PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma – Therapy

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is another example of a medical technique that is being used to improve the skin using the natural, healing components of the body. This treatment is also known as a Vampire Facelift.

This treatment has been used for many years to help heal wounds and encourage quicker healing, for example in athletes suffering from sports injuries. Tiger Woods, the world’s number one golfer, used PRP therapy to recover quickly from knee surgery. PRP also has a long history in the treatment of surgical recovery, bone cancer, ulcers, and torn ligaments, and there have been reported successes in a large variety of other conditions.

In recent years, PRP therapy was introduced as a method of rejuvenation for the skin, helping to accelerate normal cell renewal and healing processes by stimulating collagen formation, revascularization (increasing blood supply) and repair. Using your own blood means that there is no risk of adverse reactions to the treatment. PRP can also be used as a ‘natural filler’ to help restore volume where necessary.

How does PRP benefit the skin?

Blood contains platelets, which helps to clot the blood and repair damaged areas in the body. Platelets also release growth factors to stimulate the growth of new, healthy tissue. When PRP is injected into the skin, it activates dermal fibroblasts, a skin component that plays a key role in maintaining skin integrity and youthfulness, causing the synthesis of cell-renewal ingredients such as collagen, adhesive molecules and cytokines. It has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of wrinkles and for skin rejuvenation due to its growth factor activity. Read more about this research here.

A study done by doctors Alessio Redaelli, Domenico Romano and Antonio Marciano from Milan,Italy, and published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, May 2010, showed that Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment improved skin wrinkles, texture, elasticity, volume and skin tone. Patients reported an 82% improvement in skin tone, 52% improvement in wrinkle appearance, 87% improvement in general appearance, and 100% satisfaction with the treatment outcomes.

In recent years this new technology has come to the fore and shows great promise. Along with the benefit of using your own tissue therefore eliminating allergies there is the added intrigue of mobilizing your own stem cells for your benefit. The benefits to you are that platelet rich plasma can rejuvenate your skin improving texture and lines with a gradual natural change.  Other benefits of PRP is with hair regrowth.  As recently as 2015 a study was published following men over two years who had improvement using PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) for hair loss after a series of three treatments.  Click here for the more information about hair regrowth and Platelet Rich Plasma.

What is it?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is a fraction of your own blood drawn off and spun down and then reapplied or injected to create improved tissue health.

Platelets are very small cells in your blood that are involved in the clotting process. As they organize in the clot they release a number of enzymes to promote healing and tissue responses including attracting stem cells to repair the damaged area. When used in injured or sun- and time-damaged tissue they can induce a remodeling of the tissue to a healthier and younger state.

What Can It Be Used For?

As mentioned platelet rich plasma – PRP – can be used in speeding healing of  wounds, in tendon and soft tissue damage. If you check You Tube and Google for PRP or platelet rich plasma therapy you will encounter many people, especially orthopedic surgeons explaining the technology and showing in what situations they can use it.

But platelet rich plasma – PRP – can be used also to improve skin texture, lines and wrinkles and stimulating hair regrowth. By placing it into the deeper skin layer fibroblasts and other cells can be stimulated to a more youthful function. Areas  under eyes and in necks can show dramatic improvement. Lines like about upper lips can also improve. And the general texture and rigidity of the skin will improve.

Who Will Benefit From It?

Anyone with an open wound or injury, especially taking time to heal will improve speedily with platelet rich plasma therapy – PRP.

Also anyone who is using cosmetic treatments for lines, wrinkles, poorer skin condition and general skin reconditioning can be improved with platelet rich plasma therapy or PRP. And anyone who has had problems tolerating products for these sorts of procedures will be encouraged by the fact they are using purely their own cells and tissues. The most dramatic results so far have been in the crepey skin problems in areas such as under eyes, necks areas. 

How Is It Done?

We draw several tubes of blood in much the same way blood is taken for blood testing. While the skin is being numbed with a topical anesthetic cream, the blood sample is spun for around 15 minutes in a centrifuge to produce the platelet rich plasma – PRP.

The platelet rich plasma – PRP – is drawn from the tube into a small syringe.  Once in the syringe, the platelet rich plasma – PRP – is then injected in the cleaned anesthetized skin in either small lines or tiny dots in the deeper skin layer (or onto the open wound or about the injured area for those problems).

For skin improvements platelet rich plasma is instilled into the same areas over three sessions usually spaced around a month apart each time.

How Many Treatments Are Required?

With wounds and injuries one treatment of platelet rich plasma may be enough.

With more cosmetic applications usually three treatments will be required. Platelet rich plasma – PRP – is instilled on three occasions usually a month apart.

How Quickly Does The Result Show?

To those people aware of their skin texture and structure they may be aware within a week of some early changes. But this is a gradual process with changes continuing to show for three to six months after the treatment with the platelet rich plasma – PRP.

So for a cosmetic application it would be best to wait for three months or so after the third treatment session of platelet rich plasma – PRP – before making a judgment on the outcome. And some will be achieving further changes for another three months – six months after the last treatment.

How Long Does It Last?

At the moment the effect seems to last about two years. Obviously there will be variations from one person to the next on this. Initially it was felt the effects and length of benefit would be better in younger patients with younger cells to work with. But with platelet rich plasma therapy, as with non-ablative laser treatments, effects can be very good in people one would consider older.

Can The Treatment Be Repeated?

There is no reason that platelet rich plasma – PRP – therapies could not be repeated. As you are using your own tissue there is no problem with continued use. Some people elect to do a single session each year to boost and lengthen the effect of the initial group of treatments.

Are There Side Effects?

There will be some short-lasting pinkness or redness of the skin following injection of the platelet rich plasma – PRP. Bruising is also a possibility as the needle is used to place the PRP into the skin. This may take a week or so to resolve.

PRP – platelet rich plasma therapy creates subtle changes with your own tissue.