Potential PRP Hair Treatment Side Effects – Should You Be Scared?

The good news is technology can save you from the necessity of having surgery to thicken your hair, and the treatment leading the charge in hair restoration is Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) injections. The therapy is simple and works in a high percentage of cases of male and female pattern hair loss when the activated platelets armed with hair producing factors trigger the cells in your follicles, which then produce hair.

But what about any side effects?

There’s no need to be scared. For a start, PRP has been used as a therapy for various kinds of problems since the 1980s, including the activation of wound healing and enhancing the skin. But according to the information resource website for PRP in Australia, side effects are relatively rare. However, there always exists in any therapy where injections are concerned, a minor risk of injury to blood vessels or the nerves, or even infection. Also, there can be some calcification at the injection points and possibly some scar tissue. Clients have sometimes reported a feeling of tightness of the scalp and some have minor headaches after the injections. You might also feel slight pain as the injections are delivered, and some redness and pinprick bleeding at the injection sites.

So, the minor and relatively rare side effects of PRP injections can include:

  • Injury to blood vessels
  • Injury to nerves
  • Infection
  • Calcification at injection site
  • Tightness of the scalp
  • Minor headache

As for any major side effects there are none with the actual PRP injections, but if your hair restoration specialist uses bupivacaine or lignocaine as an anaesthetic, you could have a reaction to that, so if you know you don’t tolerate such anaesthetics or any chemicals you must let your therapist know in advance. You will no doubt be asked at any rate whether or not you have any allergies or intolerances.

The possibility of developing cancer or a tumour at the injection sites is nil since what is injected into your scalp is your own blood, taken from a vein in your arm and treated with centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. Plasma is the part of your own blood that contains a relatively high amount of platelets and platelets are what stops bleeding by clotting.

You should not have PRP if you have any of these conditions:

PRP therapy is not for everyone. Anyone with a history of major alcohol or drug use, or if you have been a heavy smoker you should not have PRP therapy injections. It’s possible you will be rejected for treatment if you have any of the following diagnoses:

  • Sepsis
  • Cancer
  • Hypofibrinogenemia
  • Metabolic disorder
  • Systemic disorder
  • Acute and/or chronic infections
  • Chronic skin disease
  • Platelet dysfunction syndromes
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Hemodynamic instability

If you are a sports person considering PRP injections

You should take note that even though the World Anti-Doping Authority Code known as WADA decided in 2011 that all musculoskeletal PRP injections were legal and participants in sport did not need to notify them of their treatments – a wise athlete should always check that the WADA rules haven’t changed before opting for PRP therapy.