PRP Injections for Wrinkles and Hair Loss
Orthopedic surgeons have been using Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for decades to heal wounds and treat damage to soft tissue. But in recent years, health professionals have been using PRP’s regenerative properties in treating scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and hair loss.
PRP is a treatment method in which a patient’s blood is drawn, and platelets are separated within a concentrated portion of blood plasma. This platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the body tissue needing regenerative treatment.
Of the three main types of blood cells (platelets, red, and white), platelets help your body form clots and stop bleeding. Platelets release enzymes that allow your skin to regenerate.
Also, among the regenerative benefits of platelet-rich plasma is that the plasma can be used to facilitate skin healing and collagen production. Collagen is the protein that serves to build and maintain healthy skin, hair, muscles, and bones.
How Does PRP Work?
To create platelet-rich plasma, blood is drawn into vials, similar to taking blood for testing. Afterward, it is spun (in a centrifuge) to concentrate the platelets in the blood and separate them from other blood components.
Doctors agree that the less the blood sample is manipulated and the fewer times it undergoes spinning and draining, the more effective the platelet-rich solution will be. Most doctors agree that the procedure should be done using a specific technique to insert the injections at a 90-degree angle and penetrate the skin uniformly.
Injections are directed into a specific area of the body. This could be an injured knee, a tendon, or when treating wrinkles or hair loss, injections will be targeted to areas of the face or scalp that are experiencing wrinkles or could see improvement from hair growth. PRP treatment concentrates hormones (growth factors) to a specific area to increase or “jump-start” the healing or growth process.
PRP injections are administered several times over a few months to treat hair loss, and afterward, the injections are given less frequently for up to two years. The specific schedule for injections is determined on a case-by-case basis.
How Does PRP Help Your Skin Look Younger?
PRP facials also called “vampire facials,” use the practice of micro-needling that stimulates elastin and collagen to repair wrinkles. Since PRP comes from your body, the infection risk is significantly reduced compared to other wrinkle-reducing methods like Botox.
It also helps you avoid using artificially created skincare products that may contain chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which can harm skin tissue.
PRP Risks and Side Effects
PRP treatment is considered low-risk because the injections utilize a patient’s bodily tissues. This also makes PRP therapy safe to use while undergoing other medical procedures.
Fortunately, there is little to no pain during the procedure, but patients can choose to use local anesthesia if it makes them feel more comfortable.
PRP treatment includes a blood draw. Patients need to stay hydrated, and eat a good meal, to avoid becoming lightheaded. After the procedure, there may be some soreness and bruising where the plasma was injected.
Less common side effects include:
● Nerve injury
● Surface infection
● Tissue damage and scarring
There is also the possibility of a reaction to the anesthetic used to numb the injection site.
Prior to the procedure, patients need to consult their medical provider and be open about all medications, herbs, or supplements they are taking and might have to make modifications.
Providers may recommend against PRP treatment for hair loss for patients who:
● Are on blood thinners
● Are heavy smokers (smoking thins the blood)
● Have a history of heavy alcohol or drug use
Providers may also reject treatment for patients who are diagnosed with:
● Chronic infections
● Metabolic disorder
● Systemic disorder
● Platelet dysfunction syndrome
● Chronic liver disease
● Thyroid disease
● Low platelet count
There is still limited clinical research and proof that PRP treatment for hair loss is effective. A lot has to do with an individual’s natural levels of platelets in their blood, but many believe PRP treatment is a safe method of reversing hair loss and increasing hair growth.
Let's talk if you want to know more about the PRP process and how it can treat wrinkles and prevent hair loss.