“Vampire treatment” fights baldness
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology proposes a new and surprising way to treat bald spots. Italian and Israeli researchers found that they could stimulate stem cells in the scalp to grow new hair by injecting the scalp with the patient’s own plasma.
The procedure, known as the “vampire treatment’, starts with the harvesting of some of the patient’s blood, just like any other blood donation. Then the blood is processed through a machine that separates the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the red blood cells. The newly harvested PRP is then injected into bald spots on the patient’s head.
For the study, the team recruited 45 volunteers, all with alopecia areata (AA), which is a condition that causes hair loss in round patches on the scalp. The volunteers were separated into three groups: one received the “vampire treatment’, one received a similar treatment of triamcinolone acetonide (TrA), and the last group received a placebo treatment. Each group received their respective treatment three times and each treatment was one month apart. Then they were monitored for 12 months.
According to the study, the group that received the “vampire treatment’ saw a significant increase in hair growth compared to the placebo and TrA groups. The researchers explained that the PRP injection stimulates stem cells under the scalp and causes new hair to grow.