PRP: How Platelet-Rich-Plasma Can Help
Your Solution to a Natural, Youthful Appearance
Are you looking for a safe, non-invasive treatment to target signs of aging? Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy can deliver the results you want — without adverse side effects. Whether it’s hair loss, wrinkles, scars or uneven skin tone, PRP therapy utilizes your body’s natural resources to reverse tell-tale signs of skin and hair damage.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP treatment naturally and effectively repairs skin and hair follicles. Your body’s own plasma and blood platelets are extracted from a small blood sample and applied to specific target areas. Results include new hair growth, as well as improved facial complexion, tone and texture.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy reduces the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, scars and dark under-eye circles. PRP tightens skin to soften signs of aging. When applied to the scalp, PRP rejuvenates hair follicles and promotes the growth of strong and healthy hair.
Clinical studies support the use of PRP for skin and hair treatment. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy also effectively heals tissue and tendons, as well as reduces inflammation. With PRP therapy, you can reclaim your youthful appearance — quickly, safely and with long-term results.
What Is PRP?
Technically, PRP is “autologous blood with concentrations of platelets above baseline levels, which contains at least seven growth factors.” We’ll look a little deeper into that later.
Essentially, your blood contains four constituent parts:
Red blood cells
White blood cells
Once your blood sample is drawn, it’s placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the red and white blood cells from the plasma and platelets. The red and white blood cells are removed.
The end result is a vial of plasma that is densely filled with platelets — 8-10 times more so than average plasma found in the body. These platelets stimulate cell growth and healing in the body.
The clear platelet-rich plasma (PRP) fluid is injected back into your skin. By applying PRP to specific target areas, the beneficial properties of platelets can directly stimulate collagen production and new cell growth.
Since PRP is derived from your body, there is little chance that your body will produce an adverse reaction or reject the treatment.
PRP Treatment for Skin and Hair
During the Vampire Facial and Hair Restoration treatments, PRP is applied to the entire face or scalp after a microneedling process. Microneedling — also called collagen induction therapy — punctures the outer layer of skin with tiny needles to evoke collagen production. Microneedling also increases topical absorption, so the platelet-rich plasma will absorb deeper within your skin.
Platelet-rich plasma is also delivered to target areas via prolotherapy injections. Prolotherapy treatments trigger a mild inflammatory response to naturally release proteins and growth hormones into damaged tissue. Other prolotherapy treatments may inject substances such as dextrose (a form of sugar) or saline (a salt solution), rather than platelet-rich plasma.
PRP treatments, however, incorporates the body’s own stem cells and growth factors (derived from the patient’s blood). These organic elements regenerate tissue for long-term healing. Adult mesenchymal stem cells (when removed and reinjected into the patient) transform into any cell type needed by the body. Growth factors — natural substances (such as hormones or proteins) that are essential for stimulating growth in living cells — are also re-injected back into the body.
Published peer-reviewed medical literature confirms the safety and efficacy of PRP therapy in Europe and the United States. Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment is useful for a host of conditions: including arthritis, degenerative disc disease, sports injuries, tendonitis, whiplash and more.
Platelet Rich Plasma
As mentioned earlier, platelet-rich plasma is naturally-enriched blood plasma. This form of therapy involves re-injecting your body’s own platelets, growth factors and stem cells to promote natural healing and cell regeneration.
Platelets contain intracellular structures like lysosomes, glycogen and alpha granules. Alpha granules produce clotting and growth factors throughout the healing process. Cytokines and other proteins within platelets work to generate and maintain the general cellular repair process.
Growth factors signal cells to start functioning. Often considered messengers, growth factors are used in medicine for a variety of issues. In PRP therapy, the main growth factors include angiogenesis, fibroblast, platelet-derived, transforming, epidemeral, insulin-like and hepatocyte.
Plasma proteins also assist with the repair process; namely fibrin, vitronectin and fibronectin.
The PRP Procedure Explained
Each treatment takes 45 minutes on average. Three to five treatments are often recommended.
Vampire Facial treatments should occur once a month (for scars and special event preparation). If you are simply seeking a general collagen boost, one treatment every quarter is sufficient.
Hair Restoration treatments should be scheduled 1-2 months apart. Periodic maintenance treatments are also recommended.
Prior to the procedure, you’ll undergo a thorough initial consultation. Once the correct treatment plan is chosen for your specific medical history and lifestyle, you’ll begin the first steps to your final result.
Both the Vampire Facial and Hair Restoration procedures involve a blood draw. The platelet-rich plasma is then isolated from the blood sample in the centrifuge. The numbing cream kicks in, and then hundreds of microneedles deliver small pricks into your skin or scalp.
Platelet-rich plasma is applied over the entire area. Key target zones receive a PRP injection.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection
When platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into target areas (i.e. crow’s feet, laugh lines, the hairline), it initiates natural skin tissue and hair follicle regenerative.
Growth factors in PRP trigger localized inflammation and the “wound healing cascade”.
This response results in new collagen formation and other bioactive healing processes. These processes include cell replication, vascular endothelial growth, myoblast proliferation and insulin-like growth factor-1. Both muscular and skeletal structures are repaired in this way.
As new collagen matures, it shrinks. This shrinking aspect contributes to the desired result by tightening and strengthening damaged tissue — such as aging and sagging skin.
All in all, PRP injections assist the body by forming new fibers (and blood vessels) to repair damaged skin and inactive hair follicles.
PRP Hair Treatment
For those who experience hair loss, PRP offers a natural solution to reverse thinning hair and restore healthy hair growth.
Anyone suffering from thinning hair can benefit from platelet-rich plasma treatments. Those with early onset hair loss — called androgenic alopecia (a.k.a. male or female patterned baldness) — typically respond best to PRP hair treatments, however.
By stimulating inactive hair follicles, platelet-rich plasma promotes new hair growth. When the follicles resume an active growth phase, hair restoration occurs at an accelerated rate. PRP hair treatments utilize specific growth factors to induce hair follicle repair, such as:
Vascular endothelial growth factor
Epidermal growth factor
Platelet-derived growth factor
Insulin like growth factor
Fibroblast growth factor - 2
These growth factors promote cell formation, replication and differentiation; and induce the production of collagen, skin and blood vessels. Insulin-like growth factor, specifically, regulates cell physiology throughout the body. Meanwhile, transforming growth-factor-beta stimulates cell matrix growth and bone remodeling (replacing mature bone tissue with newly formed tissue).
The History of PRP Therapy
Prolotherapy, in general, dates all the back to at least the fifth century BC. Hippocrates provoked the body’s natural healing response in order to treat shoulder injuries. By cauterizing areas of the shoulder, he instigated intentional scarring to stabilize the surrounding tissue.
Growth factors and stem cells, in particular, have been in medical practice since the early 1900s. But it took until the late 1990s for these natural elements of PRP therapy to become clinically available. Since then, PRP features widely in reconstructive surgery, dentistry and orthopedic medicine.
Stanford University published preliminary findings on the effectiveness of PRP therapy for injuries that were otherwise unresponsive to treatment. Over the last 30 years, scientific studies have proven the ability of platelet-rich plasma to formulate new collagen via skin injections.
More recent studies illustrate the beneficial effects of PRP for softening sun damage and other issue with aging skin. Platelet-rich plasma therapy for patients with androgenic alopecia is clinically proven and supported by published medical studies, as well.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Today
Now, the use of platelet-rich plasma therapy extends to medical fields including dermatology, cosmetic facial rejuvenation and skin wound healing. Unlike other approaches to skin and hair health care, PRP therapy obtains lasting results.
Celebrities — such as Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian — publically tout the beneficial effects of PRP skin treatments. Famous athletes — like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez — also utilized PRP injections to recover from sports injuries.
Despite growing popularity of PRP treatments and the significant healing effects of platelet-rich plasma, only a small percentage of clinical practitioners receive the proper training to safely complete the procedure.
Not all PRP is created equally
My predominant goal is providing the best possible care for my patients - so I spend a great deal of time researching the best solutions. The PRP protocol I selected is the most advanced, effective solution I could find - using a centrifuge that produces plasma that is densely filled with platelets - 8-10 times more so than average plasma found in the body.
When it comes to PRP systems, many medi-spa’s and aesthetics clinics aren’t providing FDA-approved treatments - rather they are using gel tube kits or even making their own “poor man’s PRP” - essentially drawing out plasma and calling it PRP. While these offerings might be more cost-effective - they are much less effective, providing only two times the amount of growth factors.
Side Effects of PRP Injection
By and large, the risks associated with undergoing PRP treatment are quite minimal.
Since the procedure involves re-injecting material from the patient’s own body, the possibility of infection or allergic reaction is almost zero.
Platelet-rich plasma doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals. A saline solution, however, may be added to minimize any stinging or burning (depending on your treatment type).
The process of prolotherapy (the injection, irritation and microtrauma from needles), in itself, stimulates the natural healing response within the body. While other prolotherapy may include synthetic additives, PRP prolotherapy does not. Platelet-rich plasma instead provides additional growth factors to speed up the healing process responsible for delivering your desired results.
Mild side effects, however, may be noticed around the injection site. These typically go away within a few days, but you may want prepare yourself. Icing the area and over-the-counter pain medicine may help reduce any possible pain. Avoiding strenuous exercise is recommended.
Until the healing effects begin to take place, you may notice:
Stiffness or pain
Allergic reaction signs
It’s incredibly rare, but spinal fluid leaks and permanent nerve damage have also been reported.
The Results of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections
The beauty of platelet-rich plasma reveals itself in its results.
As time goes on, the effects of your PRP treatment become more noticeable. Your skin cells and hair follicles are stimulated to enhance collagen production and new cell growth. As time passes, the cellular development continues to progress.
It may take weeks or months to generate these new cells in your skin. While Botox and filler treatments break down over time, platelet-rich plasma has the opposite effect. The treatment gains traction as time goes on, delivering better-looking results up to two years after treatment.
Those who participate in the Vampire Facial should see a noticeable difference within the first several months after treatment. Improvements near the injection sites will be the most obvious.
Hair Restoration treatments deliver new growth within the first month. Peak growth occurs around three months and continue over the next 12-15 months. During that time, your hair will appear thicker and more healthy than before. Periodic treatments maintain hair thickness.
With platelet-rich plasma treatments, you’ll achieve the youthful appearance you desire — naturally. The platelet-rich plasma is derived from your own body and chock full of stimulating constituent elements. The microneedling and prolotherapy processes kick-start your body’s natural healing process, while PRP delivers essential growth hormones, stem cells and platelets deep within your skin.
Whether you are looking for hair restoration treatments or the popular Vampire Facial, this safe and effective PRP procedure can be completed quickly with minimal side effects. While cosmetic surgery can be painful, lengthy and even dangerous, PRP therapy is a direct route to the results you want.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is an all-natural, safe and effective skin- and hair-regeneration procedure. After PRP therapy, you’ll see yourself in the mirror and smile: confident that you made the right choice.