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Medical Dermatology Cosmetic Dermatology

PRP as Non-Surgical Hair Restoration Treatment

Hairloss is a condition that affects millions of people annually, and can greatly impair the quality of life for patients suffering from hairloss. Whether hairloss affects men or women, it comes with emotional upset and loss of self-confidence. Dermatology is the specialty of medicine that specifically deals with hair loss.

Knowing that there are two main categories of hair loss—scarring and non-scarring, it is important to determine which category the patient falls into, as well as the most specific diagnosis within that more general category, from that point forward for the best treatment plan available.

Scarring hair loss should be addressed as quickly as possible in order to prevent further scarring and further loss that cannot be reversed. Many types of scarring hair loss are treated with both systemic and topical therapies in order to achieve results immediately, and shut down the inflammatory process that is driving the scarring loss. If left untreated, scarring hair loss will results in such thinning and balding that cannot be treated with any therapy, other than wigs and hair pieces, which is usually not an acceptable outcome for most patients.

Non-scarring hair loss is traumatizing, but if caught early, there are many exciting new technologies in regenerative medicine that are being used by providers like Dr. Ellen Turner of the Dermatology Office, with locations in both Dallas and Irving, Texas.

Androgenic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is a condition that plagues approximately 50 million men and 30 million. Previously, there were not a lot of great treatments.

 

PRP-Brochure3Before and After PRP Treatment*

If you were a male patient with androgenic alopecia, you could use over-the-counter Rogaine or prescription strength Propecia, or finasteride. Rogaine, a topical agent, is quite messy and cumbersome to apply on a regular basis. It also only works in about 40% of patients who use it. Regarding Propecia, or finasteride, one of the potential side effects, although low in incidence, is that this drug can lead to reduction in libido, or sex drive. As physicians using this drug, we believed clinically that the reduction in libido could be easily reversed in a patient was discontinued from the drug. However, there are no citations in the literature to suggest there could be a more long-standing syndrome that can occur, even after stopping the medication.

PRP-Brochure1Before and After PRP Treatment*

If you were a female patient with androgenic alopecia, especially if you were of child-bearing age (pre-menopausal), there were virtually no treatment options for you other than over-the-counter Rogaine and any hair regeneration products such as Viviscal or Ovation Cell Therapy, which are quite costly and not very elegant in terms of usage, especially for females with longer hair. Similar low response rates (around 40%) were seen with topicals as were seen in males. Once a female with androgenic alopecia reached menopause, they could be treated similarly to a man, with finasteride, however at a higher dose than the male patients. However, many times, the hair loss was so extensive by the time of menopause that the treatment was somewhat fruitless.

Hair transplantation really came about as a results of lack of results on so many treatment fronts for hair loss. It actually works! But, at a huge cost, and one that is not covered by insurance. Additionally, hair transplantation deals with the loss temporarily, and then with continued, untreated male and female pattern baldness, the condition will eventually worsen again over time leading to additional transplantations or more hair loss.

Enter a new era of medicine! Regenerative medicine utilizes the cells and proteins that are produced by one’s own body for healing and wellness, and it encourages new cellular growth. For male and female pattern baldness, platelet-rich plasma is a byproduct of regenerative medicine that allows a simple blood draw to create a rich environment for the hair follicle to begin growing thick, healthy hair. The science has been studied in numerous countries throughout Europe and Asia, and in 2017, Dr. Jeffrey Rappaport will publish his own U.S.-based clinical trials on PRP for scalp hair restoration to treat male and female pattern baldness.

PRP-Brochure2Before and After PRP Treatment*

Platelet-rich plasma for scalp hair restoration is typically performed initially in a series of four injections, spaced 1 month apart, followed by one injection every six months for hair thickening and continued hair regrowth. Used alone, or in combination with other therapies, this treatment nears 90% or higher in terms of success.

Click here for PRP Treatment Patient Instructions

PRP as Non-Surgical Hair Restoration Treatment – *Photos courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Rappaport

Written by Dallas Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner.

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