WHAT IS PLATELET-RICH-PLASMA (PRP) THERAPY?
The best way to summarize PRP is that it is a new form of regenerative medicine that utilizes nothing but the patient’s own blood. WHAT ARE PLATELETS? Platelets are a crucial part of the body’s ability to stop bleeding and to repair damaged blood vessels and cells in the body. A good way to think of them is as ‘little powerhouses’ which release proteins (called growth factors) when they become activated by contact with the body’s tissue. This activation promotes tissue repair and collagen production.
WHICH AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH PRP THERAPY?
The following diagram summarizes the areas best suited to PRP treatment
1. Fine lines & creases on the forehead
2. Hair loss
3. Crepiness of the upper eyelid
4. Dark circles
5. Smile lines & open pores
6. Nasolabial folds
7. Poor skin texture
8. Back of the hands
9. Necklace lines & turkey neck
10. Crepiness of the décolletage
• One of the real strengths of PRP is for rejuvenation of the under-eye area. This is a notoriously difficult area to treat and there are very few effective treatments available. PRP can improve the skin quality and decrease dark circles in this area.
• You can inject PRP into any areas where you would inject dermal filler. It won’t have the same effect as filler, as the two treatments work in different ways. However it will stimulate collagen production in this area which will plump this area with time.
•Open pores bother many people and are again a very difficult problem to treat. PRP helps to tighten these stubborn pores as well as improving the overall skin quality.
• With age many people notice the texture of the skin on their chin changes and looks quite coarse, which can be greatly improved with PRP.
• Hair loss is a very exciting area for treatment with PRP. Provided the hair follicles are intact PRP can stimulate new hair growth. This is particularly noticeable with treatment around the eye areas, where patients report increased lash growth. It can also be injected directly into the eyebrow and into the scalp to treat hair loss in these areas. • PRP can be used to firm a turkey neck, and can be injected into the lines that run horizontally around our neck (necklace lines), for which there are very few other treatment options.
• The backs of the hands and décolletage can be plumped and the skin quality improved with PRP.
• There is increasing evidence for PRP as a treatment for stretch marks, with patients reporting decreased size of their stretch marks.
• PRP can be injected into any scars and will improve appearance by stimulating collagen production.
IS PRP THERAPY PAINFUL?
Because the local anesthetic cream is left to work for a long time, most patients don’t find the treatment painful. Some areas can feel more uncomfortable than others, with injections directly into the lip border probably feeling the sorest.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM PRP THERAPY?
Patients of any age can benefit from PRP therapy. Younger patients will notice an improvement in their skin quality, as well as targeting any early concerns they may have. As patients get older and show more signs of ageing there will be more specific areas to target.
HOW MANY PRP TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Treatment protocols will vary from patient to patient. We generally advise that patients over the age of 40 will need a course of 3 treatments spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. Younger patients may only need 1, and some patients may require more dependent on their indications.
WILL I NOTICE RESULTS IMMEDIATELY?
Most people start to notice results themselves around 3-4 weeks with continuous improvements upto 6-12 months after treatment.
ARE THE RESULTS OF PRP THERAPY PERMANENT?
They are long-lived but not permanent. We advise people to have a maintenance treatment once a year after their initial course.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE-EFFECTS OF PRP TREATMENTS?
Because the treatment involves only injection of your own blood with nothing added to it, it is very safe. Side-effects, if they occur at all, are usually mild to moderate.
• Immediately after treatment most patients look a little puffy, particularly around the eyes. This is because the product is sitting within the skin and will settle over the next few hours. In some cases there can be mild swelling persisting for a few days after treatment.
• Many patients also complain of mild itchiness for the first 24-48 hours after treatment.
• Bruising is reasonably common around the eyes. This is because the under-eye area is very rich in small blood vessels and it is virtually impossible to avoid them.
DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO PREPARE BEFORE PRP TREATMENT?
Ideally come to your appointment without make-up on, but otherwise there are no specific preparation instructions.
IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD AVOID AFTER MY PRP TREATMENT?
• Routinely, we apply a layer of PPP to the face as a serum at the end of the treatment. This means that you will be leaving with this on your skin. Try to avoid touching your face for the rest of the day, and avoid cleansing or moisturizing your skin until the morning after treatment.
• Avoid applying make-up until the morning after your treatment.
WHAT IS PLATELET-RICH-PLASMA (PRP) THERAPY?