Today, men and women alike, choose to age gracefully. However, we know that in the era of anti-ageing medicine, there is a tendency to want to turn back the clock and undergo some form of rejuvenation treatment to reduce facial wrinkles, lines and blemishes. The PRP procedure is particularly popular for patients who want to reduce fine lines and dark circles around the eyes and when combined with Skin Needling, it offers a complete facial rejuvenation package. View Gallery
Skin Rejuvenation Through Non-Invasive Treatments
For decades, rejuvenation of the face by surgical face-lift has been popular. Today, more non-invasive treatments are available to improve the skin complexion of the aging face. The most recent advances in Cosmetic Medicine now offer a procedure using Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP. Recently, PRP has been pioneered for facial rejuvenation in select patients with age-related aging conditions and sun damage. The media have coined the phrase ” Vampire Treatment” for this procedure because of the fact your own blood cells are used!
Platelet Rich Plasma is the concentrated part of blood that contains the platelets. Apart from assisting blood clotting, platelets also release growth factors that assist the human body to repair itself by stimulating cells to regenerate new tissue. PRP treatment for medical purposes involves injecting a patient’s own concentrated platelets directly into an injury or area requiring rejuvenation. It will regrow elastin and collagen over a period of three months. Cosmetic medicine takes advantage of this by using it to generate tissue changes in areas that have not been injured with good results. As your own plasma is used, there is no danger of disease transmission, allergy or anaphylaxis.
It is well known that platelets have many functions. Platelets contain important growth factors that, when secreted, are responsible for:
- Tissue regeneration and rejuvenation
- Increasing collagen production
- Recruiting other cells to the site of injury to assist with healing
- Initiating blood vessel growth
- Inducing cell differentiation which means that all the different cells required for rejuvenation are stimulated
- Bone mineralization i.e. making healthier bones
- Extra cellular matrix formation – this is the connective tissue that holds everything together and gives it shape and form
- Tissue adhesion, especially in, skin flaps, bone grafts and trauma. This means tissues stick together giving it strength.
- These are vital steps in collagen regeneration, which is the goal of PRP treatment
PRP is SAFE and physiologically active – in other words, it is making things happen in the tissues to create the rejuvenation process. Preparation for the treatment is simple and quick, and completed on the premises in the appointment time. No products are sent off premises. It can be used in multiple areas for skin rejuvenation. There is no risk of allergy.
Prior to treatment, a blood sample of 10 – 40 mils is taken from the patient. This blood is immediately placed in the centrifuge for 5 – 8 minutes which spins the blood and separates out the critical part for the treatment. When this process is finished, the Plasma will be separated into three layers:
- Platelet poor plasma
- Red blood cells
- The ‘buffy coat’ (i.e. platelets and white blood cells) from your red blood cells.
The concentrated platelets are extracted from the buffy coat layer for use in the treatment. The platelets are injected into the deep dermis or fat layer of the skin. The platelets will then gradually increase collagen formation which can increase skin thickness and overall health of the skin. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will include a consultation with the Doctor, an assessment of your skin and suitability for the procedure, taking your blood specimen and preparing the blood for use. An anaesthetic cream is applied to the areas to be treated, and then the platelets are injected using a fine needle and with minimal discomfort. Results will not be visible for several weeks, and for optimal results, further treatment is recommended every 4-6 weeks up to a total of 3 treatments.
- Around the eyes – the periorbital rim
- Cheeks and mid-face
- Thinning skin on the neck
- Jaw line and surrounding area under the jaw
- Back of hands
- Décolletage – are high on the chest under the neck
- You can expect minimal swelling, bruising to a varying degree and redness for 12-24 hours. Some clients experience headache.
- Some patients may feel faint. A bruise at the site where your blood has been collected from may be visible for 2-3 days.
- This is a low morbidity/risk procedure. There is almost no down time and no need for hospitalization. Anaphylaxis or allergic reactions do not occur. In rare cases, skin infection may occur which can be treated with antibiotics and cold compresses.
- Occasionally hospitalization is needed in these cases. Secondary skin infection is a rare complication
People with the following conditions cannot have PRP:
- Skin disease (SLE, porphyria, allergies)
- Severe metabolic and systemic disorders
- Abnormal platelet function (i.e. blood disorders).
- Anti-coagulation therapy and underlying sepsis excludes the use of PRP.
- Results are visible at three weeks and improve gradually over ensuing months with improvement in texture and tone.
- Advanced wrinkling cannot be reversed and patients with high intake of alcohol and tobacco should expect minimal improvement.
- Severe scarring may not respond but will respond to skin needling.
- Repeat PRP treatment is also popular and safe. PRP is effective and well tolerated, but patient selection (i.e. being in optimal health and wellness) is important if predictable results are to be expected
Cost is $400 for one vial of platelets.
YES – and this will ensure best results and the least problems after a PRP treatment. Avoid wearing makeup on the day of the treatment. Stop taking any medications or Vitamin supplements that increase the risk of bleeding. In general these are the vitamins that start with the letter E, F or G. So fish oils, gingko, Vitamin E should be stopped for at least a week before a treatment. Likewise, aspirin and anti-inflammatory products should be stopped well in advance.
The following list of articles from the medical literature is provided to demonstrate that the statements made about PRP are accurate and have been reported in the peer reviewed medical literature:
- Anitua, E., I. Andia, B. Ardanza, P. Nurden, and A. T. Nurden. 2004. “Autologous Platelets as a Source of Proteins for Healing and Tissue Regeneration.” Thromb Haemost 91 (1): 4-15.
- Chajchir, Abel, Daniel Fabrizio, Gustavo Chajchir, and Edgardo Celi. 2005. “Growth Factors in Plastic Surgery.” Official Journal of the International Society of Plastic Surgery 29 (4): 295-299.
- Eppley, Barry L., William S. Pietrzak, and Matthew Blanton. 2006. “Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Review of Biology and Applications in Plastic Surgery.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 118 (6): 147e-159e 10.1097/01.prs.0000239606.92676.cf.
- Kawazoe, T., and H. H. Kim. 2012. “Tissue Augmentation by White Blood Cell-Containing Platelet-Rich Plasma.” Cell Transplant 21 (2-3): 601-7.
- Kim, Dae Hun, Young Jin Je, Chang Deok Kim, Young Ho Lee, Young Joon Seo, Jeung Hoon Lee, and Young Lee. 2011. “Can Platelet-Rich Plasma Be Used for Skin Rejuvenation? Evaluation of Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Human Dermal Fibroblast.” Annals of dermatology 23 (4): 424-431.
- Lacci, Kathleen M., and Alan Dardik. 2010. “Platelet-Rich Plasma: Support for Its Use in Wound Healing.” The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 83 (1): 1-9.
- Nurden, A. T., P. Nurden, M. Sanchez, I. Andia, and E. Anitua. 2008. “Platelets and Wound Healing.” Front Biosci 13: 3532-48.
- Redaelli, A., D. Romano, and A. Marciano. 2010. “Face and Neck Revitalization with Platelet-Rich Plasma (Prp): Clinical Outcome in a Series of 23 Consecutively Treated Patients.” J Drugs Dermatol 9 (5): 466-72.
- Sclafani, A. P. 2010. “Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix for Improvement of Deep Nasolabial Folds.” J Cosmet Dermatol 9 (1): 66-71.