New Treatment
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP injections are an enticing new treatment for balding. In the
future, PRP treatments may act as an adjunct to more well-studied treatments, such as minoxidil,
finasteride, and hair transplantation, as opposed to primary therapy.
If you or someone you love is struggling with hair loss, contact KMC Hair Center at 913-631-6330 to schedule a personal consultation. We will determine your best options and a plan to suit your personal needs.
Meena Singh, MD
Dr. Meena Singh is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. She attended Harvard Medical School, trained at the Mayo Clinic, and completed a surgical fellowship in New York City. From there, she became trained in MOHS Micrographic Surgery, as well as cosmetic
dermatology procedures, such as Botox, lasers, and fillers. Completing a fellowship with the
International Society for Hair Restoration
Surgery under world-renowned surgeon Dr. Marc Avram, she trained in all areas of hair transplantation techniques… strip excision, manual/motorized/ robotic follicular unit extraction, as well as transplanting into scarring alopecias.
Dr. Singh specializes in medical treatments for hair loss of all types. She is passionate about treating ethnic skin/skin of color. Dr. Singh has performed clinical trials in laser hair stimulation, as well as studies in hair transplantation for scarring and non-scarring forms of hair loss. She has performed investigative studies on skin cancer in transplant recipients, as well as tissue engineering. She has numerous publications in many peer-reviewed dermatology journals, book chapters, and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Additionally, she is a reviewer for the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and the Dermatologic Surgery journal and blog articles have been published in online periodicals.
Dr. Singh has also been featured on the cover of New York Times! Raised in Kansas City before leaving for medical school, she returned to the KC metro area to serve the needs of this community in all specialized issues of hair and skincare.
KMC Hair Center at KMC Dermatology
6333 Long Ave. Shawnee
11301 Nall Ave. Leawood