N.J. dermatologist uses new treatment for hair loss to regrow and thicken follicles without surgery Englewood Cliffs, N.J. (Nov. 26, 2014) – A New Jersey physician has been successfully using a new, nonsurgical treatment for hair loss in men and women that, he insists, could change the entire field of hair restoration.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Rapaport, a dermatologist for 30 years and head of the Cosmetic Skin & Surgery Center, was even featured in a segment on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” where he called platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) “the best-kept secret in the world.”
Up until recently, the only alternatives for treating hair loss were pharmaceuticals – specifically, Minoxidil (such as Rogaine) and DHT blockers (Propecia, for example) – as well as hair transplantation surgery. PRP is a noninvasive option that targets androgenetic alopecia – the hereditary, profuse thinning of hair that comes with age, which is mostly common in men. PRP has also proven to be effective for women in treating cases of hair loss caused by the pulling of hair—from ponytails, pigtails or braids—otherwise known as traction alopecia.
“I had been researching PRP and read about it – and it sounded so good that I didn’t actually believe it,” he said. “I told myself, ‘This thing cannot work the way they say it works.’ Then I read an article published in Dermatologic Surgery, which is the gold standard for peer-reviewed journals in dermatology. Out of 64 patients in Italy, 62 got successful results. And when they reviewed the improvement, 40 to 60 percent was substantial. So I decided to prescribe it in my own office and and see if I could duplicate the results.”
With PRP in New Jersey, a patient’s blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge. The plasma portion is separated from the other portion of the blood by a special gel. The platelets and the growth proteins separate in the tube, and are then collected and injected into the scalp where the hair is thinning.
“I thought it was too good to be true,” Dr. Rapaport said. “I just couldn’t imagine taking someone’s blood, spinning it down, taking the growth factors and being able to get hair growth. So I was very skeptical at the beginning. Now I am a true believer. The results we are seeing are pretty remarkable in terms of the regrowth in good candidates.”
Who makes a good candidate? “The best candidate for PRP is someone who has recently started losing hair,” Dr. Rapaport said. “It will not work for those who are completely bald—it is not a replacement for hair transplant surgery.”
The treatment is about 40 to 80 percent effective, which is a significant amount of improvement with minimal risk and pain.
Dr. Rapaport developed what he calls the “rapid PRP technique,” which is more aggressive because it combines multiple monthly PRP injections with the fairly new technique of microneedling to stimulate hair growth, along with Rogaine.
“Initially, I used just the injections, but the best results came from the combination of treatments” he said. “The increased frequency of the treatments allows the hair to grow in faster and thicker before it enters the maintenance stage.”
The entire process, including the injections, takes about 60 minutes and starts at $400 per session. Dr. Rapaport recommends one treatment per month for the first four months, followed by two maintenance treatments per year. Throughout his career, Dr. Rapaport has only seen a few game-changing hair growth breakthroughs in the field of Dermatology. “PRP is definitely one of them,” he confirmed.
One should note that although the process itself for separating plasma has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, injecting into the scalp to treat hair loss has not yet been reviewed. However, Dr. Rapaport noted, PRP has already been used successfully and safely in many other medical fields. These fields include, but are not limited to, Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Cosmetic Surgery, Oral Surgery and Neurosurgery.