Hair Loss: Nothing to Scratch Your Head About
Most of us place a great deal of importance on our hair. For this reason, losing hair can lead to significant emotional stress. You should consult a dermatologist if your hair starts to shed in large amounts or becomes noticeably thinner. Doctors can diagnose most causes of hair loss, and with proper diagnosis, can treat it.
Today we have numerous ways to treat hereditary hair loss. The earlier treatment you start treatment, the better the long-term results. Treatments include finasteride (Propecia), dutasteride (Avodart), minoxidil (Rogaine), and spironolactone. Furthermore, for some, surgical hair transplant is an option.
Alopecia Areeata (AA) is a common cause of hair loss in children and adults. This generally occurs as smooth coin-sized bald areas. Fortunately, most cases are treatable with localized injections of dilute cortisone. Sometimes AA can be widespread, but very rarely will progress to total baldness. Although we dont know the exact cause of AA, regrowth is usually possible if treatment is begun in the early stages, even in severe cases.
Sometimes physical stresses like high fever, surgery, childbirth, and some medications can cause hair loss. Due to this, it is important to list all drugs and illnesses that have occurred within 6 months of the onset of hair loss. Extreme weight loss can also precipitate the hair loss. This may be due to a lack of protein so a healthy diet is important to your recovery. Birth control pills can also cause hair loss as can stopping birth control pills. This type of hair loss generally lasts 3-6 months.
Retress is a new product we have added to our hair loss treatment. It is a dermatologist-developed product and studies have shown a high percentage of patients experience significant substantial improvement.
Treating Hair Loss with PRP
New research has shown that injections of PRP (Platelet-Rich-Plasma) can stimulate hair growth from numerous conditions.
Dr. Ginsburg describes different forms of hair loss and how he treats them
We will be treating this lady’s hair loss which she’s had for years. I believe it’s a combination of a few factors. Number one, when she was young, her hair was braided very tightly and that causes what we call Traction alopecia, which leads to inflammation and scarring. That component of the hair loss, we can treat with intralesional injections or cortisone and we do it every month or two and it can take, you know, six to12 months to see improvement. The other component is just hereditary one. And that we call androgenic alopecia, and that is just a hereditary tendency to have thinning hair which can be seen in every generation or it can skip generations. So, we treat that with medications called antiandrogens – is the most common medication that I use. We also can use medications like finasteride and dutasteride which are approved for hair loss in men. They are not approved for women just because they didn’t test them in women because they cause birth defects. So, when we are using them in women, we don’t do it to women who are potentially child bearing. So what I am going to do now is give this area some injections of cortisone and she is growing back some of her hair.
WHAT IS PRP?
PRP was first developed in the 1970s and first used in Italy in 1987 in an open heart surgery procedure. PRP therapy began gaining popularity in the mid-1990s. Since, many different medical fields such as cosmetic surgery, dentistry, sports medicine, and pain management have been using it.
Our blood contains Platelet Rich Plasma but in a less concentrated form. To produce the PRP necessary for treatment, Dr. Ginsburg will draw blood from the patient and process it in a centrifuge. This will separate the PRP from the rest of the blood. Once extracted, the solution is then injected into the scalp with a microneedle. This will stimulate growth factors in your blood. As a result, hair begins to grow.
The theoretical basis for the use of PRP in tissue repair is due to the efficacy of certain growth factors in healing various injuries.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
The actual procedure takes about an hour or two depending on the area treated. PRP therapy shows some immediate results are. However, optimal results are usually produced after a number of treatments. Depending on your treatment plan, doctors may recommend PRP every 3-6 months, or as frequently as every 2-4 weeks. Patients will see results after about 2-4 months and the results will last for about a year.