Androgenetic alopecia may not be a medical condition known to a lot of people. However, its layman’s name is one many men and women are all too familiar with: male pattern and female pattern baldness. While losing one’s hair may be a natural part of aging for many, it doesn’t mean it’s any less upsetting. Fortunately, there are treatment options available, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
At the Ventura Institute for Dermatologic Arts in Ventura and Camarillo, California, Dr. Peter Karlsberg and his physician’s assistant Michele Ayans use a balance of art and science to provide the most state-of-the-art cosmetic dermatological procedures available. One example of their wide range of offerings is platelet-rich plasma therapy for the treatment of androgenic alopecia.
Striking 50 million men in the United States, male pattern baldness typically involves a receding hairline and hair gradually disappearing from the crown and frontal scalp. In some men, it can start when they are still in their teens or early 20s and the risk increases as they get older. By age 50, more than half of males have some amount of hair loss.
Women with androgenic alopecia experience their hair becoming thinner all over their heads rather than specific areas of baldness or a receding hairline like men. This condition affects about 30 million U.S. women, and most commonly occurs after menopause.
Experts have not definitively discovered the cause of androgenic alopecia, but they do know hormones known as androgens have a role in this type of hair loss. They also suspect various genetic and environmental factors play a part. There are other causes for hair loss, so it is critical that a proper diagnosis be performed and other underlying causes are excluded. Laboratory testing and a scalp biopsy may be appropriate in some cases prior to treatment.
Treatment with platelet-rich plasma therapy
There are a number of treatment possibilities available for androgenic alopecia, including medication and hair transplant surgery. Another option is platelet-rich plasma therapy, which can be done on its own or in combination with other treatment modalities.
Blood is drawn and then put in a centrifuge machine that separates out the platelet-rich plasma, increasing the concentrations of certain proteins and growth factors that help stimulate and maintain hair growth. The PRP is then injected over the area designated for treatment.
Most people initially require 3 treatment sessions at monthly intervals followed by periodic maintenance treatments.