PRP Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia
As the most common form of hair loss, Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) affects thousands of people every day. If you or someone you know suffers from AGA, there may be a new solution. Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy, also known as PRP therapy, has provided new hope for those dealing with AGA.
What is Androgenetic Alopecia?
AGA is characterized by the miniaturization of hair follicles which doctors believe could be due to high levels of dihydrotestosterone or DHT or alterations in the androgen receptor gene. The changes that these characterizations cause include a decreased number of hairs in the anlagen, or active growth, phase. This causes terminal follicles to turn into vellus-like follicles, which are hair follicles that are typically two millimeters long and tend not to grow and eventually fall out.
How Can PRP Therapy Help?
Platelet-Rich Therapy helps those with AGA by enhancing the limited action of growth factors that are created by the increased levels of DHT typically found in people with AGA. Additionally, there are anti-anti-inflammatory benefits of PRP therapy which are helpful in treating Androgenetic Alopecia as it typically causes skin inflammation and hair follicle inflammation.
PRP Therapy Research
There have been observational and randomized clinical trials performed to test the effectiveness of PRP therapy helping patients with AGA. Recent analysis has shown that PRP therapy is successful in treating patients with AGA, using hair density as the measure of success. The other studies performed have been uncontrolled but have shown improvements in hair count, hair density and hair thickness.
Thus far, the most significant evidence has been from a randomized clinical trial in female pattern hair loss. The trial used twenty patients who were all treated with twelve weekly sessions of intra-perifollicular PDRN injections, and twenty patients who were treated with one session of PRP prior to the twelve weekly injections. The hair thickness of the PRP + PDRN injections group showed greater improvement than the group who only received the injections without the PRP therapy.
Possible Side Effects
There have been few side effects reported with PRP therapy, however, those that have experienced side effects have reported only minimal discomfort. Side effects that are commonly reported include erythema, edema, headaches, drowsiness, mild pain, temporary swelling, and scalp sensitivity.
Source: Jeffrey A. Rapaport, Sarah G. Versteeg, and Aditya K. Gupta