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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection therapy has overcome the initial bias against this novel therapy with evidence now supporting its uses in dermatology, hair restoration, reproductive medicine, and orthopedics.
Historically, negative opinions against PRP within the medical community resulted from the hyper-commercialization and the unfounded marketing claims made by profit-driven businesses who had little concern for the emerging evidence (1).
The use of PRP in medicine is nothing new, and it goes back at least 50 years. During the 1970s, hematologists began using PRP to treat specific blood conditions. Its use went further during the 1980s, when PRP was found to accelerate healing and reduce inflammation when used during surgeries performed on the face (2).
In recent years there has been an increased effort to research the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma therapies in several areas of medicine (3).
The development of PRP uses in dermatology and hair loss has been supported by emerging evidence showing its effectiveness at treating alopecia (hair-loss), acne scars, and age-related skin conditions (4).
PRP is also used in aesthetics to amplify the effects of dermal fillers or accelerate healing after a procedure (5).
These recent discoveries have been well received, especially since hair-loss, also known as androgenic alopecia, is experienced by the majority of men and women during their lifetime (6).
May was an exciting month for anyone following the latest news regarding PRP injections for androgenic alopecia.
A May 2020 study summarized a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that focused on the effect of PRP on hair density and thickness. The study’s authors concluded:
“PRP is an autologous treatment that lacks serious adverse effects and effectively improves hair density and hair thickness in men and women with AGA.” (7)
Another May 2020 study showed that PRP injections had a positive effect on hair density in men with androgenic alopecia (8).
The value of anecdotal evidence cannot be discounted, either. Practitioners who utilize PRP for hair loss are able to observe and receive feedback directly from patients on the efficacy of the treatment. In this way, doctors offer a direct report of PRP injection effectiveness at increasing hair density and are modifying their protocols based on this feedback as it's exchanged on various platforms.
An increasing number of practitioners continue using PRP for hair loss, to treat alopecia or as part of an integrative approach to hair restoration.
More research is needed to help standardize technology, methodologies, and techniques to offer the assurances of treatment consistency, maximum efficacy, and safety of PRP for hair loss.
Although there is still much to learn, we now understand many of the benefits of PRP for hair loss, especially when PRP injections are combined with other treatments that focus on the different aspects of alopecia prevention and hair regeneration.