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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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Laser-assisted drug delivery for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: ablative laser fractional photothermolysis to enhance cutaneous topical delivery of platelet-rich plasma — with or without concurrent bimatoprost and/or minoxidil


Platelet-rich plasma, which contains numerous growth factors that promote hair growth, is a nonsurgical treatment available for patients with androgenetic alopecia. However, neither the quantity nor the location and depth of platelet-rich plasma placement in the scalp is uniform; in addition, multiple painful injections are required. Vertical uniform channels from the skin surface into the dermis, created by ablative laser fractional photothermolysis, can be used to enhance the cutaneous delivery of medications. This technique — referred to as laser assisted drug delivery — may provide an efficacious means for the administration of platelet-rich plasma to the scalp. It would not only enable the uniform placement of platelet-rich plasma in the dermis (instead of inadvertently in the subcutaneous fat) of androgenetic alopecia patients' scalps, but also eliminate the injection-associated pain. In addition, the topical application of either bimatoprost or minoxidil or both could also be enhanced with laser assisted drug delivery. In conclusion, to potentially maximize the stimulation of hair growth, laser assisted drug delivery of platelet-rich plasma — with or without bimatoprost and/or minoxidil — should be considered in patients with androgenetic alopecia in order to effectively deliver the agents to the dermis where the bulge area of the hair follicles is located.

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