We are now trialing PRP treatments in our Brisbane clinic for restoring hair growth and preventing further hair loss to our clients who have androgenic or male pattern baldness. You may be wondering how such a treatment helps to bring back healthy hair on a head with balding patterns. The history of using PRP is an interesting one, and has a lot to do with why it is so successful for this particular situation.

Testosterone and PRP

First, it is helpful to understand just why some people experience male pattern baldness and others do not. It begins with the fact that hair follicles are sensitive to testosterone, which is why you see this in men far more than women. But women are not immune to this, as we all know. As we go through changes in our bodies after menopause our oestrogen levels begin to drop, making the testosterone in our bodies more dominant.

You may have seen this result in more facial hair, for instance. For some women it also means that increased testosterone makes the hair follicles begin to weaken and we begin to lose hair. Another reason is that the skin is drier as we age, for both men and women. This makes the skin a less friendly environment for the hair to grow. All of this contributes to thinner hair on our heads and even in our eyebrows. So what do PRP treatments do to change this?

PRP Treatments Help Brisbane Clients Heal

The first thing to understand is that PRP treatments are an autologous treatment. This means that the thing being used, in this case blood, is from the same person who is using it. It is an important distinction as it makes the process safe because you are simply using your own platelets from your own blood for this treatment.

The treatment began as one used in sports medicine and other types of medicine where you wanted to promote quick healing to damaged muscles. For athletes the amount of time they were down was critical, so finding a way to use your own blood to create a healing injection that promoted rapid healing was more than welcome. Then some doctors began to see how this could be used in anti-ageing techniques.

The ageing process affects many parts of our bodies, and when hair follicles begin to thin out, they also begin to lose critical blood flow in that area. Without that blood flow to feed the roots, the hair we do have may begin to go dormant. With these PRP treatments, Brisbane clients can use their own blood to create a platelet-rich plasma. It both heals and turns those dormant follicles back on so they continue to create more hair. The platelet count is the key, as this is the element in our blood that promotes healing.

When we reconfigure our own blood to have a higher platelet count and inject this in these areas, our bodies are refreshed by it and the healing begins. The ageing damage we see in dormant hair follicles changes, and soon hair begins to grow. It is this ability to heal our bodies of the injuries caused by the ageing process with our own blood that makes it so successful. The best and most successful approach is when this is done as a succession of treatments, generally four treatments are done 3 to 4 weeks apart. But hair loss isn’t the only thing that these PRP treatments treat.

PRP Before and After Hair

This is a patient of Shine Clinic before (left) and after (right) 3 PRP treatments to the scalp. 

PRP Facial Treatments

If you have heard of PRP treatments at all, it is probably because it is now being used more these days for facial rejuvenation. The goal is to create fresher younger looking skin. This is especially true when it comes to facial treatments for fine wrinkles or even old acne scars.

It all starts with your own blood, which we treat to separate out the platelets and give us a plasma that is rich in these little healing bodies. It is a fairly quick process, and can even be done while you wait. By using this autologous method, we can be assured that you will have no adverse reactions to the treatment because the plasma comes from your own blood.

When this special platelet-rich plasma is injected under the skin, the high count of platelets stimulates new growth and encourages elastin production. As you may recall, it is this property of PRP, the ability to stimulate new growth because it delivers a high concentration of growth factors, that made it so popular in sports medicine. It is that same ability in PRP treatments that is so effective when it comes to facial rejuvenation.

When you were young, your body was constantly producing platelets that helped with growing new skin and producing elastin to accommodate that growth. It was why your young face had that glow. But the ageing process changes many things in our bodies and this is one of them. The production of new skin and the elastin we need to help it retain its shape and stretch decreases as we age. PRP treatments can change that.

When your blood is treated to single out the platelets and then reinjected as a platelet rich plasma, your skin responds. It wants to heal the places where the PRP treatments were done, and with the increased platelets at its disposal it has the tools to do so. The different growth factors present in the platelets stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, creating a slightly thicker skin and also a healthier looking face.The best and most successful approach is when this is done as a succession of treatments, generally three treatments done 4 to 6 weeks apart.

PRP before and after neck

This is a patient of Shine Clinic photographed before (left) and after (right) 3 dermastamp PRP treatments to the neck.

A Short Glossary of PRP Treatment Terms

Like any medical treatment, when talking or writing about PRP Treatments there are some phrases or words that might not be all that familiar.

Autologous – A type of treatment where the end user supplies the cells or tissues for their own treatment. It reduces the risk of our bodies rejecting the treatment or having complications from a treatment.

Platelets – These little guys are the key to this treatment. They are small colourless cells that are shaped like a disc and are all through your blood. They are important in a number of ways including helping blood to clot and through that process promoting healing.

Plasma – When you remove white blood cells and red blood cells from your blood, the end result is plasma. It is the basis for blood and everything in your blood flows in it. Because it has special proteins that fight infections, it is very important to the body and part of the healing process in PRP treatments.

PRP – Platelet rich plasma. Basically this is what you have when you take blood and use a centrifuge to separate out the red and white blood cells. The end result is a plasma that has a higher concentration of platelets. This process allows a doctor or medical specialist to create plasma that is especially good at healing.

Collagen – The most common protein in the body, it is the connective tissue that holds everything together. More importantly, it helps our skin be elastic and acts as a scaffold to help muscle, skin and bone work together as whole.

Androgenic – This generally refers to something that is a hormone that has control over the maintenance and the development of male characteristics. They can be artificial or natural and testosterone is probably the most well-known androgen.

Male pattern baldness – Despite the name it is not restricted to only men, but they do tend to develop it more than women. This is the balding patterns you see that often start at the crown of the head or along the temples in men. Caused by changes in hormones, in women it sometimes has a subtler affect and simply makes the hair thinner in those areas.

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