A procedure that has been used successfully for years to heal sports injuries is now becoming the treatment of choice by women to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, sun damage and even dark circles under their eyes.
The treatment, Platelet-Rich Plasma, is gaining in popularity for the same reasons athletes chose it: because of its organic nature and because it works. It uses plasma taken from the patient’s own blood instead of chemicals injected into the body. The possibility of side effects is practically nonexistent because the body is unlikely to reject its own blood.
The treatment has become popularly known as the Platelet-Rich Plasma Facelift thanks to one celebrity, Kim Kardashian, who tried and recommended the procedure, and gave it its nickname.
The majority of the women who reviewed their own Platelet-Rich Plasma Facelift on the website RealSelf.com say they are happy with their results. The RealSelf website allows women to share their experiences with cosmetic surgery and ask questions that are answered by doctors. The reviewers also rate their own doctors. One reviewer said her results were still lasting three months after she had the injections.
Another said her face was still glowing and her skin was still tighter five weeks after her treatment. A 54-year-old woman in New York opted for PRP for Face instead of Botox after hearing too many negative stories about the latter treatment. She said she noticed a difference in her face and was happy with the way it looked.
A study in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery compared the results of two different combination treatments. The first combination paired PRP with a treatment called Microneedling, which is collagen induction therapy. This combination was compared to Microneedling paired with Vitamin C. The treatments were conducted on patients with acne scars.
With the PRP combination of the 30 patients, the scars of 23 were reduced by one or two grades.
Most women who have tried the combination of collagen and PRP have given the treatment good to excellent reviews. The plasma contains molecules and proteins that provide nutrients to the skin’s cells, so it’s the healthiest, most natural way to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars and other effects of aging. Coupled with additional collagen, which is also natural to the body, it’s even more effective.
Most doctors who administer PRP treatments ice their patients’ faces immediately following the procedure to minimize the temporary bruising that can occur at the injection points. Icing will also help minimize any swelling or skin irritation for patients who have sensitive skin. All these effects are temporary and are almost always gone within a few days.
Patients with sensitive skin may need to take extra precautions recommended by their doctors. Allow sufficient intervals between the treatments so the skin has time to heal itself. Too many microneedling procedures too close together can cause swelling and even skin infection.
PRP for the Scalp and Hair Regeneration
By now you're probably familiar with, or at least have heard of the "vampire facial," a skin treatment that essentially uses your own blood to help facilitate a glowing, youthful complexion. What you probably haven't heard of is that there's a similar treatment for hair loss, and yes, it requires your blood, too.
It's called platelet-rich plasma, a.k.a. PRP. Here's how it works: Our blood is made of two main components, red blood cells, and plasma. The plasma contains white blood cells and platelets, which are rich in growth factors.
Growth factors, in a sense, play the role of messengers, signaling skin cells to function. In fact, they've been used in medicine to treat a range of health issues, including arthritis, signs of aging, etc. The good news for anyone with thinning hair is that growth factors can help stimulate the activity of the hair follicles and promote new hair growth.
The use of PRP is a great treatment option for hair loss because it has a number of scientifically based articles showing its efficacy increasing hair count, hair thickness, and the growth phase of the hair cycle.
As with most procedures, there is a careful process involved in using PRP for hair regrowth, beginning with a standard blood draw from the patient's arm. Next, the tube of blood is put into a machine called a centrifuge, which spins the blood tube to separate out the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma, rich in platelets, is then injected directly into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles.
The process is meticulous — with injections beginning across the scalp, approximately at every half inch over the area of thinning hair — but typically, the entire procedure takes less than a half hour.
There's no real risk associated with PRP. Most patients get injections without any numbing, as there is minimal discomfort. However, cool air or ice packs may be used to minimize pain. In the event there is any discomfort, Tylenol after the procedure is also recommended. Bruising can occur but usually resolves within a week or two.
Who it works for.
Anyone experiencing hair loss is essentially a good candidate for PRP treatments, but those with early hair loss tend to respond best. PRP is best used for patients with androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the head.
In women, this might look like a widening part with normal hair thickness at the back of the head.
For best results, consistency is key. Treatments are typically performed once a month for the first three to four months, and then every three to six months thereafter, depending on the individual patient's response and results. Following this protocol, anticipated results can first be seen within two to three
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