Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Columbia MD: Does it work?
Hair Loss and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
If you’re looking for Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in Columbia, MD, chances are you’re concerned about your hair loss. Hair shedding is a natural occurrence. We actually lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. But with age, sometimes those strands of hair don’t come back the way we want them to.
At this point, we need to take action. And that starts with a visit to your dermatologist, who may suggest Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy or PRP Therapy.
What is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is a natural option if you want to start regrowing your hair. PRP is a non-invasive technique that uses plasma from your own blood to stimulate natural hair growth.
Your blood contains plasma which is responsible for transporting blood throughout the body. Plasma also contains platelets, growth factors and white blood cells. Doctors and scientists discovered that by placing more plasma in areas of injury or inflammation, the body could heal faster –regenerative medicine. Doctors use PRP to speed up the healing of muscles, ligaments, and even bones. Today, it’s also used to perform ‘vampire facials’ and, yes, for hair loss!
To get the platelet-rich plasma, we spin a blood sample through a device called a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. your dermatologist will then injects the plasma into the affected body part to stimulate healing or new growth.
All about your hair
So how does hair loss happen?
And why should we take action?
When we’re born, we have all the follicles (about 5 million) that we will ever have. Our hair follicles grow out of these tiny pores, going through 3 stages:
- First, hair goes through the Anagen stage. This is when your hair follicles are actively growing. This can last for up to 7 years.
- Next, the hair follicles is in a short transitional stage called the Catagen phase.
- Finally, the hair is in the Telogen phase, where it gradually sheds to be replaced with new Anagen hair.
The cycle keeps going nonstop, but with hair loss, the anagen phase slows or stops altogether. Of course, these stages don’t happen simultaneously, so it can give the appearance of thinning or bald hair. Just because we have thinning hair or complete hair loss does not mean that we shouldn’t do anything about it. We can take action with techniques like PRP. But first, we need to understand why we’re losing our hair.
Types of hair loss
Statistics show that 40% of men will have hair loss by age 35. Similarly, 50% of women would have hair loss in their lifetime. With age, you will naturally lose more and more hair. Some more than others. But old age is not the only reason for hair loss:
Androgenic alopecia is the leading cause of hair loss. It’s also known as male pattern (or female pattern) hair loss. Androgenic alopecia means you’re genetically disposed to have thinning or balding hair. This is the most common cause of hair loss and the most significant reason men visit their doctor.
Telogen effluvium is stress-induced hair loss. If you’ve just gone through a stressful experience, childbirth, or a significant illness, your body can respond in kind. The excess cortisol production and fluctuations in hormones speed up hair to the telogen phase causing tufts of hair to fall out. Telogen effluvium causes hair thinning but may not lead to complete hair loss.
With Alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing complete baldness or severe hair thinning in small patches. Some persons get hair loss on their eyebrows and other parts of the body.
Hair loss can happen due to damage from hair products, tight hairstyles, or exposure to heat or harsh chemicals. Large patches of the scalp may be damaged, preventing new growth. This type of hair loss is often called traumatic alopecia. African American women may also experience central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia or CCCA. The hair loss spreads outward from the top of the scalp in a circular pattern.
Hair loss due to deficiencies and changes in your body is quite common. For example, iron deficiency can result in hair loss, as it’s key to follicle production. In addition, thyroid abnormalities like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, may affect hair loss.
Other reasons include side effects of medication, illnesses, or specific medical treatments. For any type of hair loss, you should visit your dermatologist. Hair loss could be stressful on an emotional and social level; however, Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy can help.
Understanding the PRP therapy process
A board-certified dermatologist can tell you why you’re losing your hair. During the consultation, your dermatologist will perform a scalp examination to see the areas of hair loss. Your doctor will also ask questions about your family history, medical history, and any stressors contributing to hair loss.
Once your dermatologist has confirmed what’s behind the hair loss, they can recommend the right treatment options. For instance, the doctor might suggest PRP for CCCA. Once both you and your doctor decide on PRP therapy, you can schedule your next visit.
Time for PRP
PRP treatment is a quick, outpatient procedure. You can get it done during your lunch hour. While the treatment will take 20 to 30 minutes, you will need to do a series of 3 sessions over the year. As your hair follicles go through the cycle mentioned before, you will need to provide them with fresh plasma to stimulate growth.
On the day of your procedure, your dermatologist will take a blood sample, often from your arm. The sample is placed into the centrifuge for about 10-15 minutes to extract the plasma. The areas of the scalp are cleaned, and a mild anesthetic may be applied. Please note that PRP injections can feel uncomfortable, even with a mild anesthetic. From there, your dermatologist will inject the plasma into the affected areas.
After the injections, you’ll schedule your next appointment. Your dermatologist may prescribe supplements or other topical medications to work with the plasma and encourage growth. It’s important to stay consistent with the supplements to get the best results.
Does PRP Therapy Work?
PRP is not the only hair loss therapy available. There is a range of surgical and non-surgical options available. Hair transplants, laser therapy, steroid injections, and Minoxidil (Rogaine) are some of the most popular treatments. They all vary in price and effectiveness, but PRP has proven to be an effective treatment option.
Studies have shown that the procedure improves hair growth, new growth, and hair thickness. In a controlled 2015 study, the candidates taking PRP injections for just three months all experienced more hair follicles, thicker hair, and improved strength. Another study compared platelet injections to Rogaine, and it easily outperformed the medication.
PRP even works when other methods fail. In a study of 11 men with androgenic alopecia who tried Minoxidil without success, the scientists tried PRP for just three months. The men grew 30% more hair over those three months.
On average, PRP has a 60% success rate and over 70% satisfaction rate. These figures are significantly higher in women than men. Women see hair loss as an emergency and get help earlier than men. Because your platelet count, stem cells, and proteins are more potent when you are younger, PRP is more effective in your 20s and 30s.
Benefits and side effects
So why choose PRP for CCA, androgenic alopecia, or other reasons? There are some fantastic benefits to the treatment:
- Most patients choose PRP since it’s a natural way of treating their alopecia. Regenerative medicine and other natural forms of treatment are becoming more popular with patients.
- It’s highly effective at not only encouraging new growth but slowing down hair loss.
- PRP is versatile. Patients with alopecia areata may be able to use PRP for eyebrows and other body parts with hair loss.
- You can avoid medication, steroid injections, or other therapies that may have side effects or allergic reactions.
- The procedure is also less expensive than hair transplants. A hair transplant procedure can cost up to $15,000, several times more than the total cost of PRP.
- PRP is non-invasive, meaning less downtime and fewer side effects compared to surgery.
- PRP also looks more natural compared to hair plugs or transplants.
Although the therapy is considered safe and non-invasive, it still involves injecting a substance into the skin. Some patients may experience side effects. These include nerve damage, bruising to the injection site, or a possible infection. Your dermatologist will let you know about the risks and what you should do if anything happens.
Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy in Columbia MD for everyone?
We’ve found that the procedure is effective in almost all forms of hair loss. But that does not mean it’s for everyone. Based on your assessment with your dermatologist, they will decide if the treatment is right for you. Platelet-Rich Plasma injections work well under the following conditions:
– If you are in good health and free of blood-related diseases or disorders.
– If you identified your thinning hair early. The earlier you get treatment, the better the results.
– You would prefer a non-surgical approach or a non-steroidal approach to hair treatment.
– You are not taking blood thinners or other medication that could impact your platelet count.
If one or more of the following factors apply to you, you may not be a good candidate for PRP:
– You are anemic or have sickle cell anemia.
– You are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.
– Excess smoking or alcohol consumption reduces the effectiveness of PRP.
– You have a skin allergy or condition that can cause an allergic reaction to PRP.
Your doctor will raise any concerns about the procedure. Feel free to ask questions during your consultation as well. With any procedure, there are risks, so keep this in mind when choosing PRP.
How long does platelet-rich plasma last?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for hair loss. The injections seek to treat the signs and symptoms of the underlying condition. Most patients should expect the treatment to last 12 months or more. After the entire cycle, PRP patients should visit their dermatologist once or twice per year to receive booster injections.
In some cases, hair loss is an underlying sign to improve your overall health and wellness. During your PRP journey, make sure to focus on a healthy diet, drink lots of water, and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. You should also do the following:
- Avoid hairstyles that can damage your hair causing traumatic alopecia or CCCA.
- Avoid chemical treatments, hair colors, or dyes that may damage your hair follicles.
- Take supplements known to promote hair growth.
- Use your fingers to detangle your hair. Avoid combing or brushing wet hair since hair follicles are more likely to be damaged when wet.
PRP with the right amount of TLC can maximize the results.
Looking for PRP in Washington, DC?
If you’re struggling with hair loss in Columbia, MD, or the greater Washington, DC area, look no further than the “Hair and Scalp Center” at Eternal Dermatology. We’re conveniently located in Fulton, MD, and serve Columbia, Silver Springs, Howard County, Baltimore, and surrounding areas.
We take hair loss seriously because we know how socially and emotionally damaging it can be. Our lead dermatologist, Dr. Ife Rodney, is skilled in detecting hair loss conditions and performing Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy. With our guidance, you’ll achieve fuller, thicker hair growth after a few cycles of treatment.
There are a few ways you can connect with us:
- Book an appointment directly on our website.
- You can also request a consultation by clicking the link at the bottom of our homepage.
- Call or email us via our Contact Page.
If your hair is falling out, thinning, or you see a new bald spot, we can help you get back on track today.
For a knowledgeable consultation on your options for Botox or fillers in Columbia MD, call us at (301) 679-5772 or book an appointment online. Dr. Ife Rodney is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. She is an expert in skincare, anti-aging, and skin rejuvenation for all skin types. Eternal Dermatology is conveniently located in Fulton, MD, and serves Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, Bowie, Silver Spring, and Howard County, Maryland.