Hopefully by now you have heard the buzz on PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma and that we at Torrey Pines Dermatology are ushering in a new generation of anti-aging therapy.
What is PRP Skin Regeneration Therapy?
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) skin regeneration therapy is the cutting-edge, anti-aging procedure…to actually repair the damage caused by time and cumulative sun exposure. It is a natural product created from your own blood so it can cause no risk of allergy. Your blood consists of four main constituents: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. We filter out the red cells and white cells from the plasma. Within the plasma filtrate, we can identify the area with the most platelets and use these to your benefit. Platelets are involved in wound repair and injury. When there is an injury, platelets are attracted to the site of injury where they start releasing their contents to help tissues heal and repair. PRP has the effect of potentiating your innate natural healing power and tissue reorganization potential.
Common PRP rejuvenation treatments
PRP has been used for years with orthopedic and dental procedures. The most common conditions, in dermatology, for PRP therapy include: fine wrinkles around the eyes, lips, forehead and neck, nasolabial grooves, acne marks, bags and dark circles under the eyes and loose and saggy skin. The newest application is to assist with hair restoration by applying PRP after a microneedling procedure on the scalp.
PRP can be administered either as an injection for “filler” purposes or it can be used topically following microneedling or laser resurfacing procedures.
As natural dermal filler it acts as a matrix that promotes one’s own collagen to grow, regenerate and repair tissue…so it acts to naturally smooth and tighten the skin.
When microneedling is performed tiny channels are formed that allows solutions applied to the skin to get directly into the dermis without passing through the epidermis. PRP is applied topically after microneedling to get directly into the areas of the dermis most receptive to growth factor release and subsequent collagen stimulation. Newly formed collagen causes immediate tightening of the skin as well as improved texture and tone.
The science behind how PRP can help rejuvenate the skin
The science behind PRP is very interesting. PRP contains platelets and growth factors. Platelets are cell fragments that circulate through your bloodstream. When platelets are made aware of injury, they stick to the site of injury and they release the growth factors that are stored within them. Growth factors are necessary for wound healing, repair and inflammation. These processes are important for tissue regeneration. Therefore by injecting PRP into the skin, we are injecting growth factors into the skin. Since growth factors heal tissues, we know PRP will rejuvenate your skin.
The process of PRP injection takes about an hour from start to finish. The steps are as follows…
First, the blood is collected from the patients arm with a tiny needle stick. We take the equivalent of one syringe full of blood and withdraw this into a test tube.
Second, the blood that was collected in a tube is placed in a centrifuge and is spun down for 15 minutes. The centrifuge spins the blood and separates it into its constituent parts. Once the centrifuge has separated the blood components, we are able to see the test tube with two different parts. There is a red part that contains the red blood cells, there is a separation gel, and there is a clear straw colored fluid called plasma. At the bottom of the plasma layer, there is a “buffy coat” layer and this contains most of the platelets and white blood cells. The platelets are extracted from the test tube and are made ready for injection back into the skin.
While the sample is being prepared, the patient’s area of treatment will be prepared with a topical anesthetic and then cleansed.
Last, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with autologous white blood cells is injected into the area of concern or it is applied over the skin following a micro-needling or procedure.
With one blood sample we can inject the cheeks or use it with our micro-needling procedure and with two blood samples we can inject multiple areas of the face.
There can be some slight bruising after the procedure, and it usually takes a couple of weeks to settle. If there is bruising, it can be covered with a mineral make-up.
PRP Skin Regeneration Therapy is expected to provide great benefit a wide variety of cosmetic concerns on the face and scalp. It can also be layered with a hyaluronic acid filler such as Juvederm, Voluma or Restylane for a more complete rejuvenating effect.
How long before I see improvement after PRP injections?
Since PRP is thought to rejuvenate the skin internally, we see results over the course of 3-4 weeks and continue to improve with time. Initially, there is a youthful swelling caused by the procedure, and this subsides over the course of a few days. As the weeks go by, the growth factors start to work in the skin making the skin thicker, with greater amounts of collagen, elastic fibers, and hyaluronic acid laid down in the dermis. There is an increase in the blood supply to the skin as vascular channels open up, and all these processes together help to rejuvenate the skin internally leading to improvement in skin tone and texture, tightening of skin, softening of lines and pores.
Treatment sessions are spaced 1-2 months apart, to achieve the best outcome.
OUR GOAL at Torrey Pines Dermatology is to provide our patients with cutting edge technology and the ability to maintain the natural, refreshed, healthy appearance of their skin. We offer a wide variety of treatment modalities and skin care regimens and we are thrilled to now be able to offer PRP treatments. We hope you will stop in for your free consult and give PRP a try!