The human body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself. Regeneration of new tissue is accomplished by stem cells and is fostered by growth factors and hormones. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an emerging treatment in a new health sector known as orthobiologics, which refer to growth factors and proteins that are naturally found in the human body. PRP will not cause hair growth in areas where the follicles are no longer viable, but will have a positive effect on follicles that are still able to product hair.
Although blood is mainly a liquid (called plasma), it also contains small solid components (red cells, white cells, and platelets.) The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.
PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.
To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient. The platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. Then the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining blood.
A small vial of blood is taken from your arm – less than that normally taken for routine blood tests. The blood is then placed in a vial and spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells and plasma. The process concentrates the platelet count to about 4X normal. It is this platelet-rich plasma – often called “liquid gold” – that is then activated and injected into the skin – or applied topically in a surface regeneration action. The activated plasma serum behaves the same way the body would respond if there were an actual injury – healing platelets rush in to create a rich fibrin mesh. This fibrin mesh in turn calls out to natural healing cells, releasing growth factors and stimulating natural hair growth.
Many treatments do not require anesthetics. However, some patient feels more comfortable with an anesthetic cream.
Patients will soon see a fuzz of hair after the fourth sitting. The treatment not only promotes hair growth but also strengthens hair follicles. It is quite a safe procedure without any side-effects.
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