What is Protein Rich Plasma (PRP)?
55% of blood is made up of plasma. Plasma is a straw coloured liquid rich in platelets, white blood cells, stem cells, proteins, minerals, ions, growth factors, and chemical messengers; all important for healing and repair. PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate your body to grow new, healthy cells and promote healing.
It does this by stimulating DNA repair, which can heal scars and make dry, lacklustre skin look and feel younger (Ibrahim et al, 2015). Not only is it an effective anti-ageing treatment, but it also has wider uses within the medical profession (Amgar and Bouhanna, 2013). PRP has been used to treat many medical conditions such as hair loss, sports injuries, scars, sexual dysfunction, wound healing and tissue regeneration (Villela and Santos, 2010).
PRP is prepared by drawing blood from a vein in your arm, then placing the blood bottle in a centrifuge, which spins the blood at high speed in order to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. This separates the blood into three layers: platelet-rich plasma (PRP), platelet poor plasma (PPP) and red blood cells. The separation process takes about 15 minutes. The red blood cells sink to the bottom and the plasma rises to the top and this is the substance rich in protein.
How Does it Work?
The concentrated plasma contains key components of tissue repair and regeneration, taken from your blood.
PRP is injected into the skin to stimulate the formation of fibroblasts, new collagen and elastin.
The results develop over a period of months, improving skin tone and elasticity. Results may be achieved after a single treatment, although we will recommend a review at 6 weeks and possible additional treatments over three months to achieve optimum results.
Why does this technique work for so many different problems?
Growth factors stimulate growth in living cells. Thousands of different growth factors are known, each one presenting its own characteristics and specific cellular targets. Platelets contain many growth factors. Skin, tendon and bone cells are all regulated by control mechanisms of growth factors.
All body organs possess quiescent stem cells, which when stimulated can lead to the formation of new healthy tissue. Only plasma rich in growth factors allows for the stimulation of the cell healing process in many different tissues (Everts et al, 2006; Cervelli et al, 2009).
Does it hurt?
Topical anaesthetic cream is applied prior to treatment to numb the skin prior to treatment. It is reported as being uncomfortable, rather than painful.
PRP can be used on the skin almost anywhere on the body
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Dull, tired skin
- Smokers lines
- Suitable for around the eyes
- Stretch marks
- Scars/acne scars
- Hair loss
We will provide aftercare advice designed to minimise risk and promote speedy recovery from any expected side effects.
As with any injectable treatment, there may be redness, tenderness, swelling and possibly bruising. Swelling, particularly if treatment is administered around the eyes, may be quite marked in the first 24 hours, and may take up to a week to settle.
How long will it last?
Results may not become apparent for 6 -12 weeks and will last 18-24 months. We recommend a yearly maintenance treatment to maintain the effects
Is it safe?
All treatments carry a degree of risk. All risks and complications will be discussed with you at the consultation and prior to any treatment being agreed. PRP is autologous, which means it contains substances that come directly from your own body. This reduces the risks for an allergic reaction, disease transmission, toxicity or rejection that can occur from injecting other medications.
Side effects include, but may not be limited to:
Am I suitable for treatment?
There are a number of medical conditions and or medicines that may affect the decision to treat or the treatment plan. A full medical history and assessment of your expectations and achievable goals are necessary in advance of any decision to treat.
Treatment is not recommended if you:
- Are suffering from any skin infection in or near the treatment area or are unwell in any way (even a cold).
- If you have previously experienced allergic reactions to any dermal filler or local anaesthetic.
- If you are taking any medicines which affect bleeding, such as aspirin or warfarin. If you are taking steroids or have an autoimmune disease.
- If you have any bleeding disorders.
- If you are undergoing chemotherapy.
- If you suffer from a poorly controlled medical condition.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are currently or have recently completed a course of Roaccutane (Isotretinoin acne treatment) in the last 18 months.
PRP can be used in conjunction with Medical Micro-Needling (Collagen Induction Therapy). Not only does this micro needling induce trauma to the skin to induce collagen rebuilding, with PRP used in conjunction, but the effect is also optimal on the skin
PRP can be used as a stand-alone procedure. The plasma will be injected into the skin to help stimulate specific areas of concern.
Injections on the face can trigger the cold sore virus. If you are a sufferer, you must advise us in advance of treatment.
If you are planning to attend a special event when a bruise, should it occur, would be unacceptable to you. Some over the counter medicines and supplements can also affect bleeding (make you more prone to bruising) as can alcohol- which should be avoided the day before and after treatment.
Vigorous exercise, sun exposure, sun beds, sauna should be avoided for 48 hours, or as advised by your practitioner after treatment.