Does PRP stop inflammation?
Is platelet rich plasma (PRP) considered "anti-inflammatory"? and if so - which inflammatory scalp conditions can it be used in?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) procedures are short 1 hour procedures. They involve taking a patient's blood (generally about 30-120 mL) and spinning in down in a centrifuge type machine to obtain "PRP". From 120 mL of "whole blood", we usually obtain about 3-6 mL of concentrated PRP.
PRP has potential anti-inflammatory properties
PRP has potential anti-inflammatory properties. Studies in the joints and tendons of humans and animals have shown that a protein known as hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore studies have shown that PRP can impair the ability of blood cells known as monocytes to differentiate into dendritic cells and activate the immune system.
PRP can sometime create inflammation
Other studies have shown that the white blood cells and neutrophils in PRP can be "pro-inflammatory" in some cases (rather than inhibiting inflammation) so we have a ways to go to understand all the effects of PRP!
We have had an interest in understanding PRP and whether it helps a range of hair loss conditions. For the autoimmune condition alopecia areata, we have published already that PRP can benefit some patients but not everyone. Whether PRP also helps inflammatory scarring alopecias is unknown but something we are very much interested in.
Bendinelli P, et al. Molecular basis of anti-inflammatory action of platelet-rich plasma on human chondrocytes: mechanisms of NF-κB inhibition via HGF. J Cell Physiol. 2010.
Papait A, et al.Allogeneic platelet-rich plasma affects monocyte differentiation to dendritic cells causing an anti-inflammatory microenvironment putatively fostering the wound healing. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2016.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299