QHow do you counsel patients regarding PRP for androgenetic alopecia?
Platelet rich plasma has gotten increased attention in the last few years, and hair loss has been one of the most commonly addressed issues. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss and it affects a large portion of the population. A few studies have looked at PRP efficacy for androgenetic alopecia and have found increased hair density and caliber as a solo treatment1. Some studies have shown increased hair density when used in combination with other treatment modalities. Most studies have looked at monthly injections for 3 months, some with a fourth round a few months later. However, there has not been a standardized protocol and there is a lot of variability in concentrations2, not only of platelets, but also red blood cells and growth factors, which makes it tough to study final results3. The overall literature supports its use for androgenetic alopecia and that is what I really to patients.
I perform PRP injections daily, and I’ve found that it works best in combination with topical minoxidil and oral treatments. I explain to patients the differences between the mechanism of each modality and discuss how they complement each other. Most patients are highly motivated and like the combination approach. I typically recommend injections at weeks 0, 4, 8, with a booster at week 20 and have had great results.
- Dubin et.al. The effect of platelet-rich-plasma on female androgenetic alopecia: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 83;5:1294-7
- Hausauer et.al. Evaluating the efficacy of different platelet-rich-plasma regimens for management of androgenetic alopecia: a single-center, blinded, randomized clinical trial. Dermatol Surg. 2018;44(9):1191-1200
- Sharun et.al. Variables affecting the potential efficacy of platelet-rich-plasma in dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol. Jan 2021;e47-8