Androgenic alopecia is the most common type of alopecia in both men and women. It tends to appear from puberty since it is related to the hormonal factor, but age is another determining factor to older more likely to suffer it and finally gender also plays an important role, male tends to suffer from alopecia more Frequently the female sex because this type of alopecia is linked to testosterone which is more abundant in man. The genetic predisposition is directly related to this pathology. Alopecia is characterized by changes in the normal process of hair growth, there is a progressive decrease of hair follicles, hair transformation, in addition to the production of new hairs are shorter, thin and discolored. It loses the quality of the hair becoming more and more weak to the point of losing it completely.
This phenomenon has suffered since ancient times, hair loss is not something new but the current society is governed by profiles of beauty where being bald is synonymous with old age and is not within the beauty canons. This has created the need to look for methods to slow down this process through treatment with lotions, pills and even surgery. The hair transplant is suffering a boom in recent years giving very good results that solve situations of quite advanced alopecias.
The disadvantage of this may be the price and what is involved in a surgical procedure, so I want you to know that there are alternative treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma injections, it is true that for very advanced stages of alopecia does not have spectacular results but if we begin to treat the problem in time is a perfect alternative. It is not a high cost, it is a material of our body and does not require recovery time.
We are faced with a treatment that has more advantages than disadvantages since it is a simple non-surgical intervention, with an average duration of about 90 minutes between the time of application of anesthesia and infiltration, does not require practically recovery only the same day of the intervention should not be performed exercise and finally is totally safe since it uses a material of the person with high rate of satisfaction.
How do you get PRP for this procedure? Platelet Rich Plasma can only be obtained in a way, as I mentioned above PRP is obtained by a blood extraction which is subjected to a centrifugation process to separate the different components that form the blood. Plasma is what contains platelets with their corresponding growth factors and other nutrients that will help restore vitality and promote the recovery of hair follicles, all caused by a natural biostimulation that occurs when injected this plasma with all its components in the areas of absence of hair or simply in areas where the hair has lost quality.
The use of PRP for hair loss can be used uniquely do not need to add other compounds, the Platelets Rich Plasma has the necessary ingredients to promote the improvement of hair appearance and restoration of the follicles, but sometimes some professionals mix it with compounds already existing in the market to help and promote the appearance of new hair, in any way will give satisfactory results for the patient.
How is the treatment performed?
The treatment of capillary prp is divided into 6 phases which will be explained in detail below:
- Disinfection of the area to treat: as in any treatment in which the integrity of the skin is to be compromised, a cleaning and disinfection of the area must be carried out. It is recommended that before the treatment the patient does not bring freshly washed hair or unless he has not used many products (hair masks, conditioner ...), as well as not use wax, foam or fixative to have the scalp clean and neutral ph. An antiseptic will be applied to eliminate possible bacteria and microorganism before proceeding with the treatment.
- Pre treatment photographs: Before starting to treat the areas, photos will be taken to reflect the patient's initial situation. These photographs will serve in the future to the professional who performs it to see the evolution of the treatment and its effectiveness. On the other hand, for the patient it will also be useful to be able to compare their situation before and after treatment, since we often forget how we were before starting the treatment or performing an aesthetic procedure, looking good is easy and we forget of our previous appearance...
- Application of local anesthetic: the treatment is a bit uncomfortable so a local anesthetic in cream is used and it is covered with a transparent film to enhance the effectiveness of the anesthetic and leave it to act for 30-40 minutes. Thus the patient can relax and not feel pain during the session.
- Extraction of the blood sample: to obtain the Rich Plasma in Platelets it is necessary to perform a blood extraction as I have already mentioned, it is a normal blood extraction so you will not feel pain more than a small pinch. You will then get into a centrifuge to separate the blood components and simply get what we need to perform the PRP treatment. This is usually done while the patient is with the anesthetic cream a few minutes before removing it, this way the blood is drawn and it is prepared that usually takes about 7 minutes, although a little depends on the machine.
- Infiltration of Plasma Rich in Platelets (PRP): before infiltration the anesthetic cream is removed meticulously after about 30-40 minutes. In addition, the disinfection of the area to be treated is performed again so that it is completely clean and free of germs, a series of injections will be produced in the scalp, so it is important that it is well disinfected to avoid the risk of infection. Once the treatment area is ready, PRP infiltration with a sterile syringe and needle will begin, the practitioner will do it as aseptically as possible. There are two techniques as with infiltration for skin rejuvenation and this will depend on the clinician or the professional, one of them is on hand with small intradermal injections or a mesotherapy pistol that is infiltrating the substance to an established rhythm and the same depth.
- Cleaning the area: to finish the treatment the area will be cleaned properly and the patient is ready to go home.
Do you want to do a prp treatment?
Pre and post treatment considerations
Before the treatment with Plasma Rich in Platelets only try to go to the appointment with clean hair but try not to have used conditioners or masks so that the scalp is as clean and free of products. Also it is not advised to use foam, wax or gum, any product that creates a film that does not allow the plasma to access properly. Otherwise no prior preparation is required.
Once the treatments are done it is advised not to wash the hair until 24 hours later to let the plasma with all its growth factors and its nutrients settle down. It is not recommended to do sport the same day of the treatment or go to the swimming pool and you can not use the sauna for a week. All these measures are taken to allow time for the injected growth factors that are established in the tissues, because if we sweat excessively we could expel the plasma and not get the results expected with the treatment.
Lastly, it is very important that during this first week after the procedure avoid prolonged sunbathing without the use of sunscreen or a cap that prevents the incidence of sun rays directly on the scalp. Some punctual hematoma can appear which is not very usual, but in that case with the use of a cream with arnica is resolved in a matter of a few days. In addition to these small recommendations you can recover the daily routine the next day, without anyone noticing that you have undergone a treatment.
What will we improve with PRP therapy?
Performing a controlled damage on the scalp during the treatment creates a response by our body to send platelets and plasma to the damaged area to repair the tissues if this is added the Rich Plasma in Platelets that we injected increase the number of repairing cells and nutrients in the hair loss area. It produces a 22.4% increase in the number of existing hairs and an improvement in the density of new hairs, thanks to the growth factors and nutrients contained in the Platelet Rich Plasma can reactivate those hair follicles that have lost vitality.
The latest scientific publications affirm the power of PRP not only in the treatment of androgenic alopecia, but also in the treatment of another type of hair loss called alopecia areata. This type of alopecia is becoming more frequent in this society of stress in which we live since this is one of the determining factors of suffering it. It is characterized by loss of hair in circular areas and not only in the head are also very common in the beard.
Another way in which PRP can be useful is in hair implants helping the healing of the donor site and favoring the stimulation of tissues in the recipient area, improving circulation and providing nutrients and growth factors, increasing the index of living tissues after the graft.
To summarize, what we are going to achieve with this treatment is to improve the quality of the hair that already exist giving back the brightness, the look and strength that used to have, and reactivate those hair follicles that were losing their hair-generating function by increasing the density of Hair in general. Being a hair regrowth by natural biostimulation of our body, the results will be very natural and will help resolve the situation of early alopecia or mild-moderate losses.
It is important that we be realistic in creating expectations of this treatment because in people with very advanced hair loss where the hair follicle is already non-existent it is very difficult to regain the initial hair density, perhaps new hair may be perceived but being in a advanced stage of follicular deterioration we can not expect drastic results.
Do you want to know if you are a candidate?
If you are a man or woman with weak, thin, strong and lacking vitality, or you suffer from androgenic alopecia or areata you can benefit from the treatment with Platelet Rich Plasma. PRP will not only promote the growth of new hair but also help strengthen the hair follicles, so those who are weak with the growth factors as well as the necessary nutrients are going to revitalize and those who are losing vitality will give the push they need to recover.
However if we talk about alopecias in advanced stages where the hair follicle is totally lost, then this treatment is not recommended as it will have no effect. Plasma Rich in Platelets is not going to revive that follicle that is dead, it is nutrients and growth factors which is injected but if there is no base does nothing. Thus, in face of this situation of severe alopecia the only solution is the hair transplant.
Neither can this treatment be performed for those who suffer from:
- Skin diseases.
- Metabolic disorders.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- People suffering from any type of platelet dysfunction syndrome.
How long will it take to see the results?
The number of sessions will depend on the individual situation of each patient, in addition also varies a bit depending on the professional and their personal experience with practice. When we begin to treat with PRP, we will normally perform a shock treatment to tune our hair and we will do it with 4 treatments spaced for 4 weeks between session and session. Then to perform the maintenance and depending on what result we want to obtain with the Rich Plasma in Platelets there are different guidelines, I will give a general idea but it will vary depending on each patient.
If what we are looking for is to maintain the hair we already have and to prevent the fall, then we recommend a treatment every 3-6 months, on the contrary if what we need is to improve and repopulate besides maintaining and preventing the fall, then a treatment is recommended Every 1-3 months to give the hair follicles a push and that they recover the nutrients they need to slow down the fall by improving hair density.
The PRP results are perceived progressively from a few days after the treatment is performed when changes in the texture and appearance of the hair are observed, but until the month of the session, optimal results are not reached. I have to say that to obtain acceptable results a minimum of 4 sessions are needed, where new hair begins to grow and the hair density increases. It is important that we keep in mind that it is a long process, the first changes you perceive fast but to notice a considerable improvement you need at least 4 months.