An Overview of the Biology of Platelet-Rich Plasma and Microneedling as Potential Treatments for Alopecia Areata

    Lauren C. Strazzulla, Lorena Avila, Kristen Lo Sicco, Jerry Shapiro
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    TLDR Platelet-rich plasma and microneedling could potentially help hair growth in people with alopecia areata, but more research is needed.
    Five years ago, the document explored the potential of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and microneedling as treatments for alopecia areata (AA). Laboratory studies suggested these treatments could enhance growth factor production, aiding hair follicle development. Small studies and case reports showed promising results, with PRP found to increase concentrations of growth factors, cytokines, and proteins, and microneedling hypothesized to enhance growth factors and facilitate transdermal drug delivery. A study involving 45 patients showed PRP treatment resulted in greater hair regrowth than triamcinolone acetonide treatment, and another study involving 74 patients showed remission in 52.8% of those treated with PRP by week 6. However, the lack of standardized PRP production protocols and the painful nature of microneedling were limitations. Future investigations were suggested to validate these therapeutic techniques for AA patients.
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