Welcome to the JAG Medical Cosmetics blog, where you’ll find in-depth information about our services, educational resources concerning aesthetics, and helpful tips for looking and feeling your best. As always, we hope you’re doing well and enjoying this wonderful time of year! With clinics located in Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and St. George, our practice seeks to serve the Lowcountry with high-quality, affordable care. According to our philosophy, our patients come first. We aim to educate our patients on the most clinically relevant treatments to prevent aging. That’s why we take the time to develop a relationship based on trust with each person who walks through our doors. When you feel comfortable and informed, you’re able to make optimal decisions for your internal and external wellness. Since our job is to provide expertise and support, we allow our patients the freedom to express their unique desires. By working together as a team, our patients can feel confident about reaching their aesthetic goals!
The last article featured on our blog explored the use of Botox and other neuromodulators as preventative measures against the formation of deep set wrinkles. We broke down the evolution of Botox from a corrective treatment, used to lessen the appearance of existing wrinkles, into a preventative treatment, used to proactively ward off facial lines. Given the potential to minimize wrinkles later in life, when is the best time to begin receiving injections? There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but in our article we endeavored to provide a basis upon which you might be able to make the best decision for you. Of course, for a specialized long-term treatment plan, you should consult your medical provider. At JAG Medical Cosmetics, our expertise with neuromodulators is unmatched. Our Botox and Xeomin treatments are administered by experienced professionals who are well-versed in meeting client expectations. After reading our last article, if you have any questions about beginning your Botox journey, reach out! We look forward to hearing from you!
Today, we shift our focus to another popular service offered at JAG Medical Cosmetics, hair restoration. Hair loss affects over 80 million Americans, outnumbering even those who suffer with acne. About two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss by the age of thirty-five and women are also susceptible to female-pattern hair loss (FPHL). Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder, is the leading cause of hair loss among men and women. There are several kinds of alopecia, each triggered by a different stimulus, however alopecia is not the only cause of hair loss. Many women are shocked to experience hair loss during and after pregnancy. (However, this technically isn’t hair loss, but rather hair shedding. The body sheds hair as a result of rapidly decreasing estrogen levels and the hair should grow back after hormone levels even out.) Losing one’s hair can be an uncomfortable and jarring experience—even traumatic, if the loss is rapid and unexpected. Over the years, there have been dozens of treatments formulated to treat hair loss. (Or, in some cases, prevent hair loss altogether.) However, only a handful of these treatments are scientifically proven to restore lost hair. Today, we’re discussing the use of autologous growth factors for the purpose of hair restoration. This treatment does not involve any surgical methods and is minimally invasive. If you’re interested in learning more about how this treatment works, this is definitely the article for you!
What are autologous growth factors?
Generally speaking, growth factors are hormone-like, protein-based substances within the blood which assist the body in carrying out certain activities, such as the production of new cells. The growth factors in our blood are responsible for creating new bone marrow, regulating insulin levels, growing muscular tissue, and keeping our nerves healthy. The growth factor used in PRF hair restoration is platelet-rich fibrin. Platelet-rich fibrin is a highly nutritious protein, capable of stimulating stem cells within the hair follicle to encourage growth. When referring to growth factors, “autologous” simply means the factor has been obtained from the same individual into which the factor will be reinjected. For example, with PRF treatment, a blood sample is extracted from the patient undergoing treatment. This blood sample is then inserted into a centrifuge and spun at high speeds until the platelet-rich fibrin rises to the top and the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and water sink to the bottom. The PRF is then injected into the patient’s scalp with an incredibly thin needle. The protein will go on to thicken existing hair and invigorating dormant hair follicles into producing new strands.
How do autologous growth hormones differ from traditional hair restoration treatments?
PRF is vastly different from hair transplantation, a surgical procedure involving hair grafts from different parts of the body. Among those differences are the need for incisions, the chance your body may reject the hair graft, and the unpredictability of the results of hair transplantation. PRF, on the other hand, is administered through injection and requires no anesthesia. Since platelet-rich fibrin is derived from your own blood, there is a very low risk of your body rejecting its presence. Likewise, the results of PRF are consistent with what you might expect—hair growth and thickening. Now, hair transplantation is a better option for those who have entire swaths of scalp where no hair follicles are present. PRF only encourages dormant hair follicles to begin producing hair again, while hair transplantation can add hair follicles to a barren area of the scalp.
PRF is often confused with PRP, another type of hair restoration treatment. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. To undergo PRP, more blood must be extracted from the patient. This blood is spun at a higher speed, enabling the plasma extracted from the sample to be free of any white blood cells or stem cells. However, after PRP was created, scientific research undercovered the presence of a few white blood cells and stem cells was actually beneficial for the effectiveness of the treatment. As well, with PRF, an anticoagulant called acid citrate dextrose (ACD) is used to prevent the blood from congealing. With PRF, the initial fibrinogen found in our blood is allowed to convert into fibrin (which has clotting properties). This conversion, in addition to keeping the substance entirely natural, facilitates a slower release of the growth factor once injected. Thus, PRF is in fact the superior treatment option.
How long does it take to see results from treatment?
Typically, with PRF, you’ll want to undergo three treatment sessions. These treatment sessions should take place with about one month in between. After the second treatment session, you can begin to see the effect of the PRF taking place. After the third treatment session, these results will become even more clear. From this point, you can begin coming in for PRF treatment every four to six months to maintain your results.
Are there any side effects associated with treatment?
As we mentioned previously, platelet-rich fibrin is derived from the patient’s own blood. If you’ve ever learned about blood types, you’ll know anything placed into the bloodstream must be conducive with the antigens already present within the blood. The distillation process ensures the body can safely reabsorb the platelets found in PRF treatment, without engaging in an allergic reaction or other adverse side effects. Since over sixty injections are made into the scalp tissue, the scamp may feel tight for a day or two after treatment. During this time, the scalp is simply healing. Other than this, you shouldn’t anticipate any other side effects from using PRF for hair restoration.
Can PRF be used for any other cosmetic purposes?
PRF can be injected elsewhere in the body for smoother skin. The growth factor in PRF can stimulate collagen production—leading to more plump, youthful skin—and encourage faster healing. For this reason, PRF may be injected into the face before microneedling sessions to reduce post-treatment downtime or in conjunction with fillers to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!
PRF is an incredibly natural way to respond to restore lost hair and thicken existing hair. There’s no reason to continue suffering with hair loss when there are dozens of safe options available to you. JAG Medical Cosmetics is here to help! If you’re interested in learning more about what PRF can be used for or setting up an initial consultation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about our services! Thank you for reading and we hope you’ll return to the JAG Medical Cosmetics blog for more posts about aesthetics, skincare, and more!