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Although Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) was originally studied with the intent to treat Androgenic Alopecia, or Female and Male Pattern Hair loss, the research just keeps getting better and better!  There have been several very exciting studies showing that PRP is also useful to treat other kinds of Alopecia conditions, one of which is Alopecia Areata.

Alopecia Areata is considered to be an autoimmune reaction in the body that results in patchy loss of hair, typically on the head. At any time in life, most commonly starting in adulthood, a person with Alopecia Areata may start to see small circular areas of hair loss emerge. There may only be one area or several, but typically the area starts small and can become quite large in diameter.  In most cases, this is temporary and hair will begin to regrow and fill in. Unfortunately, the event typically re-occurs, and the person experiences the loss all over again, often in different areas then before.  It is also possible that hair will never grow back.

Up until recently, this type of hair loss was treated solely with steroids – both through injections into the area of loss in addition to topical creams.  Unfortunately, this still is not a cure and strong steroids are needed to illicit a positive response. Using these steroids long-term is never a favorable choice. Long-term use of steroids in the scalp can lead to thinning and weakening of the skin, as well as rebound irritation or skin reactions. Furthermore, because of the nature of the condition, most patients have to return multiple times a year to get more treatments.

Fortunately, with new advances in research involving PRP, we can now confidently offer PRP as a treatment alternative to steroids for Alopecia Areata!

This is similar to how we use PRP to treat Female Pattern Hair loss; by encouraging healing of injured follicle cells, we also use it to facilitate repair of cells affected by Alopecia Areata.  We recommend a series of 3 PRP treatments, however, in as little as a single treatment we can already see hair regrowth over the area(s) of loss much quicker than we would if steroids were used, without the long-term negative side effects! It is also thought that because this is a healing procedure, that PRP treatments can aid in decreasing the chances or number of re-occurrences of Alopecia Areata. It’s a win-win!!

Please, feel free to get in touch with us today to learn more about PRP and Alopecia Areata, or to schedule an appointment!

Posted by Lacey Sellati, RN, PA-C