The aged skin looks wrinkled because it has reduced elasticity and a much lower ability to retain moisture. Procedures available today as a treatment to combat wrinkles come with their own set of side effects and questions regarding general effectiveness. PRP (Platelet rich plasma) Skin Regeneration Therapy is one therapy that uses patient’s own blood to rejuvenate the skin. It is the ultimate biological skin rejuvenation therapy practiced in many cosmetic clinics worldwide with success.
PRP has been long recognized in medical science for its wound healing properties. It is widely used today by several different medical specialties that include orthopeadics, podiatry, dental, plastic surgery, vascular, and spine.
This therapy uses blood components called platelets that contain growth factors which activates and rejuvenates cells in the body. These growth factors when introduced in the body generate new cells to rejuvenate the skin.
Many film stars are now having this procedure performed simply because it rejuvenates the skin with no side effects. Some treatments (Botox) can potentially cause side effects.
PRP is commonly used in areas where the skin has lost its elasticity. It is a treatment that tightens the skin and can give you a younger, healthier look.
However, not everyone can benefit from this form of treatment. Patients with certain skin diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus or porphyria or allergies cannot be treated with this treatment. Also patients with cancer, chemotherapy, severe metabolic and systemic disorders, and abnormal platelet function (i.e. blood disorders) cannot have themselves treated with PRP.
Along with red blood cells and white blood cells, our blood also contains platelets. These platelets contain growth factors that stimulate the tissues of the body to produce new cells. Approximately 20-60 ml’s of your blood is drawn from your arm, just the way blood is drawn for a blood test. The blood can be drawn by a nurse, perfusionist, or any other healthcare professional that has a license to draw blood. This blood is then placed in a plastic disposable. The disposable is then placed in a special centrifuge that is designed to spin down your blood. Approximately 15 minutes later, the components of your blood have been separated. Roughly 4-10ml’s of Platelet rich plasma has now been created. The PRP is then extracted from the disposable and is now ready to be injected.
PRP is applied after the area is numbed by injecting a local anesthetic. After the procedure, a simple Band-Aid can be applied. Because there is no surgical incision, there is little or no pain after the procedure.
The entire process takes about 45 minutes to an hour and can be performed in an office setting.
Results are usually visible within 3 weeks and gradually improve with time. If the patient is older and the wrinkling is in advanced stage, minimum improvement is seen. Also results are not generally good in patients who abuse alcohol and tobacco.
The procedure is simple and convenient and causes minimum discomfort. Swelling and redness will be visible for first 12 to 24 hours. Some may experience minimal bruising.
In very very rare cases, one may develop an infection of the skin that can be treated with antibiotics or cold compresses.
There is no risk of allergic reactions or immune reaction as the therapy employs the use of patient’s own blood. Several factors, primarily the absence of a surgical incision, makes the treatment a safe option. Initially, three to four injections may be required in the area that needs treatment. Repeat treatments should be performed within 2 years or after every 2 years to maintain the health of the skin as well as the results you have achieved.
An important thing you need to remember is that a lifestyle that incorporates smoking will hinder the results obtained with this treatment.
Patients have had positive results with this treatment and have noticed improved texture and tone of their skin.
PRP treatment for the entire face can cost approximately 600 to 850 USD. You will have to bear the cost since currently there is no insurance cover, but it has many advantages over the other approaches of treatment. Advantages include safety, convenience, faster healing, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. Since PRP harvesting is done with only 20-60 ml of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense and inconvenience of the procedure performed in a hospital or at a blood bank.
You can read more about PRP for wrinkles from a physician perspective.