- Platelet-rich plasma injections use a special preparation of your own blood for facial rejuvenation, hair regrowth or accelerating injury recovery
- The cost of PRP injections varies depending on the purpose
- Most PRP procedures are not covered by insurance plans
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection therapy uses the healing properties of your blood to stimulate cellular repair, rejuvenating the skin and restoring damaged tissue. Your PRP injections cost will be determined by the provider you visit, the purpose of the injections and how many treatments you need.
What Are Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?
PRP therapy is a form of regenerative medicine in which platelets from your blood are used for rejuvenation or healing. Platelets contain growth factors that stimulate cell production and tissue regeneration. Injecting concentrated levels of them has been shown to be safe and effective for a number of purposes; however, it has not been studied in many large clinical trials.
PRP therapy is a three-step process:
- Your provider draws a vial of blood from your body.
- The vial is put in a centrifuge to spin, separate and extract the platelets and plasma from other blood components, such as proteins and red blood cells.
- The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into your body at the treatment site.
For most types of PRP therapy, the procedure is repeated every few weeks for a certain number of months or until the desired effect is achieved.
Uses for PRP Therapy
PRP therapy is useful for multiple purposes, including the treatment of skin, hair, ligament and tendon issues.
PRP injections can be used as an alternative to anti-aging procedures such as Botox or fillers. For this procedure, your platelet-rich plasma is injected into the face to add fullness or reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
PRP can also be applied topically after microneedling (a vampire facial) to speed healing and enhance the microneedling’s effects.
PRP therapy can:
- Create fullness in hollow areas of the face
- Fill in fine lines or wrinkles
- Improve skin texture
- Plump lips
- Reduce melasma patches and other hyperpigmentation
- Reduce acne lesions
- Smooth acne scars
- Stimulate collagen production
Although the longevity of these results is not well established, in one literature review patients who received anti-aging PRP treatments generally reported high levels of satisfaction.
PRP therapy can treat androgenic alopecia, also known as pattern hair loss. In men, this common condition is characterized by a receding hairline and hair loss at the crown of the head. In women, it is characterized by thinning hair over the entire scalp.
To treat pattern hair loss, PRP is injected into affected areas of the scalp to stimulate hair regrowth. The treatment works best in the early stages of patterned balding, but can also be performed after a hair transplant in patients with extensive hair loss.
A number of small studies demonstrate that PRP is a promising hair restoration treatment; however, larger, more controlled trials with standardized protocols are necessary to determine its efficacy.
In the field of sports medicine, PRP is an alternative treatment option for accelerating the healing of injuries. It’s used for musculoskeletal concerns, such as sprains, and chronic tendon issues, such as lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow.
In a study of athletes with muscle injuries, all patients treated with PRP injections experienced full muscle function recovery with no side effects.
Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and occurs most frequently in the hands, hips and knees. PRP injections may reduce pain and increase mobility in affected areas; however, further research is necessary to establish its effectiveness.
How Much Do PRP Injections Cost?
PRP injection costs vary depending on the area being treated, the number of sessions needed and your practitioner; for example, a facial rejuvenation treatment at a spa will typically be less expensive than injections performed for medical purposes.
Are PRP Injections Covered by Insurance?
When used for facial rejuvenation, PRP therapy is considered cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. As a hair growth treatment, it may be covered if the hair loss is the result of disease or illness.
As a treatment for sports injuries and osteoarthritis, PRP is not FDA-approved and therefore considered experimental. As such, it is only covered when prescribed by a doctor for specific concerns such as chronic osteoarthritis of the knee and tennis elbow.
PRP injections are eligible for financing through medical loans or health care credit cards. Either of these options can provide funds for cosmetic procedures like PRP therapy.
Is PRP Worth the Money?
The most accurate way to determine if PRP therapy is right for you is to seek medical advice from a specialist concerning your skin, hair or injury concerns.
Whether performed for cosmetic or medical reasons, PRP injections may improve your quality of life. Facial rejuvenation or hair loss treatments can greatly affect how you feel about yourself aesthetically, whereas pain reduction and increased mobility can ease daily activities.
Although PRP is not FDA-approved, some people consider it a more natural alternative to Botox, fillers, prescription medication or surgery.
How long do PRP injections last?
The longevity of PRP therapy depends on the area being treated, your overall health and how your body responds to treatment.
|Type of treatment||Average number of treatments necessary||How long treatments last (approximate)|
|Facial rejuvenation||At least 3||6–12 months|
|Hair growth||3–8||1–5 years|
|Sport injuries||1–5||6 months|
Possible side effects
Possible side effects of PRP treatments include:
- Allergic reactions
- Blood clot
- Bruising or skin discoloration
- Nerve injury
- Pain at the injection site
- Tissue damage
Although temporary pain at the injection site is a common side effect, the use of local anesthetic isn’t recommended because it can reduce the PRP therapy’s effectiveness.
Your PRP injections cost is determined by the reason for treatment, how many sessions are needed for results and your provider. On average, you can expect to pay between $900–$5,000. Cosmetic PRP is not covered by health insurance; hair restoration and treatment for chronic injuries may be covered in certain cases. Since the cost of PRP therapy varies widely, meeting with a provider who specializes in the type of PRP you need will provide a more accurate price estimate.
- Gupta S, Paliczak A, Delgado D. Evidence-based indications of platelet-rich plasma therapy. Expert Rev Hematol. 2021;14(1):97-108. doi:10.1080/17474086.2021.1860002
- Lubkowska A, Dolegowska B, Banfi G. Growth factor content in PRP and their applicability in medicine. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2012;26(2 Suppl 1):3S-22S. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23648195/
- Maisel-Campbell AL, Ismail A, Reynolds KA, et al. A systematic review of the safety and effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for skin aging. Arch Dermatol Res. 2020;312(5):301-315. doi:10.1007/s00403-019-01999-6
- Shimizu Y, Ntege EH, Sunami H, Inoue Y. Regenerative medicine strategies for hair growth and regeneration: A narrative review of literature. Regen Ther. 2022;21:527-539. doi:10.1016/j.reth.2022.10.005
- Bennell KL, Hunter DJ, Paterson KL. Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Management of Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2017;19(5):24. doi:10.1007/s11926-017-0652-x
- Bernuzzi G, Petraglia F, Pedrini MF, et al. Use of platelet-rich plasma in the care of sports injuries: our experience with ultrasound-guided injection. Blood Transfus. 2014;12 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):s229-s234. doi:10.2450/2013.0293-12
- Carofino B, Chowaniec DM, McCarthy MB, et al. Corticosteroids and local anesthetics decrease positive effects of platelet-rich plasma: an in vitro study on human tendon cells. Arthroscopy. 2012;28(5):711-719. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2011.09.013
- Zhao L, Hu M, Xiao Q, Zhou R, Li Y, Xiong L, Li L. Efficacy and Safety of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Melasma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2021 Oct;11(5):1587-1597. doi:10.1007/s13555-021-00575-z