Do Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections work for wound healing and baldness?

bloodBlood is composed of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), plasma (which is a clear fluid carrying the cells,) and platelets. Platelets are a natural source of different growth factors and secrete chemicals that attract fibroblasts (cells that play a critical role in wound healing) from surrounding connective tissue into the wounded area.
Therefore it seems intuitive to draw one’s own blood, isolate the platelets by centrifuging the blood sample, and then injecting a highly concentrated platelet plasma into the injured area to let your own platelets do their magic. The idea is that by having a large quantify of healing factors, the healing will also be exponential.
This experimental treatment has been tried by many athletes who are prone to many soft tissue and bone injuries. However, “experimental” is the key word. While some studies show that platelet-rich plasma injections are more effective than other treatments, such a hyaluronic acid injection, especially for Achilles’ tendonitis; many more show no improvement in bone or soft tissue regrowth compared to no treatment.
Bottom line is, while it is an appealing idea and could be a promising therapy for the future, at present, there isn’t enough evidence to support PRP injection as a mainstream therapy. And as far as a baldness treatment goes, the evidence is even more skimpy.
 Melody Ko

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