PRP therapy is an excellent option for patients with hair loss who want to stimulate sparse hair growth. With the right provider and the right number of sessions, you can start to see a difference in your hair growth within several months of treatment. The process is safe, minimally invasive, and requires little to no downtime.
So does PRP hair treatment leave any scars? In the hands of a qualified and experienced provider, scars are highly unlikely with this hair restoration treatment. While platelet-rich plasma can be administered through microneedling or injections, a qualified aesthetic provider can conduct treatment without the risk of scarring. If you’re worried about seeing scars on your scalp or any long-term side effects, here’s what you should know about PRP hair treatments.
PRP and Scarring: Is It Possible to Scar My Scalp?
It’s highly unlikely for PRP treatments to leave scars if you’re getting treatment from a qualified and experienced aesthetic provider. In fact, PRP treatments are used in cosmetic treatments for facial rejuvenation to minimize the appearance of scars (such as acne scars, surgical scars, recessed scars, etc.) on the skin by regenerating new skin cells. You’re more likely to develop scars from hair transplants than from minimally invasive treatments like PRP.
PRP can be administered in two ways: microneedling or injections. While there is a risk of scarring in microneedling, this is usually the case if you’re either conducting DIY microneedling or using a needle length longer than 2 mm. For hair regeneration, needles 0.2 to 0.5 mm are enough to stimulate your scalp, so the risk of scarring is very low. Qualified providers know which needle size to use and how to correctly perform treatment, so the chances of scarring are very low.
As for platelet-rich plasma injections, a thin syringe with 25 to 27 gauge is enough to administer PRP. Needles with these gauges are too narrow to leave a permanent scar or drastically affect your scalp condition.
Both PRP treatments are minimally invasive, so the risk of scarring is much less compared to other cosmetic procedures like surgical hair transplantation, which require stitches. The short needles used in microneedling do very superficial damage to the outer layer of your scalp, while injection needles are thin and only inject up to the dermal layer of your scalp.
Microneedling with PRP and PRP injections do barely any damage to your scalp, so the risk of a noticeable scar is very low.
How PRP Works
PRP treatments are becoming a common option for hair therapy for those who are noticing thinner or sparse hairs. It uses your platelets’ natural healing process to restore your follicles and promote hair growth factors. PRP can be administered in two ways – through microneedling (a cosmetic treatment using a microneedling device) or injections – but the way it affects your hair follicles is roughly similar.
Platelet-rich plasma works because of your platelets’ regenerative abilities. Patients with regular platelet counts and don’t have any bleeding or clotting disorders can benefit from PRP treatments.
Prior to your treatment, your provider conducts an initial consultation and, if successful, will extract some blood from you and process it in a centrifuge. This will separate the platelet-rich plasma from other components of blood like red and white blood cells.
During a microneedling session with PRP, your provider will first perform microneedling around your scalp. This process involves using a microneedling device to puncture microchannels into your scalp. These will trigger your body’s natural healing properties and begin collagen production and producing new cells for wound healing.
After this, PRP is applied to penetrate the microchannels and make their way to your follicles. This can stimulate dormant hair follicles to restart the hair cycle and grow thicker hair.
Injections are much more straightforward. PRP is injected around the treatment area into the dermal layer. This can trigger cell regeneration and stimulate your hair follicles to produce newer hair and see dense hair growth.
Both treatments are minimally invasive and require little to no downtime, so you can resume normal activities after each session. Majority of patients need around 3 to 6 treatments of PRP. Each treatment session is spread 4 to 6 weeks apart to achieve their desired results. Following this, you’ll need to attend a maintenance session every 4 to 6 months. It can take several months before you see the effects of your PRP treatment.
Side Effects of PRP Treatment
While PRP treatments don’t cause permanent scarring, that’s not to say that this procedure is totally free of side effects. Most patients experience very minimal side effects that subside on their own in a matter of days.
Common Side Effects
Since PRP is an autologous substance – meaning it’s made purely of a substance that comes from your body – the risk of an adverse effect is very low. However, some common side effects usually come due to the effects microneedling and the injection has on your body. These can include:
- Lightheadedness (after your blood extraction)
- Inflammation symptoms – such as swelling, pain, and redness
- Bruising – can take up to two weeks for bruises to completely fade
- Soreness around the treatment area
Rarer Side Effects
In case you’ve tried to DIY your microneedling with PRP or had your treatment from an inexperienced provider, you may experience more serious risk factors. The risk of these happening are low when you get your PRP therapy done by a qualified and experienced provider. These include:
- Skin infection – this can occur if your scalp wasn’t totally sterilized prior to your treatment. You will need topical medication or oral medication to treat the infection.
- Tissue damage – scarring and internal tissue damage can happen if the process was incorrectly done with a larger microneedling needle or syringe.
- Nerve damage – PRP injections are intradermal, so the risk of breaking nerves or large blood vessels is rare in the hands of a qualified provider.
Minimizing Side Effects
Most common side effects can subside on their own within a number of days. PRP requires little to no downtime or recovery time. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, you can use home remedies like ice packs or over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce this. For the more serious side effects, having your treatment done by an experienced provider can minimize the risks of getting PRP.
Following your treatment, your provider should provide you with aftercare guidelines. This can minimize side effects while also improving the results of your treatment. These include:
- Avoid touching the treatment area for at least 8 hours after your treatment. Avoid getting it wet for at least 3 hours.
- Avoid excess heat exposure and strenuous activities for at least 3 days after treatment. These can promote bruising and inflammation.
- Increase your water intake for the first week after treatment. This can promote healing properties and the regenerative effects of the treatment.
Find the Hair Care Products You Need at FACE Med Store
PRP treatments don’t leave permanent scars. While there are some side effects you should be aware of, these are mostly minor and can subside on their own within a number of days. As long as you’re getting your aesthetic treatments from an experienced and qualified provider, the risk of any permanent and adverse effects are very low.
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