What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)is a promising therapy in dermatology and aesthetic medicine. In this article, we will discuss the usage of PRP in aesthetics. PRP is especially used for conditions like facial and neck rejuvenation, fine lines and wrinkles, abdominal striae and facial scarring.
Usage of platelet rich plasma (PRP) in aesthetic medicine is a new concept. In dermatology and cosmetic medicine, PRP has been used to treat acne, scarring, and alopecia (especially in women). It is alsoeffective for skin rejuvenation and tightening around the eyes. Before using PRP to treat hair loss, a micro-needling is used to stimulate the thinning areas. The rationale is that this sends a message to the hair follicles to start the healing process. Then, PRP is used with micro needling over the affected area to further stimulate stem cells in the follicle. Platelet-rich plasma is inoculated by multiple tiny needles under the dermis, with or without topical local anesthesia[1,2]. The process is painless if sufficient topical anesthesia is applied. When PRP is absorbed into the damaged area, it stimulates the tissue, causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade. As a result, new collagen begins to develop. As this collagen matures, it begins to shrink and tightens and strengthens the skin. Improvement in skin texture and tone is noticeable within 3 weeks.
Full collagen regeneration requires 3 months [3,4]. The PRP treatments can be used on all skin types and tones. Minimal swelling, bruising, and redness for the initial
12 to 24 hours are expected. A bruise at the micro-needle stick sites may be visible for 2 to 3 days. Swelling from the fluid is what the patient will notice first. During several weeks, the platelets stimulate growth factors, which assists in more collagen stimulation. Treatment results vary but last up to 18 months in most patients.
In PRP, activated platelets release many other bioactive proteins responsible for attracting macrophages and mesenchymal stem cells. Inside the platelet are two
types of granules, namely, alpha granules and dense bodies. Alpha granules contain the clotting and growth factors that are released in the healing process.
Normally at the resting state, platelets require a trigger to activate and become a participant in wound healing and hemostasis.Growth factors and other cytokines in
platelets include the following: platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin like growth factor 2, vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor, interleukin 8, keratinocyte growth factor, and connective tissue growth factor [5,6]. The platelets
secrete growth factors, including platelet-derived growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factors. Platelet derived growth factor is one of numerous growth factors or proteins that regulate cell growth and division [7-9].
In particular, it has a significant role in the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) and the growth of blood vessels from already existing blood vessel tissue. Vascular
endothelial growth factor is a chemical signal produced by cells that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. It is part of the system that restores the oxygen supply
to tissues when blood circulation is inadequate. To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is then placed in a
centrifuge that spins at high speed and separates the platelets from the rest of the blood components. The typical baseline blood platelet count is approximately
200 000 per microliter; therapeutic PRP centrifuges concentrate the platelets by roughly 5-fold. However, broad variability exists in the production of PRP by
various concentrating equipment and techniques. The platelets collected in PRP are activated by the addition of thrombin and/or calcium gluconate, which induces the release of these factors from alpha granules. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to
600%, along with an inherent rise in human stem cell proliferation due to exposure to concentrated platelets up to 10 times above native levels. The concentrated PRP is then penetrated into and around the affected area, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signals. Penetration of PRP heal the area over time, during 1 to 3 months. Because the patient’s blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a low risk of allergic reaction.
Advantages of PRP Rejuvenation:
- Uses bodys own natural platelets so there is no risk of allergic reaction
- Natural collagen is formed in response to the presence of the activated platelets
- PRP is ideal for the patient who does not want any synthetic fillers
- There is little to no swelling, bruising or lumping as the fluid assimilates in the natural skin environment
- PRP can be used to enhance Laser procedures for faster and improved healing
- PRP Therapy is equally as effective in men as in women
- Can provide outstanding results either with or without the use of underlying fillers.
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- Shin MK, Lee JH, Lee SJ. Platelet-rich plasma combined with
fractional laser therapy for skin rejuvenation. Dermatol Surg.
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- Kawazoe T, Kim HH. Tissue augmentation by white blood cellcontaining platelet-rich plasma. Cell Transplant. 2012;21:601-7.
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- Cho HS, Song IH, Park SY, Sung MC, Ahn MW, Song KE. Individual variation in growth factor concentrations in platelet-rich plasma and its inﬂuence on human mesenchymal stem cells. Korean J Lab Med. 2011;31:212–8.