Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is on the cutting edge of regenerative therapies and anti-aging treatments. PRP initially gained recognition for its utility in treating pain and accelerating healing in injured tissue and joints. For years, professional athletes have been benefitting from the regenerative properties of PRP. In aesthetic dermatology, PRP is a minimally invasive, non-surgical method of skin rejuvenation that uses your own blood to improve the appearance of skin. PRP can treat anything from fine lines and sun damage to deep wrinkles and acne scarring. This therapy can be used in conjunction with laser, radiofrequency (RF) or micro needling procedures. Recent research has also shown that PRP may also be effective for treating certain forms of hair loss (alopecia).
PRP therapy is typically safe and effective for people who are in good health and do not have any serious skin conditions. During the procedure, a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and placed in a tube. The tube is then placed in a centrifuge and spun down to separate the platelets and plasma from the other components of the blood. Platelets contain growth factors that can help stimulate cell growth, collagen and tissue regeneration. After this rich growth factor plasma is separated from the rest of the blood, it is then injected into or applied onto the treatment area(s). PRP therapy is also a non-surgical treatment option for alopecia, or hair loss, for both men and women. During the procedure, PRP is injected into the patient’s scalp, helping to stimulate hair follicles to aid in hair regrowth.
Typically, PRP treatments take about 30-45 minutes depending on the treatment location. Topical anesthesia (numbing cream) may be applied prior to minimize any discomfort in certain locations. Downtime can vary depending on the location and amount injected. Initial side effects include redness and swelling in the injection area, which can last anywhere from 2-4 days (or more depending on co-treatment with laser, RF or micro needling devices). Some patients may heal as early as 24-hours post-procedure.
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