Widely used in Orthopedics & sports medicine to accelerate healing in injured tissue, Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP, has taken the aesthetic industry by storm.
WHAT IS PRP?
Blood has four main components: plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In addition to helping your body control bleeding, platelets contain hundreds of proteins known as growth factors. These growth factors are responsible for accelerating the healing process in our bodies. To ensure a high concentration of platelets in the plasma, the red and white blood cells are separated through a specialized process.
The process is simple: First, blood is drawn from the patient and put into a special tube that contains a separator gel. Next, the tube is placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood and separates the platelets. Lastly, the PRP is extracted from the tube and is either injected into the area of concern (such as face or scalp) or infused topically into the skin through microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRP?
PRP offers a natural treatment option to patients. Since the material being injected or channeled into the skin is derived from the patient’s own blood, there is very little risk of an allergic reaction or poor response. The treatments involving PRP are typically quite comfortable for the patient. Numbing agents may be recommended prior to treatment, depending on the area. Most treatments have minimal downtime. While there are very few contraindications, it is encouraged that you research the provider to make sure they are highly trained and knowledgeable.
When platelets are infused or injected, they release growth factors, which leads to tissue growth. The platelets stimulate fibroblasts, which are responsible for creating collagen (collagen gives skin its strength and elasticity). The growth factors also stimulate angiogenesis, or blood vessel growth.
WHAT ARE THE APPLICATIONS OF USE?
Platelet Rich Plasma has been used for decades in Orthopedics, Dentistry, Pain Management and more recently, Aesthetic Medicine. PRP is now being used for hair restoration, sexual wellness, and skin rejuvenation due to the comfortable nature of procedures and the effective results patients are reporting. With respect to skin rejuvenation, PRP is a treatment option for fine lines/wrinkles, textural issues, scar refinement, and under-eye circles, to name a few.
One of the most popular uses of PRP currently involves topical infusion with microneedling or collagen induction therapy. First made famous by the one and only Kim Kardashian, the “Vampire Facial” trend has since taken off. During this procedure, the body’s wound-healing response is triggered and the growth factors of the PRP are infused, creating a collagen cascade that leads to a more youthful complexion.