What is PRP
Platelet Rich Plasma, or also known as “PRP” is an injection treatment whereby a person’s blood is used. A fraction of blood (10cc-30cc) is drawn up from the individual patient into a syringe.
This is a relatively small amount compared to blood donation which removes 500cc. The blood is spun down in a special centrifuge (according to standard Harvest Techniques) to separate its components (Red Blood Cells, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Plasma. The Platelet Rich Plasma is first separated then activated with a small amount of calcium to allow the release of growth factors from the platelets which in turn amplifies the healing process. PRP is then injected into the area to be treated.
Platelets are very small cells in your blood that are involved in the clotting process. When PRP is injected into the damaged area it causes a mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade.
As the platelets organize in the clot they release several enzymes to promote healing and tissue responses including attracting stem cells to repair the damaged area. As a result, new collagen begins to develop. As the collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the damaged area. When treating injured or sun and time damaged tissue they can induce a remodeling of the tissue to a healthier and younger state. The full procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hr. Generally, 2-3 treatments are advised, however, more may be indicated for some individuals. Touch up treatment may be done once a year after the initial group of treatments to boost and maintain the results.
What to expect
Benefits of PRP
Along with the benefit of using your tissue, therefore, eliminating allergies, there is the added intrigue of mobilizing your stem cells for your benefit. PRP has been shown to have overall rejuvenating effects on the skin as in improving skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles, increasing volume via the increased production of collagen and elastin, and by diminishing and improving the appearance of scars. Other benefits: minimal downtime, safe with minimal risk, short recovery time, natural-looking results, no general anesthesia is required.
PRP used for aesthetic procedures is safe for most individuals between the ages of 25-80. There are very few contraindications, however, patients with the following conditions are not candidates:
- Acute and Chronic Infections
- Skin diseases [i.e. SLE, porphyria, allergies]
- Severe metabolic and systemic disorders
- Abnormal platelet function (blood disorders, i.e. Hemodynamic Instability, Hypofibrinogenemia, Critical Thrombocytopenia)
- Chronic Liver Pathology
- Anti-coagulation therapy
- Underlying Sepsis
- Systemic use of corticosteroids within two weeks of the procedure, and
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
Risks and Complications
Some of the Side Effects of Platelet Rich Plasma include:
- Pain or itching at the injection site
- Bleeding, Bruising, Swelling and/or Infection
- Short lasting pinkness/redness (flushing) of the skin
- Allergic reaction to the solution
- Injury to a nerve and/or muscle
- Dizziness or fainting
- Temporary blood sugar increase
- Bruising and swelling, redness and pumps are expected reactions after treatment. And should be resolved within one week.
Results are generally visible at 3 weeks and continue to improve gradually over the next 3-6 months with improvement in texture and tone. Advanced wrinkling cannot be reversed and only a minimal improvement is predictable in persons with drug, alcohol, and tobacco usage. Severe scarring may not respond. Current data shows results may last 18-24 months. Of course, all individuals are different so there will be variations from one person to the next.
- Avoid aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren and other anti-inflammatory medications for 7 days after your treatment
- Do not use blood-thinning agents such as vitamin E, vitamin A, Ginko, Garlic, Flax, Cod Liver Oil, Essential Fatty Acids and least one week after your treatment.
- You can shampoo your hair after 24 hours of the treatment with any shampoo you wish
- It is fine to color your hair three days after the procedure.
- Limit sun exposure on the treated area for 4 days and avoid smoking and alcohol for 3-4 days